ChemDraw gives organic chemistry coursework a boost at Manchester Metropolitan University

Organic chemistry students at Manchester Metropolitan University are starting the new term this Autumn armed with the latest ChemDraw software by PerkinElmer Informatics which will enable them to better illustrate their work with clear molecular structures. ChemDraw will also make it easier for research and teaching staff to submit their papers to academic journals, as well as collaborate with other institutions.

ChemDraw was chosen to replace an alternative drawing application, because it is easier to learn, faster to use and compatible with a wider range of databases and external websites.

Read the full case study.

Learn more about ChemDraw’s renowned, easy-to-use chemical drawing capabilities.

On World Science Day, liven up your lab reports with ChemDraw

Day three of the World Education Games is World Science Day. This event aims to foster curiosity and excitement about science in a unique and fun way, whilst helping students to improve their ability to answer knowledge, application and reasoning questions.

Even though high-school science won’t involve the complex experiments you’d find at degree level or in the work place, young learners are nevertheless required to write lab reports and record their findings. That’s where desktop laboratory software tools like ChemDraw can help students create accurate, well-drawn chemical structures, reactions and diagrams that can be pasted into any MS Office document for smart-looking write-ups. And with handy, chemically-clever features like the floating periodic table (providing element information at all times), ready-made LabArt, automatic chemical error warnings and a Structure CleanUp tool that automatically improves poor drawings, ChemDraw has the power to improve students’ work and impart chemical knowledge while they work. Students should be able to spend less time generating reports and more time getting hands-on and practical in the lab.

There is special discount academic pricing available for individual students and teachers, as well as whole schools. Contact your nearest office to find out more.

The Merck Index 14th Edition

Latest version of the essential reference book includes searchable CD, and a new upgrade offers extensive structure search capabilities

With more than one million copies sold, The Merck Index has been the primary reference source for generations of professionals looking for precise, comprehensive information on chemicals, drugs and biologicals. The latest 14th Edition of this essential reference work for chemists, biochemists, pharmacists and related professionals, includes with the book, for the first time, a text-searchable CD-ROM, which contains all the data in the book and more. The CD contains ChemFinder, the industry-leading scientific search engine from CambridgeSoft Corporation (Cambridge, Massachusetts) that allows data to be searched by keywords, references and numerical properties.

The Merck Index is a one-volume encyclopaedia of chemicals, drugs and biologicals that contains more than 10,000 monographs, 32 supplemental tables, 450 Organic Name Reactions and more. This 14th Edition has been extensively revised to ensure its accuracy and enhance its readability with many new features as well as thousands of new references, trademarks and uses, plus an expanded – and timely – focus on “Green Chemistry” and compounds of environmental significance. In addition to revisions and updating, enhancements include embedding the Chemical Abstracts Registry Numbers for title and derivative compounds within the monographs.

CambridgeSoft, provider of previous electronic editions of The Merck Index, has made available The Merck Index 14th Edition/Chemists, an upgrade that provides the unique, powerful capability to search the CD to find molecules by fragment, sub-structures or full structures, on the basis of either exact matching or similarity. Structure searching is precise and convenient and includes tautomeric full and sub-structure searching. You can search for structures containing isotopic labels, or tetrahedral stereocenters, or other characteristics.

The Merck Index 14th Edition/Chemists, which is supplied by Adept Scientific (Letchworth, Herts.), provides the ability to search for alternative groups, either in atom labels such as “(OH,H,CONH2,Me)” or drawn using the R-Group features of ChemDraw (CambridgeSoft’s renowned structure drawing software, also available from Adept Scientific). Link nodes are supported, so you can search for variable-length rings and chains such as “(-CH2)6-8-” or multi-connected variables (“-R-“). You can now search for any type of single atom (“A, Q, X, M”) or any group (“R”).

