ChemDraw icon.svg
Stable release
20.1 / May 7, 2021; 2 months ago (2021-05-07)
Operating systemmacOS, Microsoft Windows
WebsiteChemDraw on PerkinElmer site

ChemDraw is a molecule editor first developed in 1985 by David A. Evans and Stewart Rubenstein[1] (later by the cheminformatics company CambridgeSoft). The company was sold to PerkinElmer in the year 2011.[2] ChemDraw, along with Chem3D and ChemFinder, is part of the ChemOffice suite of programs and is available for Macintosh and Microsoft Windows.

Features of ChemDraw 12.0

  • Chemical structure to name conversion
  • Chemical name to structure conversion
  • NMR spectrum simulation (1H and 13C)
  • Mass spectrum simulation
  • Structure cleanup
  • An extensive collection of templates, including style templates for most major chemical journals.
  • Export to SVG
  • Export to PDF (Mac Version only)

File format

The native file formats for ChemDraw are the binary CDX and the preferred XML-based CDXML formats. ChemDraw can also import from, and export to, MOL, SDF, and SKC chemical file formats.


SDK for ChemDraw enables third-party developers to write plugins. For example, - Quick HotKey helps to set up HotKeys in interactive mode, instead manually editing of text file. The Plugin site appears to have been abandoned.


  1. ^ Halford, Bethany (2014). "Reflections On ChemDraw". C&EN. 92 (33): 26–27. doi:10.1021/cen-09233-scitech1. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  2. ^ Announcing CambridgeSoft from Perkin Elmer
  • Mills, N. (2006). "ChemDraw Ultra 10.0". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128 (41): 13649–13650. doi:10.1021/ja0697875.
  • Li, Z.; Wan, H.; Shi, Y.; Ouyang, P. (2004). "Personal Experience with Four Kinds of Chemical Structure Drawing Software: Review on ChemDraw, ChemWindow, ISIS/Draw, and ChemSketch". J. Chem. Inf. Comput. Sci. 44 (5): 1886–1890. doi:10.1021/ci049794h. PMID 15446849.
  • Strack, Dieter (2001). "ChemOffice Ultra 2000". Phytochemistry. 57 (1): 144. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)00503-3.
  • Madlung, Andreas (1999). "Digital Chemical Intelligence". Science. 285 (5435): 1866–1867. doi:10.1126/science.285.5435.1866.
  • David A. Evans (2014). "History of the Harvard ChemDraw Project". Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 53 (42): 11140–11145. doi:10.1002/anie.201405820. PMID 25131311.

See also