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MacDiff supports routine evaluations of X-ray powder diffractograms. It is developed as an addition to the common XRD computer applications of Philips, Siemens, or others. Based on the Macintosh GUI, the software provides a comfortable, interactive treatment of XRD profiles. MacDiff offers standard profile filter procedures and supports qualitative and quantitative phase analysis. The build-in programable peak analysis (evaluation of intensity, peak area, FWHM, a.o.) supplies routines for semi-automatic determinations of diffractogram series. You are able to check data already during measuring. The peak indication is supported by an user adaptable JCPDS like peak database. Printed diffractograms are of high quality (300 dpi). MacDiff recognizes the standard format single-scan files of Philips-APD or Siemens-RAW2 or ASCII. Data and graphics can be exported to the leader chart and vector graphic applications.

Currently, MacDiff is mainly used to evaluate the mineral content of sediments, especially clay minerals, but it is also suitable to manage the phase analysis of any crystalline substance.

MacDiff is freeware, it can be acquired and used by everywere. The distribution is not restricted, except for making profit. The rights remains by the author. Use it at your own risk.

The Author:

Dr. Rainer Petschick
Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Senckenberganlage 32-34
60054 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. 069-798 22694
Fax. 069-798 22958

MacDiff is continuously in developement.
If you observe any bug, or if you miss a special feature, please let me here!

System requirements:

PowerMac PPC version:

Power Macintosh with min. 2 MB RAM hard disk space, colored monitor (min. 256 colors, 14 inch, better 17 inch), about 2.0 MB free RAM, System 7.1 or 7.5.

68K version:

Macintosh or Powerbook with 68030 processor, better 68040, 16 colors, 12 inch monitor, about 2 MB on harddisk, 2.5 MB free RAM, System 7.x.

A PowerMac is recommended for best performance!

The software is written in Visual Interactive Programming (VIP)-BASIC, a development tool of Mainstay.
The code is translated to ANSI-C and compiled with CodeWarrior 10.

Input - Output

You can read the following diffractogram files:

- Philips ".RD" - APD- VMS-Format
- Philips ".RD" - APD- MSDOS-Format
- Philips APD - ASCII-MSDOS-Format (APD-"View Scan")
- Philips APD - APD-UDF-ASCII-MSDOS-Format
- Siemens ".RAW" - RAW2-MSDOS-Format
- ".MDI" ASCII Text Format
- ".OUT" ASCII Text Format
- Sietronic ".CPI" ASCII Text Format

File must be a single-scan.
No more than 16768 single counts in one file.
Count limit: 327.680 (Counts higher than 32.768 will decreased to 10%).

You can read and write:

- XToraya4Mac of H.Stanjek, Freising, TU Munich
- Text-ASCII (angle, count [, base] - several delimiters possible)
- In MacDiff's native compact and fastest DIFF format

List of some features:


  • Up to ten colored diffractograms in undependend windows.
  • Up to seven multiple diffraction profiles showing in one diagram.
  • Variable diffractogram size.
  • Variable line color, size and type.
  • Variable axis types (normal, inverted, square root, logarithmical, d-spacings).
  • Button strip for 20 frequently used program functions.
  • Base line removing.
  • Optimized fast drawing and screen redraw.
  • Mouse-sensitive zooming and scrolling.
  • Cursor sensitive angle-, d-value and count display.
  • High quality print, colored (if desired), optional logo.
  • Prints and saves lists of counts and and of all measuring data.
  • Import of "good-old" analog diffractogram plots via scanner or by digitizing table.
  • Export vector graphics via clipboard or by PICT-files, also in 5 x resolution
  • Editable counts and base values.
  • Optional Debye-Scherrer like film image.
  • Outlier and divergence filter, linear peak correction, smoothing counts, alpha-2 stripping.
  • Simple math manipulations.
  • Changing K-Alpha-type on the fly.
  • Recalculation to other wavelengths/K-Alpha type and step size.
  • Determination of mean diffractograms from several profiles.
  • Diffractogram subtraction.
  • Base line determination by an iteration method or by graphical manipulation.
  • Base line can be saved (MacDiff file format).
  • Peak analysis by double click: d-value, counts, area, and FWHM as standard.
  • Simple peak point search routines
  • Labels of single peaks.
  • About 30 optional peak parameter (i.e. half areas, integral breadths).
  • Implemented JCPDS-like database interface.
  • Comes with a standard database holding 7500 peaks of about 200 rock-forming minerals.
  • Links a given peak to a peak database index for identifying.
  • Peak search routine, also linkable to a peak database.
  • User defined analysis program to evaluate data of up to 32 peaks.
  • Semi-automatic processing by file sessions (Batches of up to 255 profiles).
  • Reports of all peak data, exporting as TEXT-files.
  • Automatic FWHM calibration of five different peaks.


Example screenshots:


Picture: Analysis of Quartz (101) peak

Analysis of Quartz (101) peak


Picture: Peak database dialog

Peak database dialog (shown here: Alpha Quartz)


Picture: Detection of Corundum

Comparison of the measured profile with line graphs showing reflections as available in a peak database. Here: Detection of corundum.

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