The guideline deals with typical characteristic of modern coatings from carbon, which are deposited with the procedures of chemical or physical vapour deposition (CVD or PVD). Focal point is a classification of all carbon films, which organises the different film types on the basis of their physical and chemical properties. The guideline contains a uniform classification and nomenclature, in particular for diamond-like-carbon (DLC) and diamond films. On the other hand the potential user can pre-select suitable carbon film types for coated work pieces and tools. A characterizing part refers to the important characteristics of the individual film types, which are industrially manufactured today.