File format ... where?

jkb at jkb at
Wed Jun 19 03:38:24 EST 2002

In <KQEO8.17824$Kt3.416199 at> taq at ("taq") writes:
> I am looking for "ab1" file format specs. Could anyone give me a suggestion?
> Even other DNA chromatogram file formats are welcome :-)

The AB1 file format specs are ABI "secrets" :-( That said many people have
reverse engineered them. Clark Tibbets wrote something about this at some
stage - try searching with Google.

We also provide a free C library for reading AB1, ALF, SCF, CTF and ZTR trace
files, as well as writing SCF, CTF and ZTR. The C code itself serves, to some
extent, as documentation for the file formats. The SCF and ZTR formats are
described on our web site. ZTR is the latest format and if you're interested
in saving disk space is probably the best at the moment (me biased? surely not 

The io_lib C code can be downloaded from:

Good luck,

James Bonfield (jkb at   Fax: (+44) 01223 213556
Medical Research Council - Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 2QH, England.
Also see Staden Package WWW site at


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