NIST MS Search v1.6-1.7x Upgrade to v2.0 (for Win 9x, Me, NT 4.0, 2000)

This upgrade will not replace your NIST MS Search Program v1.6x/1.7x, but will replace any previously distributed v2.0 files. It is recommended that you do not run version 2.0 and the older versions at the same time, though if you do, you should not change contents of user libraries with both running.

This upgrade does not contain files for MS Interpreter. You may find them in the v1.7 upgrade

This upgrade does not contain v1.6d Mainlib update file, alphanam.in6 created on 08/04/1998. It is located in a separate file

HP/Agilent ChemStation users: the replacements for the HP/Agilent ChemStation macros are available for downloading separately (file

To Upgrade:

  1. Copy the following files into NIST MS Search directory and MAINLIB and REPLIB subdirectories as explained below.
  2. If you are upgrading from v1.6x/1.7x create shortcuts: "NIST MS Search v2.0" to nistms$.exe and "Structure Search Database Builder" to strdbld.exe

List of Files: NIST MS Search Directory


Executable File Description
nistms.exe Main NIST MS Search v2.0 executable
nistms$.exe Loader for the MS Search v2.0 command line options
strdbld.exe User Libraries Structure search database builder

Executables Extensions

Help System

Data and index files

List of Files: Subdirectory Mainlib

List of Files: Subdirectory Replib

NIST MS Search Version 2.0 Notes

NIST MS Search v2.0 is a true 32-bit program and thus does not work with early Windows operating systems (3.1 and earlier).

There are many new features in the program, some of the most important are:

  1. Structure searching – the program will now find all compounds in the library with a chemical structure similar to that of the structure of of search compound. The searching can be done with either structures from the NIST MS library, the user MS library or from a structure drawn by most chemical drawing packages. To enable structure search in user libraries it is necessary to use strdbld.exe to create and update structure indexing.
  2. Drag and Drop – Spectra can be dragged and dropped between windows.
  3. User Library Structures – Present since version 1.6, but possibly new to some of the users.
  4. Compare Views – There are a number of new ways that you can visually compare two spectra.
  5. Direct interaction with a number of chemical drawing packages – For more details see "Sending a structure to a drawing program" topic in the NIST MS Search v2.0 help. MS Search v2.0 can also copy/paste a chemical structure in MDLI MOLfile format into the Windows clipboard.

The most significant changes are in the overall user interface.

It was designed to be easier to use and to conform with modern Windows conventions.

Third Party MS Software Compatibility Note

If both of the following are true:

  1. your MS software searches, creates, or updates User MS libraries in NIST format;
  2. your software contains file NISTDL32.DLL or NISTDL16.DLL which does not have Version information in Properties as displayed by the Windows Explorer (these files were created before Aug 1999);

then the latest MS Search version you may use is 1.7a-o (file In this case, using NIST MS Search v2.0 to update or create your user MS library may make the library incompatible with your (third party) software.

To resolve this incompatibility with the NIST MS Search v2.0 the third party software needs to be updated to the current version of the NISTDL32.DLL or NISTDL16.DLL.

User MS Libraries created/updated by the MS Search v2.0 may also have compatibility problems with older NIST MS Search version 1.6x. However, these libraries are fully compatible with the NIST MS Search v1.7 and are searchable with v1.7-o.

Contact Information

For more information about the MS Search program and NIST 98 MS Library please see

If you have questions or comments, please contact:

Dmitrii Tchekhovskoi
National Institute of Standards and Technology
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8380
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8380

phone : (301) 975-4673
fax : (301) 869-4020
email :