Tables for
Volume B
Reciprocal space
Edited by U. Shmueli

International Tables for Crystallography (2006). Vol. B, ch. 3.3, p. 381   | 1 | 2 |

Section PLUTO

R. Diamonda*

aMRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, England
Correspondence e-mail: PLUTO

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PLUTO was developed by Motherwell (1978[link]) at the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) for the display of molecular structures and crystal-packing diagrams, including an option for space-filling model style with shadowing. The emphasis was on a free format command and data structure, and the ability to produce ball-and-spoke drawings with line shadowing suitable for reproduction in journal publication. Many variant versions have been produced, with essentially the 1978 functionality, its popularity deriving from its ease of use and the provision of default options for establishing connectivity using standard bonding radii. It was distributed as part of the CCDC software associated with the Cambridge Structural Database, with an interface for reading entries from the database.

In 1993 Motherwell and others at the CCDC added an interactive menu and introduced colour and PostScript output. New features were introduced to allow interactive examination of intermolecular contacts, particularly hydrogen-bonded networks, and sections through packing diagrams (Cambridge Structural Database, 1994[link]).


Cambridge Structural Database (1994). Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, 12 Union Road, Cambridge, England.Google Scholar
Motherwell, W. D. S. (1978). Pluto – a program for displaying molecular and crystal structures. Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, 12 Union Road, Cambridge, England.Google Scholar

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