Think Pink with ChemDraw

by Nessa Carson

Drawing with Flair

After much tweaking, I have a set of ChemDraw® settings, not unlike the sturdily-bonded Totally Synthetic stylesheet that went around the chemistry community a few years ago – but with a fetching pink background. In various workplaces, I’ve become famous for that bold look. 

Robinson’s total synthesis of tropinone, in my style1

My settings include: 

Thick bonds that give a crisp look to the molecules on screen, and are clear at the back of a presentation room

Explicit labels on terminal carbons, a requirement kept from my grad school supervisor’s rules

And even a special font such that serifs are present only on capital ‘I’, to distinguish it from nearby vertical bonds. 

However, the only comment when anyone sees my drawings is, “why is your ChemDraw pink?!”

I’m sure this is sometimes said with a hint of derision, but get over it. If I’m going to be staring at a screen for a portion of my day, it might as well be colorful. This is what I love about ChemDraw® : the chance to make it your own. 

Personalization is not only about the aesthetics. Features I typically suggest to newbie organic chemists include enabling autosave, snapping only the desired toolbars to the window edges, and switching default ChemNMR solvent from DMSO to CDCl3. And if you’re in pink, turning off ‘Print Background Color’ - though this option might only affect me. Once you’ve set these options, remember to save your personal stylesheet in the ChemDraw Items folder, so you are ready to go. 

Perfect Molecules, Every Time

Every chemist is unique, but most of us can be fussy about how our precious molecules look on screen. To this end, I recommend the Clean Structure feature. Highlight the molecule, or part of it, and press Ctrl+Shift+K (on Windows). Most of the time, if your bonds aren’t already perfect, they’ll snap to the default length, and optimize angles to avoid overlapping substituents. In particularly crowded structures, any computational effort may not match your individual preferences, and you’ll have to do some post-clean tinkering to get it exactly how you want. Luckily, this further personalization is not hard! 

As an example, I’ve drawn blockbuster chemotherapy drug taxol. Just kidding: I pressed Ctrl+Shift+N to automatically produce a structure from the name.

The structure of this natural product is too complex to depict with the usual 120° bond angles, particularly with its bridged 6-8 ring system. Sadly, my personal stylesheet falls down here. The molecule looks worse than with default settings – those explicit methyl groups have something to answer for! 


Since this compound is so complex, I like to use abbreviations to keep the groups from taking up too much space. I’ve condensed COPh groups to ‘Bz’ and COMe groups to ‘Ac’ – ChemDraw® recognizes these common abbreviations and continues to determine molecular weight and other properties correctly. You’ll notice, I’ve removed some of my explicit methyls for clarity’s sake. 


That looks better, but my abbreviations still overlap, and there are one or two portions I’d like to adjust. At this point, I reorient some of the groups. I can rewrite the NHBz as BzNH, then center it with Ctrl+Shift+C. I’ve also right-oriented the benzoyl group with Ctrl+Shift+R, and added in a new bond for the southeast acetate to avoid overlap. I selected any straggling atoms and the entire ester side-chain, and tweaked their exact positions with the arrow keys, to achieve my own variant of perfection. 

Lastly, I like to present important molecules with a frame, which can be sized automatically by selecting the entire molecule (double-clicking on any atom or bond), right-clicking, and choosing Add Frame. 

My final tip is for thesis-writers. If your reactions are too long to fit into a word processor document without being annoyingly resized, keep all bonds to identical length by using the Ctrl+K Scale feature at any time. 

Standardization Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

Don’t throw away your default settings yet! Default stylesheets look great in print, and are required for publication in major journals. Most chemists will also agree on roughly standard ways to transcribe flatter, more linear molecules to a 2D screen. For the majority of your drawings, ChemDraw®  will provide perfect chain bond angles (press 1 or 0 when an atom is selected) and Kekulé structure aromatic rings (press 3 with an atom selected) without effort – saving you time for the perfecting strokes that matter. 

