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While most contemporary methods of qualitative analysis of multi-phase materials are still based on the classic Search/Match/Identify process developed by Hanawalt, Rinn and Frevel in the 1930s, during the past 10 years or so the personal computer, with associated CD-ROM storage, has made a dramatic impact on the ways in which classical procedures are being implemented. Until recently, most of the commercial mainframe and PC based software packages for qualitative phase identification have been designed to implement a fully automatic search/matching sequence. All of the major instrument suppliers now offer such programs as part of their Automated Powder Diffractometer (APD) packages. While these programs are extremely useful, the success of their application to a specific problem is critically dependent on the quality of both experimental data and reference data. Until the problems arising from comparing variable quality experimental and reference data are completely understood, it appears that there will continue to be an interest in user-inter active (computer-aided) manual methods of search/matching. This paper explores the use of the personal computer in the area of computer-aided search/matching