Programmatic access to the CSD 101 – CSD Python API


The CSD Python API (where API stands for Application Programming Interface) enables you to use many capabilities of the CSD Portfolio programmatically. It can be used to control complex analysis processes, including automated workflows, and to integrate with your specialist routines. The CSD Python API enables you to create tailored scripts using the whole spectrum of CSD functionality to answer your targeted research questions or integrate access to crystal data and CSD functions seamlessly into third-party software.

Learning Outcomes

  • Familiarise yourself with how CSD entries are represented in the CSD Python API.
  • Learn how to access CSD entries.
  • Learn how to read different file formats.
  • Learn how to run a search and output results.


  • The CSD installed and a current valid CSD licence active. For installation and licences visit the FAQs.
  • You will also need a text editor of your choice to write the scripts.
  • Familiarity with Python. This workshop will NOT cover in general how to use Python, but it is specific to how to use the CSD Python API.

This module takes less than 90 minutes to complete.

Screenshots of the commandline showing the CSD Python API in action, with the Python logo at the front.

Well done on completing the module!

Next Steps


How was it? Leave your feedback here – it takes less than 5 minutes.

Ready for more?

You can try more advanced searches and uses of the CSD Python API with our self-guided workshops PYAPI-001 (exercise 3) and PYAPI-002.

You can share your custom scripts with the worldwide user community and benefit from their routines in the CSD GitHub repository.

If you are going to use the CSD Python API in your work, do not forget to cite it when you publish. Please refer to this FAQ.


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