1 Robinson, R. LXIII.–A synthesis of tropinone. J. Chem. Soc., Trans., 1917, 111, 762–768

Try for free ChemOffice® Professional, our robust, scientifically-intelligent research productivity suite that builds on the foundation of ChemDraw®

About the Author

Nessa Carson is a synthetic organic chemist based in southeast England. Nessa graduated  from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an MS degree in organic chemistry, working with Prof Scott E Denmark. 

Nessa is also a freelance writer, with a regular column in Chemistry World. She tweets as @SuperScienceGrl, where she mostly enthuses over new papers and complains about fluorine. 

Nessa can be reached at 

A Teacher’s How-to Guide for Unlocking the Mysteries of Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry in the High School Classroom – with ChemDraw® 

Several hundred thousand high school students take an advanced chemistry elective every year.  Most of these students follow a traditional American curriculum centered on topics covered in a standard introductory college course, with units like electron structure and periodicity, bonding, thermodynamics, kinetics, acids and bases, and the like.  The Advanced Placement Chemistry program codifies this curriculum into a standard form that is followed by thousands of chemistry teachers.  But there is another interesting option for a second year high school chemistry elective: organic chemistry!  And tools like ChemDraw® make it easy to build exciting and powerful lessons focused around OChem.  

The high school organic course we have taught at Lakeside School for the past 16 years is a hybrid between a traditional college OChem course covering the intricacies of organic structures and reactions, and a more topical course that explores the world of polymers and other macromolecules, petroleum and biofuels, soaps and surfactants, dyes and pigments, and food chemistry.  I use ChemDraw extensively in nearly every unit, from making images for my lectures and homework packets to creating activities and labs for my students to work on during class.  Here are some examples of how I use the amazing tools that ChemDraw offers to help my students unlock the mysteries of organic chemistry.

Molecular Structure

I start the year exploring the many levels of molecular structure inherent in organic molecules with a series of molecular modeling labs.  We start by looking at the variation present in constitutional isomers.  Students build different branched alkanes, name them, and find their corresponding constitutional isomers

the constitutional isomers of heptane, C7H16

From there we move to looking at how conformatial changes can affect molecular structure, starting with the conformers of butane and working up to the conformational equilibria present in substituted cyclohexanes.

gauche butane                                                                                                     Conformers of cis-1,3-dimethylcyclohexane

Stereochemistry is a rich area to explore with high school students.  We spend some time looking at simple enantiomers, and then move into more complex aspects of stereochemistry like diastereomers and meso compounds

The enantiomers of 1-bromo-1-fluoroethane

I make extensive use of the amazing “Name to Structure” function in ChemDraw to look up real chiral molecules that the students might have heard of so that we can study their 3-D structure together.

Dexmethylphenidate, one the pharmacologically active configurational isomers found in the drug, Ritalin

While the “Name to Structure” feature is a real time-saver, the one I use even more frequently is “Structure to Name,” which allows to me instantly answer those persistent student questions of the type, “But how would you name THIS?”

“Easy, kid: it’s 1-((3S,5R,7R)-5-amino-3-chloro-7-methyloctahydrocyclopenta[c]pyran-4-yl)ethan-1-one, of course”

This function is even sophisticated enough to handle obscure structural features like prochiral centers.

A bromochlorocarbon with a prochiral center in the 3-position

Organic Reactions, Labs, and Spectroscopy

In addition to looking at levels of molecular structure, ChemDraw is very helpful in making up lessons and activities around organic reactions, labs, and NMR spectroscopy.  We spend quite a bit of time learning some basic organic reactions, and it’s easy to sketch out practice exercises and make up quizzes and tests:

Practice with some organic redox reactions

The clip art library makes illustrating lab handouts easy.  We usually do a fun and engaging steam distillation of lavender oil as our first real “wet lab” of the year.

ground glass labware used in our steam distillation

My students usually end the year learning spectroscopy, and ChemDraw has some cool features that I use in teaching students about Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.  For any given structure, ChemDraw can predict 1H and 13C NMR spectra, assign peaks, and calculate coupling constants.  

An estimated H-NMR spectrum for 3-methylbutan-2-ol

After learning the basics of spectra reading, I make up a bunch of “unknown” spectra for the students to analyze and have them try to predict the corresponding structures.  For many students, studying spectroscopy is one of most engaging topics we look at all year.

