Chapter 0 – General Introduction to the PLATON Package The most recent version of this manual can be found at: http://www.cryst.chem.uu.nl/spek/platon/PLATON-MANUAL.pdf The associated test and example data can be found at: http://www.cryst.chem.uu.nl/spek/platon/PLATON-MANUAL.data This Chapter 0 is meant as an introduction to the PLATON crystallographic software suite.
Implementation and usage information of the various PLATON tools and options can be
found in Chapter 1. More detailed info for some of the available tools can be found in
Chapters 2 to 10. Chapter 11 provides HOW TO's for some of the most used tools.
Chapter 12 addresses a number of frequently asked questions. This manual describes the
native UNIX platform (LINUX & MAC OS X) implementation of PLATON. The MS-
Windows version of PLATON is maintained by Dr. Louis Farrugia (Glasgow, Scotland).
That version is essentially identical to the UNIX version. It is normally run under the
control of an added toolbar but lacks the SYSTEM S part.
– What is the PLATON Package About The PLATON package brings together in a single program a collection of CIF and SHELX
compatible tools that are used as part of a small molecule single crystal structure study.
Most of the available tools are accessible via clickable options that are listed on the
PLATON program opening menu (Fig. 0.1-1) that is displayed when the program is invoked
with a data file such as a CIF.
PLATON is a (currently) FORTRAN95 based program that is designed to be as independent
as possible from external libraries with the long term maintenance issue of the program in
mind. The graphics depends only on a simple subset of X-Windows C language calls that
can easily be substituted by similar graphics calls on other platforms such as Microsoft
Windows. The program is currently developed on the UNIX platform which includes
LINUX and Mac OS X. A Microsoft Windows version is maintained by Dr. Louis Farrugia
and is compatible with the UNIX version except for the absence of the SYSTEM-S
component due to being too UNIX specific. A similar but less UNIX specific tool, based on
structure solution with Charge Flipping (see Chapter 9), is under development.
PLATON can be run in both the default graphical menu mode as in a non-graphical menu
mode with keyboard instructions and listing output only. The latter option is mainly
historical but can still be useful when the program is run over a low bandwidth connection.
In addition, many program features such as structure validation are also available through
option switches on the program calling command from a terminal window (Section 1.1).
This is the filter mode of operation with files in and files out only. E.g. the instruction
platon-U name.cif will produce a structure validation report for the structure file name.cif on a file named name.chk (and name.ckf whenthe corresponding name.fcf is found as
well). A default ORTEP plot on the display is produced with platon -a name.cif.
PLATON development started around 1980 (thus prior to SHELXL) and was originally
designed to run within the constraints of a 60 bit CDC university mainframe computer.
Fig. 0.1-1 – PLATON opening menu. The available and clickable tools are listed in the main block. The side menu offers access to various program options. More options are available by clicking in one of the other boxes in 'OptionMenus'. The name and type of the active input data files for structural parameters and reflection data are shown below the main block. When 'Browser' is shown in this area, information on a menu item is available by a right mouse click on that item. At the bottom left, preceded by >> is a field for keyboard instructions to the program. In the lower right corner is an EXIT button as a short cut for leaving the program and a computing status message (MenuActive/Working). Entries in Blue are not active in the current setting. Red entries in the side menu are currently active options. Program messages and certain types of one line results may appear at the bottom of the window. The window can be refreshed by clicking on 'PLATON 10' in the top- right of the window or with CTRL-L. The number 10 indicates the number of the active sub- menu and acts as a reference for the information in Section 1.4. Subsequent development was done on an in-house Digital Equipment VAX/VMS cluster
and currently on various UNIX platforms (LINUX and MAC OS X). It originally aimed at
the automated generation of formatted tables of a variety of derived geometrical entities
such as bond distances, bond angles, torsion angles, least-squares planes, ring-puckering
parameters and hydrogen bonds. An exhaustive listing file could be produced with a single
CALC (ALL) instruction (see Appendix VI) with all derived parameters accompanied by
standard uncertainties that were derived from the standard uncertainties in the primary input
parameters originating from the at that time SHELX76 refinement program. Such a listing