Also included is an Personal Internet Edition subscription that provides immediate access to the data on the CD as well as updates. Together, the CD and the Internet Edition contain all the contents of the printed 14th edition plus nearly 1,000 monographs archived from previous editions.

All CambridgeSoft products, including the latest versions of ChemDraw, ChemOffice, Chem3D, BioDraw, BioOffice, BioAssay and E-Notebook as well as The Merck Index, are available from Adept Scientific.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

ChemDraw 8.0: A Great Tool in the Classroom

by Chad Ronish

Chad Ronish is a chemistry and physics teacher at Hill City High School in Hill City South Dakota, and has been the Science Department Chair for four years.

“A good chemist must understand the biological applications of chemistry, and a good biologist must understand the chemical mechanisms of biology. If you want to make a difference in field research, laboratory testing, or in the classroom, you have to understand the impact that the chemical and biological worlds have on each other. Organic chemistry is the link between these two fields, and ChemDraw is the tool that allows me to deliver organic chemistry instruction to my students.

I have always saved two weeks near the end of Chemistry I to introduce organic chemistry. My objectives include an introduction to naming simple organic compounds, drawing organic compounds, and exploring the three-dimensional structure of organic compounds. In the past, my students practiced drawing molecules from names and chemical formulas. They practiced naming compounds from chemical formulas, structural formulas, and structural drawings. They explored the three-dimensional structure using ball and spring modelling kits.

Unfortunately, there have always been problems with each of my delivery methods. The first problem with drawing organic molecules is that I can’t draw. ChemDraw has solved my presentation problems when drawing molecules. I can draw molecules quickly on my computer and display them on my whiteboard for all of my students to see. The drawings are neat, clean and precise. My students can see exactly what I want them to see and I have totally eliminated the confusion created by my old cave wall drawings. I can also add functional groups and show isomers with the quick click of a button. If I want to show the same molecule using a three-dimensional representation, I can copy and paste to Chem3D and see my two-dimensional model come to life by rotating the molecule in any direction. The three-dimensional image can be displayed using a variety of modes. This tool allows my students to see the transformation of any molecule from two dimensions to three in an instant.

Not only can I neatly draw a ton of molecules and save them by name, in just a few minutes, but ChemDraw tells me when I’ve created molecules that do not adhere to the rules of bonding. Any bonds that violate the rule of octets are highlighted in red. I can also create isomers by using the copy and paste feature which saves me valuable time when I am making up tests, quizzes and worksheets.

When dealing with organic chemistry, hands-on activities are a real challenge in a high school laboratory. Much of the time dedicated to working with organic compounds is spent on naming and drawing molecules. To visualise the three-dimensional properties of these molecules, I have traditionally used the spring and wooden ball modelling kits. ChemDraw has put an end to the frustrations of students building three-dimensional models. Using the program, my students can take the two-dimensional drawings that they have become comfortable with, and create three-dimensional representations of their molecules. They can see the true bond angles and bond lengths, rotate the molecules to see any view they desire, and they can modify molecules to create isomers quickly and correctly. One quick hour on the computer with ChemDraw 8.0 can replace an entire week of chasing molecule parts around the room. Molecule drawings can also be printed for study at home and for inclusion in reports and presentations.

ChemDraw 8.0 has drastically improved the quality of instruction that I use while teaching introductory organic chemistry. My students are able to develop a deeper understanding of the material in a shorter time period. It is this understanding that helps them integrate biology and chemistry into one unified scientific process. In my seven years of teaching, I have continually tried to relay the importance of this relationship to each of my students. By understanding the connection between chemistry and biology, my students are able to make well-informed career and continued education choices. My students are prepared for a career where chemistry and biology are utilised in conjunction with each other. Now they can do it faster and better with ChemDraw.”

CambridgeSoft laboratory software solutions are supplied and supported in the UK by Adept Scientific plc, Amor Way, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 1ZA; telephone +44 (0) 203 695 7810, fax +44 (0) 203 695 7819, email or see Adept’s World Wide Web site Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

ChemDraw: Assisting Learning in Organic Chemistry

by Jo Conceicao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry at St. Gregory’s University, Oklahoma.