From isomers to spectroscopy, ChemDraw makes my high school organic class possible.  I’d love to hear from other science teachers who are also teaching organic chemistry to high school students, and learn how you use ChemDraw and other tools to create interesting and meaningful lessons for your students.

About the author
Hans de Grys teaches organic chemistry to students at Lakeside School in Seattle, WA, where he is also the Assistant Director of e Upper School.  His favorite things to do with his students are making cold-processed soap in the lab, studying spectroscopy (especially NMR), and synthesizing banana oil and biodiesel.  You can follow him on Twitter @chiral_guy

About ChemDraw
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When Art Meets Science

Visualization as a powerful communication tool

We live in a world of displays: on laptops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches. These devices bring together technologies to make our lives better, but, above all, their key feature is that they’re primarily visual. Rich colors, high resolutions, and bright backlights enable an engaging experience. It is not surprising that these devices resonate with so many, since we are visual beings with significant portions of our brain dedicated to processing this kind of stimuli. 

Recognizing this inspires us to explore innovative ways to communicate our ideas. For scientists, this is even more critical. What good are our ideas, research, and data if we cannot communicate them efficiently, comprehensively, and elegantly? This inspiration and a personal passion for art have shaped how I communicate my work and knowledge as an organic chemist and have, most recently, inspired me to create infographics. I hope that my inspiration, experience, and some of the principles that I share here will encourage you to incorporate infographics in your own publications, teaching, and learning, with a solution that I have found useful: ChemDraw.

The inspiration
I have always had a fascination with art and creative expression from as early as grade school through college and beyond. Using colored pencil as my primary medium, my sketches evolved to drawings, and my drawings evolved to thematic collections.  Colored images were always more memorable than words alone. 
This preference for imagery also influenced my choice of scientific field: organic chemistry. Early in my education, I was fascinated by the look of chemical structures. I still appreciate how concisely they can convey so much useful information. And I think that many chemists would know what I mean if I said that a given structure illustrates a “beautiful molecule”. 
As a scientist, experimental data is the most important outcome of my work.  However it is meaningless unless we can communicate it to others. Visualizations are our most powerful tool for accomplishing this.

This simple truth was also encouraged by my post-doctoral advisor, K. C. Nicolaou, who emphasized that a great publication should include schemes that are able to convey the complete scientific story to the reader before they look at even a single word of text.

This same principle appeared later in an American Chemical Society (ACS) webinar: Mastering the Art of Scientific Publication, that I attended. In particular, the discussion on preparing a table of contents with images resonated with me. This seemingly minor addition can make a publication stand out and be more accessible for readers. Infographics, which expand upon our traditional visual tools of structures, graphs, and tables, are perhaps the most striking and accessible way to accomplish that. 

Infographics are very popular in the media and take center stage in some of the most-read publications including National Geographic and WIRED Magazine. They capture the attention of the reader and present information in a concise yet comprehensive and memorable way. 

In chemistry, some of my favorite educational infographics are made by Compound Interest and Andy Brunning, who I discovered recently. His work has encouraged me to think about how I could create my own chemistry infographics using ChemDraw to organize and convey useful knowledge. Later this gave birth to my blog: ChemInfoGraphic

Most of the subjects for my recent infographics are inspired either by chemistry tutoring or personal experience. When exploring a topic in chemistry or solving a problem, I have to identify what principles or patterns my student needs in order to see the bigger picture or to understand a key relationship. As I tackle these challenges, I think about how to visually organize these principles or relationships. 

In making infographics I have three goals: 
(a) to summarize the related information in a concise, useful, and presentable manner; 
(b) to facilitate understanding and recall of the larger picture: see the relationship and connection between challenging concepts; and 
(c) to encourage learning by presenting information from a different and sometimes unconventional perspective, utilizing mnemonic rules, for example.

Examples and Illustrations:
An effective infographic has several key features. It should maintain 
(a) content accuracy
(b) be useful to the audience, and 
(c) have aesthetic appeal. 

