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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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June 5, 2013

ChemDraw on the iPad

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Posted by Derek

If you're in iPad sort of chemist (one of Baran's customers?), you may well already know that app versions of ChemDraw and Chem3D came out yesterday for that platform. I haven't tried them out myself, not (yet) being a swipe-and-poke sort of guy, but at $10 for the ChemDraw app (and Chem3D for free), it could be a good way to get chemical structures going on your own tablet.

Andre the Chemist has a writeup on his experiences here. As an inorganic chemist, he's run into difficulties with text labels, but for good ol' organic structures, things should be working fine. I'd be interested in hearing hands-on reviews of the software in the comments: how does the touch-screen interface work out for drawing? Seems like it could be a good fit. . .

Update: here's a review at MacInChem, and one at Chemistry and Computers.

Comments (14) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Chemical News


1. Boghog on June 5, 2013 8:27 AM writes...

No iPhone app yet? Lame ;-)

Permalink to Comment

2. bad wolf on June 5, 2013 8:29 AM writes...

As Boghog said, no iPhone? They want to just leave that market to Chemdoodle? Really, PE? Guess after waiting this long we'll just have to keep waiting then.

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3. Martin on June 5, 2013 8:56 AM writes...

I like it. I got files in and out easy enough. not comprehensive yet but My mini review after 2 hours use is at

Short version: stable fast good

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4. BioBritSD on June 5, 2013 9:25 AM writes...

Thanks for the note Derek. One correction - Chem3D is free, ChemDraw is $10.

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5. bad wolf on June 5, 2013 9:55 AM writes...

Oh, and Spartan is available for iPad AND iPhone. Plus it can do MO calculations. Just sayin'.

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6. Arash on June 5, 2013 10:02 AM writes...

I got to test it out and it was pretty good for a first release. Very smooth. Now if they released that app for Chromebook then I would have no need for a regular PC anymore. For less than $300 I could have everything I need.

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7. Sili on June 5, 2013 10:19 AM writes...

Given how popular and relatively common 3D-TVs have become, why is there not yet a way to show chemical structures on them?

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8. sean on June 5, 2013 11:37 AM writes...

Perhaps worth a read for those interested in mobile apps for chemistry:

Mobile apps for chemistry in the world of drug discovery. Drug Discov Today. 2011 Nov;16(21-22):928-39. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2011.09.002. Epub 2011 Sep 6.

Redefining Cheminformatics with Intuitive Collaborative Mobile Apps. Mol Inform. 2012 Aug;31(8):569-584. Epub 2012 Jul 4.

Incorporating Green Chemistry Concepts into Mobile Chemistry Applications and Their Potential Uses
ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2013, 1 (1), pp 8–13
DOI: 10.1021/sc3000509

Open Drug Discovery Teams: A Chemistry Mobile App for Collaboration Mol Inform. 2012 Aug;31(8):585-597. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

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9. Indianpaddy on June 5, 2013 3:08 PM writes...

Excellent program. I gave elemental a go but the drawing on this is much better

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10. MTK on June 5, 2013 5:09 PM writes...

Android version?

Also I have a Windows 8 PC and as a self-employed chemist need a cheap chemical drawing program. I can't find ISIS Draw any where. Any suggestions?

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11. Chris Swain on June 6, 2013 12:44 AM writes...

"as a self-employed chemist need a cheap chemical drawing program"

Have a look at ChemDoodle

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12. BioBritSD on June 6, 2013 4:52 AM writes...

@Sili #7

Interesting idea. Although 3D directly from the app would probably be easier.

The Chem3D app does have an export to STL - which is a common format for 3D printers so you can take your model in the app and actually get it created in a tangible form.

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13. Óscar Cobar on June 14, 2013 10:53 AM writes...

Can I work in Chem3D for iPad structures drawing in ChemDraw for iPad?

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14. Chimaera on June 17, 2013 5:01 AM writes...

I recently came across an open source PC app for drawing molecules called Avogadro (

In my limited experience to date with it, it seems to work well.

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