ONE OF THE major problems students face in undergraduate organic chemistry is the large amount of information they have to assimilate. I found that aggressive students traditionally solved this problem by spending an inordinate amount of time organising and committing the new found information to memory. Unfortunately, less motivated students become quickly overwhelmed, discouraged and eventually withdraw from the class. One solution to this problem is to immerse students of all levels into an environment of active learning. ChemDraw offers various features that lend itself to this purpose. Students in our organic chemistry class were required to download the trial version of ChemDraw onto their laptops and use it in class.

Notable features of ChemDraw include ease of structural modification and elucidation of molecular properties. The structure of a molecule can be modified by simply rearranging the bonds at one carbon centre and reattaching it to another, thereby allowing the name, physical properties and spectral details (NMR) of both the old and new molecules to be presented immediately, revealing to students the effects of these changes.

Nomenclature and molecular structure are most frequently the first topics undergraduates encounter in organic chemistry. ChemDraw offers several powerful features that allow students to efficiently learn nomenclature and the corresponding molecular structure, features including converting condensed formulas to skeletal structures, inter-converting skeletal/condensed structures to their corresponding IUPAC name and rendering organic molecules into a 3D perspective view.

ChemDraw readily converts between condensed and skeletal structures. This feature allows students to immediately see and correlate the line-drawing representation in the skeletal structure to the corresponding carbon and hydrogen atom sequence in the condensed formula.

ChemDraw also assigns names to either condensed or skeletal structures. The “CH2” Formula button facilitates the entry of condensed structures into the program. Once entered, it is a simple matter to convert it to the corresponding IUPAC name. If a student named the structure incorrectly, ChemDraw can readily generate the structure of this incorrect name and allow students to see the difference. This rapid feedback keeps students focused and allows them to cycle through a large number of problems.

Furthermore, the naming feature opens up numerous “what-if” scenarios for students to explore. For example, any structure can be systematically modified with a few mouse clicks to new structures. Nomenclature, physical properties and spectral features of these structures can be obtained and compared using ChemDraw. Students can thus explore the logical consequence of structural changes on molecular nomenclature and properties.

Last but not least, ChemDraw seamlessly integrates with Chem3D to provide perspective viewing of structures using the ‘Get 3D Model’ command. This feature is especially useful to visualise the difference between the cis and trans stereoisomers in cyclohexane and alkenes.

Correlating NMR peaks and splitting patterns to the corresponding protons has always been a major stumbling block for many students in second semester organic chemistry. Predicting 1H NMR shifts is a powerful feature of ChemDraw that is tremendously useful for clarifying NMR to students. Placing the cursor over a peak immediately highlights the proton giving rise to that signal. With this one to one correlation process, learning is greatly facilitated as students can systematically reason out how the observed spectrum results from the given molecular structure. Likewise a similar feature is available for 13C NMR.

The final feature of ChemDraw used in our class pertains to chemical reactions. One of the more troubled areas while studying reactions like Diels Alder is the complexity of the bond rearrangements that occur. ChemDraw offers a very unique feature with the map reaction atoms command in which bonds that were broken and formed in a reaction were quickly revealed. The word “Rxn” is added by ChemDraw next to the bonds that were broken and formed respectively in the reaction.

In conclusion, ChemDraw offers an impressive suite of features that are very useful in education. The ease of use and rapid display of results maintains a student’s focus on the subject matter, allows them to explore “what-if” scenarios and rationalise the results.

CambridgeSoft laboratory software solutions are supplied and supported in the UK by Adept Scientific plc, Amor Way, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 1ZA; telephone +44 (0) 203 695 7810, fax +44 (0) 203 695 7819, email or see Adept’s World Wide Web site Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

New ChemDraw 8.0 Is Released

Adept Scientific plc announces the availability of ChemDraw 8, from CambridgeSoft:the latest, most powerful and intuitive version of this state-of-the-art structure drawing package and productivity tool.