Content accuracy is undoubtedly the most important aspect of any infographic. Usefulness is a rather subjective criterion. I find an infographic useful if it covers complex, narrow, or broad subject matter in a manner that is efficient, comprehensive, or even unusual, unexpected, or unconventional. It is also useful if it is memorable and helps to organize and easily recall concepts and relationships. The aesthetic appeal of the image captures attention and can also help with recall. Several factors contribute to aesthetic appeal: the size, position, and amount of text; the proportions and utilization of empty space; symmetry and color selection or complementary color combinations are also important.  

Achieving all of this can be challenging, but with the right mindset and tools it can be accomplished. For the design of my infographics, ChemDraw has been my paintbrush. It is the best tool for creating a wide variety of visual representations. It is familiar to me from my graduate and post-graduate work and best-suited because it is designed specifically for chemists – though not only chemists use it. ChemDraw saves a lot of time to digitalize an image and has a library of premade building elements (templates) and simple images. Moreover, I find that the software is rather intuitive and versatile. Using creativity, I am able to not only draw a molecule (or chemical reaction), but also to create flow charts, diagrams, tables, and more complex schemes and drawings. I have created a diverse array of infographics using ChemDraw including: 

Tables, Schemes, and Figures
These infographics are more traditional, however, they can also be essential. I started using this sub-type initially to capture and demonstrate
nomenclature (naming) rules (See Fig. 1) 
general chemistry concepts or terms

Figure 1

Nomenclature of Organophosphorus Compounds table: This infographic provides a summary and general trend (color-coded: blue color for P(III) and maroon color for the higher oxidation state P(V)) to name ogranophosphorus  compounds containing O and N atoms. Here I used gradient and color to make the infographic both visually interesting and to show key groupings and common elements among the structures and their names. ChemDraw’s tools make it easy to add visually interesting color gradients. 

Flow Charts
These are generally great for summarizing. I often use them to condense and compare one or several chemical concepts, especially if different (sub)levels of classification are involved. For example, Stereoisomerism in particular (and Constitutional or Isomerism flow charts) compare the differences between conformational and constitutional isomers and demonstrate the relationship between several commonly used terms such as: enantiomer, diastereomer, epimer, anomer. I strive to make it a condensed yet comprehensive reference source for my students and myself. And I specifically focus on highlighting relationships, differences, and similarities with other terms and definitions by presenting classifications and representative examples. (See Fig. 2)

Figure 2

Stereoisomerism flow chart: This infographic summarizes the relationship between configurational and conformational isomers. It also classifies other type of isomers (diastereomer, enantiomer, atropisomer, etc) with numerous examples. The consistent use of color helps to quickly determine the appropriate and historic nomenclature conventions. I also used the “single bond” tool in ChemDraw to create a classification hierarchy. 

Star Diagrams
These infographics are very popular and useful for conveying the breadth of chemical properties of a particular functional group, class of compounds (Alkenes, Alkynes, Alkyl Halides, etc) or a reagent (Grignard).  Such symmetric infographics emphasize the diversity of chemical transformations and help students to memorize individual reaction conditions. 

I encourage the thoughtful use of colors to convey useful information, especially if the main feature of the infographic is breadth and diversity. This is illustrated in the case of Alkyl Halides and Diazonium Chemistry. The central element uses color to capture attention and create a focal point and the emanating arrows guide the eye to the variations around the center. Here color helps to focus attention on the difference between the structures around the center and emphasizes the synthetic diversity of diazonium chemistry. (See Fig. 3)

Figure 3

Diazonium Chemistry star diagram: This infographic summarizes the synthetic utility of diazonium salts and demonstrates the scope of functional groups, which can be accessed using this approach. Here a focal point with arrows guides the eye, and consistent use of color helps the reader see the differences between structures.

Figure 4

Grignard star diagram: This infographic summarizes the versatile chemical reactivity of a Grignard reagent and emphasizes its capability to react with a vast scope of functional groups.  
Additionally, the popularity, simplicity, and usefulness of star diagrams encouraged me to develop additional variations to capture more general synthetic approaches and transformations: Aryl-Aryl Coupling or Condensation reactions (See Fig. 5). 
In those cases, the infographic is less specific with respect to particular reaction conditions or functional groups and usually highlights a wider scope of numerous named reactions. These are best for illustrating the bigger picture and providing a more general overview of synthetic transformations. For example, we can group the reactions in chronological order to present them from a historic perspective.

Figure 5

Aryl-Aryl Coupling star diagram: This infographic summarizes general scope of aryl-aryl homo-coupling and hetero-coupling reactions with a special emphasis on named metal catalyzed aryl-aryl coupling transformations. It creatively presents the years of discovery of each coupling reaction in chronological order mirroring the progression of time on a clock.
These infographics illustrate several examples of formats that I have used, each suited for the type of information it conveys. The versatile palette of tools in ChemDraw and thoughtful planning have helped make the creation of the visuals efficient. 

My foray into creating infographics has helped me to organize key concepts and information and to present them in a concise, memorable, and creative fashion with the help of my digital paintbrush: ChemDraw. By creatively organizing and presenting ideas using a smart layout, color scheme, and illustrations, I have strived to create visual summaries that are pleasant to look at and useful to reference. A balanced combination of art and science, they present a novel and creative way to convey information. They fulfill our inherent preference for visuals and help to communicate knowledge and information in science. I hope that sharing my inspiration and approach will encourage the incorporation of infographics in teaching, learning, and publications

Roman A. Valiulin is a synthetic organic chemist who is currently working as a scientist in the medicinal chemistry group at a biopharmaceutical company in Boston. He is also a passionate teacher and host of ChemInfoGraphic. Connect with Roman on LinkedIn.

ChemDraw 17 - Chemistry at the Pace of Now

Wistia video thumbnail

Over the last 30 years, science has evolved rapidly…and so has ChemDraw®. 

With ChemDraw® 17’s updated features and benefits, the latest version of the world’s top chemistry drawing program keeps you right where you need to be – at the cutting edge of science. ChemDraw® 17 features all of the functionality of ChemDraw® 16 plus a number of innovative features to further accelerate your research.

Trusted by more than one million users, ChemDraw® is the preferred platform of chemists and biochemists to draw, store, analyze and share chemical structures and reactions. 

Introducing Hotkeys – Complex Chemistry at a Keystroke

Among our new features is Hotkeys, placing the most complex chemical drawings just a few keystrokes away. Whether it’s a huge biomolecule or a complex reaction scheme, Hotkeys make it easier and faster than ever to draw complex chemical structures. 

If biochemistry is your focus, we’ve got great news for you in ChemDraw® 17!  We’ve added HELM notations to keep pace with the progression of biomolecular science. HELM (the Hierarchical Editing Language for Macromolecules) is Pistoia Alliance’s emerging global standard for representing and sharing large biomolecules


Integrated HELM Notation 
& Metadata Tagging

HELM notation is now fully integrated, so you can easily and quickly share your research with the world.

With Metadata tagging, it’s simple to add defined or ad hoc metadata to your document. ChemDraw® provides an easy, intuitive way to mark up your documents to enforce corporate standards or add additional criteria to enable search & recover.

ChemDraw® 17 also supports the latest in standards Compliance. Data elements and structures are uniquely identified in accordance with the most current standards to keep pace with evolving regulatory and quality requirements

Chemistry at the Pace of Now. 

These are just a few of the new additions to ChemDraw®’s suite of features that over a million users trust every day to quickly & accurately draw, store, analyze and share their chemistry – whether they are in the lab or working in the cloud. Learn how to enjoy chemistry at the cutting edge. 

Download a Free Trial and learn about the power of PerkinElmer’s ChemDraw® 17. 

And the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge Winner Is…

Back at the beginning of the year, we were curious: what would the million-plus users of ChemDraw add to the premier chemical drawing platform to help them do better science? So we asked them, launching the first-ever ChemDraw Innovation Challenge in March.

The ChemDraw Innovation Challenge

The Challenge - which concluded in June - was a tremendous success. From nearly 1,000 participants in 88 countries who supplied more than 300 ideas, we engaged in peer collaboration and voting, expert panel review, and pairwise testing before selecting not just one, but four winning ideas and seven Honorable Mentions. 