This is great news for ChemDraw users around the world who rely on their software for a wide variety of day-to-day tasks, including report writing, property estimation and even help with naming difficult compounds. As with each new release from CambridgeSoft, ChemDraw 8.0 is once again a remarkable improvement over all earlier versions of the software, even though many dedicated users probably wondered how this chemical productivity program could possibly be improved further.

The developments in ChemDraw 8.0 focus on a number of areas: more drawing tools (building upon ChemDraw’s long-standing reputation for chemical illustration power); enhancements to the user interface; and of course many new chemistry features. There are a host of reasons why ChemDraw 8.0 should be every chemist’s structure drawing and analysis tool of choice:

New Struct=Name Algorithm – generate systematic names from chemical structures automatically. Organic structures, single structures, chains, single rings, nearly all functional groups: ChemDraw 8 recognises and names them, with proper capitalisation, punctuation and use of font styles (italic, superscript, etc); proper identification, naming, numbering and alphabetisation of locants; and comprehensive support for the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog (CIP) rules for absolute stereochemistry. It’s a huge time-saver.

Enhanced Name=Struct – the feature that automatically generates structures from chemical names, now boasts intelligent recognition and correction of typos – a great help if you’re prone to keyboard errors or unsure of the correct spellings of chemical names.

New Floating Period Table – keep information about all the elements at your fingertips.

New Floating Character Map – add special characters from any font with a click of your mouse. Creating labelled atoms and chemical formulae is now even easier.

New TLC Plate Tool – makes it easy to depict Thin-Layer Chromatography plates within a ChemDraw document: draw them, import them, edit them, save them and print them out.

New Structure Perspectives Tool – lets you change the perspective from which a structure is drawn, rotating structures to display 2-D projections of 3-D structures without losing the original 3-D data.

Improved Proton NMR Predictions – they now use splitting patterns which make predicted spectra more realistic than line spectra.

Improved Carbon-13 NMR predictions – shift values are, on average, more than twice as accurate as before.

New 3D query feature – In addition to storing and preserving 3D coordinates, ChemDraw can now represent 3D queries in 3D-enabled databases. 3D queries are particularly useful in pharmacophore searching, where the user is looking for a particular 3D relationship among atoms and bonds, for example in a series of potential receptor ligands.

New Mass Fragmentation Tool – allows you to examine potential Mass Spectra fragment patterns by drawing lines across breaking bonds. This mimics the behaviour experienced in a mass spectrometer, except that you specify which bonds are to be broken.

Enhanced Chemical intelligence – interprets multi-step reactions and lays them out more elegantly. This makes them easier to understand, without compromising the depiction of individual components.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

ChemDraw Helps Patent Office Meet 21st Century Challenges

For over 200 years, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has carried out its constitutional and legislative mission to promote industrial and technological progress in the United States. The first U.S. Patent, issued in 1790, bears the signature of George Washington. Today, the PTO administers the laws relating to patents and trademarks while ensuring the creation of valid, prompt, and proper intellectual property rights. It also advises the Administration on all domestic and global aspects of intellectual property.

The increased pace and complexity of technological progress is creating new challenges for the PTO as the numbers of both patent and trademark filings continue to rise, almost regardless of economic conditions. At the same time, the globalisation of economic activity has led to new cooperative initiatives between the USPTO and other intellectual property offices such as the patent offices of Europe and Japan.

In 2001, the PTO issued 187,000 patents, and today there are over 400,000 applications waiting to be examined. The pendency time, or average time from filing to issing a patent, is over two years and climbing. In addition to this heavy workload, the technological complexity inherent in the subject matter challenges the knowledge of the 3,400 patent examiners as they search for precedents or earlier mentions as they validate patent claims.