The ideas - with 305 initially submitted - ran the gauntlet of the Innovation Challenge’s review process . After eight weeks of collecting ideas and evaluating for feasibility, 261 advanced to the collaboration phase - in which anyone who contributed an idea could remark on, build upon, and then vote for the ideas presented by others. From these refined ideas, 67 advanced by a vote of the Challenge Community to a review panel of experts from within PerkinElmer. 

The expert reviewers scored the ideas based on criteria, ranging from feasibility to impact on the chemistry and biology community, to further pare down the list to 47 ideas. The Challenge Community then voted to identify the Top 10 finalists, and the expert panel selected the winners from this list. 

Honorable Mentions went to individuals selected as Expert Panel Favorites (3), Top Innovators (2) for generating the most ideas, and Top Contributors (2) for being most involved in voting, commenting, and contributing to the development of other ideas.

The Challenge Winners

Reaction Condition Arrow
Ehsan Fereyduni, a graduate student/research assistant at the University of Florida, won for his idea to simply right-click on the reaction condition arrow to be able to enter data on reagents, solvents, temperature, etc. and for ChemDraw to automatically fit them on the arrow. This saves users from manually adjusting the reaction condition - especially when you have more than 100 reactions to report.

Enhanced Structure Clean-Up
Wayne Mascarella, a senior chemist at RTI International, submitted a winning idea that would allow the enhanced clean-up of structures relative to a user-defined template so that small variations in drawn ring systems could be forced into a consistent appearance.

Atom Numbering
S. Barrie Walker, a consultant in chemical information, data, and databases, suggests ChemDraw show atom numbering as used in chemical names. When a structure is drawn and then named, ChemDraw could provide a toggle switch to turn on atom numbering - which is particularly useful for larger molecules.

Smarter Structure Perspective
Alex Stirk, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, won for his idea to change the center of rotation for a smarter structure perspective. It’s a better way to help draw 2D representations of complex 3D constructs.

The Hall of Fame

These four Challenge winners will be entered into the ChemDraw Hall of Fame, along with the Honorable Mention recipients:

  • Expert Panel Favorites:  Jennifer Beveridge, Tim Williams, Linda Press
  • Top Innovators: Bharat Kumar Allam, Luc Boisvert
  • Top Contributors: Nicholas Ondich, Leo Betschart 

This new Hall of Fame will be a virtual presence on PerkinElmer’s website, to honor the contributions of Challenge winners and others in advancing the legendary drawing tool.

From Challenged to Changed

PerkinElmer is committed to building out the winning ideas in future versions of ChemDraw - as well as several of the other ideas generated by the Innovation Challenge.

“The ideas submitted through the Challenge were truly of high caliber, and I’m sure our ChemDraw development team will be excited to bring many of these innovations to life in future releases of ChemDraw,” said Philip Skinner, product manager of PerkinElmer Informatics chemistry portfolio. “We’ll be able to draw from these ideas and build out the product roadmap for some time to come. It is always rewarding to incorporate user feedback into the product, but this has been a uniquely fun experience for us — and I think for our user community too.”

Leo Betschart, a Top Contributor Honorable Mention recipient, agrees. “It was a pleasure to participate for two reasons,” he says. “First, to learn what other people think about ChemDraw and to see which direction they would like to see it headed, and second, for me to voice some aspects of ChemDraw that I would like to see addressed.”

ChemDraw – 32 Years Old and Going Strong

“At 32, ChemDraw is going strong,” says Michael Swartz, Vice President of Business Development for Informatics at PerkinElmer. “We recognize it wouldn’t be what it is today without the support and involvement of our million-strong user community. Hosting the Innovation Challenge leveraged the enthusiasm of our users, and the open and collaborative approach to problem-solving and software development, to ensure many more decades of success for ChemDraw and its users.”

Click on the below image to access the "ChemDraw Hall of Fame"

ChemDraw® - Because Chemistry Happens Everywhere

Wondering what’s new in ChemDraw®? Watch this short 1-minute video highlighting both the portability and new capabilities of PerkinElmer’s ChemDraw® - now in its 30th year. 

Accelerating Chemistry Research

With the latest release of ChemDraw®, new features have been integrated to help accelerate research. ChemDraw® is also now available with new bundle options which pair its chemical drawing package with PerkinElmer’s chemically-intelligent database, 3D modeling and data analysis package, visualization tools and an integrated ELN solution.  

Same Comfortable System – But Better

And while ChemDraw® offers researchers even more power and capabilities, it remains the same leading program for creating publication-ready drawings effortlessly. 

With over 1 million users, ChemDraw® is still the only tool you need to draw, store, analyze and share chemical structures and reactions—quickly and accurately.

The New Global Lab Bench

Among the latest features is the ability to “ChemDraw® anywhere,” freeing chemists from the lab bench and allowing them to take their research with them, wherever they happen to be. Let’s face it: chemistry is everywhere…and now ChemDraw® is, too. 

Welcome to the Cloud

Among the new additions to the ChemDraw® suite is ChemDraw® Cloud. Using ChemDraw® Cloud and PerkinElmer Signals Notebook for ChemDraw®, scientists can access their work through any web browser. With your favorite drawing features available via mobile – alongside the ability to share chemical drawings with a single click – chemists can transform their favorite park bench into a lab bench effortlessly!

ChemDraw® Cloud requires no software installation. All editing, viewing and document management is done via web browser – whether by laptop, tablet or mobile device. With an internet connection, users are able to access ChemDraw® documents from any computer, anywhere. To ensure peace of mind, the documents are stored, encrypted, and backed-up on secure ChemDraw® Cloud servers.

Even More ChemDraw® Platform Support

The latest version of ChemDraw® expands Mac platform support, operating up to 6x faster than previous versions and delivering an improved UI along with numerous other features. Windows support has also been expanded, and now includes Microsoft® Office 2016 support on Windows - including Windows 10. 

ant to learn more about the world’s most popular chemical drawing platform? Watch the ChemDraw video, or start a free ChemDraw trial today. 


Wishes Can Come True: The ChemDraw Innovation Challenge Starts Now!

The PerkinElmer ChemDraw Innovation Challenge 

If you’ve ever said, “If only it could…” while using ChemDraw, here is your chance! Dust off your old ideas or dream up fresh ones - because the first-ever ChemDraw Innovation Challenge starts now. 

We’re inviting ChemDraw’s more than 1 million users to think about how the chemical drawing platform might help you do your science just that much better.

No Idea is Too Small … or Too Big

No idea is too small, incremental, radical or disruptive. As a community of users and chemists doing a wide range of work, you have no doubt reached a limit, or thought of a way we could better support you in your use of ChemDraw and the  family of ChemDraw solutions including Chem3D, ChemDraw Cloud, ChemDraw for Excel, ChemFinder, and our new PerkinElmer Signals for ChemDraw

Do you wish ChemDraw:

Would become the Google Docs of collaborative chemistry?

Could support Biomolecular HELM Notation?

Offered support for a specific plug-in?

Whatever your notion or idea, we want to hear about it!  

Join the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge now!

How Do I Submit My Idea?

We’re using the Spigit innovation management platform to crowdsource ideas and foster collaboration among participants. 

How the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge Works

The process follows a flow of IDEAS:

I = identify the opportunity and the target audience (i.e., ChemDraw users)

D = develop a plan, design experience, and power platform

E = engage the crowd, collaborate and discuss, and build upon ideas that are graduated to the next level

A = analyze those ideas, score and rank them, prioritize them

S = select and review winning ideas, communicate the results, recognize and reward the winners, and implement the innovative ideas

During the submission phase, we’ll welcome new ideas and open up those ideas to other Challenge participants to comment and provide feedback. Spigit creates a dialogue by informing those on the thread of new comments. Challenge participants will also be invited to vote for their favorite ideas.

As ideas are generated, they will automatically be awarded points based on the number of votes, views, and comments. Those receiving the most votes will proceed to the next round.