Planning to meet the challenges

The USPTO has developed a five-year strategic plan to meet its obligations by improving the quality of its patent and trademark determinations, and increasing productivity, to yield an 18 month pendency time. A key element in the plan is the expansion of electronic filing; while inventors can submit electronic patents now, very few do-because patent applications may run to dozens or even hundreds of pages. In the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology fields, these documents may contain hundreds of chemical structures. Since January 1999, the US Patent Office has admitted ChemDraw documents as electronic supplements to paper filings; in the future, the PTO wants to move completely to electronic filing.

Today, the 450 examiners in the biotechnology and organic chemistry branch of the PTO often have to extract the chemical structures from a printed patent application and copy them to their computers to use in queries for numerous databases. But soon, they’ll have a new tool on hand to deal with problems like this, as the USPTO deploys ChemDraw to a large group of examiners.

Government agencies like the PTO cannot endorse or recommend products. There are strict rules about interviewing government employees about why they chose to buy a certain package, but it’s clear that ChemDraw was the first choice for a number of reasons.

Why ChemDraw?

The PTO wanted to use software that is well known to the patent-writing community, including intellectual property law firms and scientific authors. With its long history of recognition by major journals, and its widespread use by law firms, ChemDraw was the leading choice. ChemDraw is also used by Reed Technology and Information Services, RTIS, which is working with the PTO to publish all issued patents in electronic form with embedded ChemDraw structures. Finally, ChemDraw is well established in the academic community among both students and researchers. In summary, as the PTO expresses it, ChemDraw is the leading program among “those of skill in the bio/chemical arts.”

In seeking a tool with rich, varied drawing capabilities, the PTO had no difficulty identifying ChemDraw as the leader. For searches the PTO needs to conduct, it’s important to be able to draw multiple bonds, specify multiple substituents, indicate stereochemistry, and designate different atom and bond properties. ChemDraw’s user interface features, such as keyboard shortcuts, right-click context menus and tear-off menus, allow different workers to use the software in ways that are comfortable to them. The ability to handle multiple file formats, such as the ISIS sketch format, MOL files, SMILES and SMIRKS give ChemDraw extra utility in dealing with patent applications from many sources.

ChemDraw also provides a number of “extras” that the PTO found interesting. Among others, these include:

  • The ability to work with chemical structures in Excel spreadsheets
  • Generation of structures from chemical names with high reliability
  • The ability to specify complex queries with variable properties
  • ChemDraw’s new polymer notation
  • The ability to specify drawing attributes for each object or element in a drawing
  • The ability to create tables of structures, again with individual property settings within each structure.


Among the key goals of the PTO’s strategic plan is the expansion of electronic filing of patent and trademark applications. RTIS now processes over 9,000 patent documents per week, some that have been granted and some in the pre-grant stage. ChemDraw facilitates this effort for the chemical sciences by providing intelligent chemical structures. Making the structures available in electronic form simplifies the “prior art” search, the task of searching patents for prior uses or citations of chemical structures.

The USPTO is an essential foundation of the American intellectual property system, which is regarded by Congress as an important source of technological innovation and economic competitiveness. Although the obstacles are daunting and the strategic plan ambitious, the importance of an efficient, accurate patent system is apparent to all in the invention community. New electronic tools like ChemDraw will help the USPTO meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Written by Bruce R. Gelin, Ph.D.

ChemDraw is supplied and supported worldwide by Adept Scientific plc, Amor Way, Letchworth, Herts. SG6 1ZA; telephone +44 (0) 203 695 7810, fax +44 (0) 203 695 7819, email or see Adept’s World Wide Web site Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

With offices in the UK, USA, Germany and throughout the Nordic region, Adept Scientific is one of the world’s leading suppliers of software and hardware products for research, scientific, engineering and technical applications on desktop computers.

For the time being we are unable to offer the following product ranges although we are currently working hard to increase the number of products we can offer in the future. Please contact us to talk about alternative products that we may be able to offer you.