The ChemDraw Community Drives Improvements

This “emerging ideas” round relies on more input and feedback from our ChemDraw Innovation Challenge community – what thoughts do you have to improve the innovations that have progressed this far? Based on your experiences and your needs, what can you contribute that adds value to these ideas? 

This round is also automatically scored based on the number of votes, views, and comments – and the finalists here are then evaluated by our team of PerkinElmer ChemDraw experts. 

These experts are assigned to review the proposed innovations based on their experience with the type of idea – is it a feature/function, or related to service, workflow, integration, etc.? Each of the ideas will be given a score of 1 to 5 by experts & those with an avarage rating of 3.5 will proceed to the Pairwise ROund where again the community will vote on the best of best.

ChemDraw Innovation Winner Selection

The winners of this exhaustive, crowdsourced effort will be selected by the Expert Review Panel, and will be acknowledged by PerkinElmer and the ChemDraw community. All ChemDraw users will be winners as ChemDraw – now in its 32nd year – benefits from an influx of innovation that helps us all achieve greater heights with our chemistry, and stronger bonds within our ChemDraw community.

Join the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge Today!

Revisit your “if only” wish list for ChemDraw, dust off those glimmers of ideas, and join the ChemDraw Innovation Challenge. Your idea, whether incremental or radical, just might emerge as a winner.

Join PerkinElmer at #ACS249 Denver and celebrate 30 years of ChemDraw®


We're gearing up for the 249th American Chemical Society (ACS) Meeting on March 22-26 in Denver, Colorado. This year marks the 30th anniversary of ChemDraw, the world’s leading chemical drawing tool.  Come by our booth #1106 and to our talk to learn about the latest tools for chemists.

At ACS249 we will be hosting these activities:

Talk: Mining Electronic Lab Notebooks for Synthetic Gems

Date & Time: Sunday, March 22, 2015 | 11:20 AM - 11:45 AM

Place: Room 110 - Colorado Convention Center

Presenter: Joshua A. Bishop, PhD., Product Manager, Cheminformatics. This talk is about optimizing reaction conditions by using E-Notebook-based screening tools, followed by queries of results with Datalytix® and Lead Discovery, powered by TIBCO Spotfire.

Solution Showcase and Networking Opportunities

Come visit PerkinElmer at booth #1106 and learn more the latest version of ChemDraw (now with access to SciFinder), as well as other mobile, visualization, and electronic tools for chemists. See below.

ChemDraw® + SciFinder®

ChemDraw is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year!  Learn how much the #1 drawing tool for chemists has evolved -- from a desktop product in 1985 to now being embedded in our cloud-based collaboration platform Elements, within our E-Notebook, within the visual analytics platform Spotfire (Lead Discovery , powered by TIBCO Spotfire),  and as a mobile product on the iPad.  Learn about ChemDraw’s “flick-to-share” technology to facilitate easy drawing of structures anywhere and how to utilize mobile technology in the classroom. See how chemists now have access to SciFinder within ChemDraw, providing easy access to searching.

Collaborating in the Cloud - Elements

Preview Elements - our cloud-based electronic lab notebook.  Join us as we demonstrate how to capture experiments, write out chemical reactions, upload images, organize data and share research with colleagues. Check out a preview video here. 

PerkinElmer E-Notebook

See how our E-Notebook has helped chemists and biologists, across multiple industries.  Learn how to quickly record experiments, draw out chemical reactions with ChemDraw, upload documents, integrate with Microsoft Office, protect intellectual property, organize data, and share research with colleagues.

Lead Discovery, Powered by TIBCO Spotfire®

Come learn how Lead Discovery, powered by TIBCO Spotfire® helps chemists visualize complex chemical data. Learn about chemical structure viewing and filtering, R-group decomposition, clustering by chemical structure, chemical property calculators, substructure searching, and auto detection of structure formats on import. See Figure 1 below.

Figure 1- This depicts chemical structure viewing using ChemDraw files and filtering using trusted similarity and substructure algorithms. You can align all structures in a dataset to a chosen scaffold or tag data based on chemical attributes.