ChemDraw JS


ChemDraw® JS is a pure JavaScript sketcher with the chemical intelligence and esthetics of ChemDraw on the desktop available as a zero download component for use in web browsers and other apps.

Already used as the sketcher in McGraw-Hill Education’s Connect Chemistry online courses and in the PerkinElmer Signals™ Notebook collaborative science platform, ChemDraw Cloud, Lead Discovery (Powered by Tibco™ Spotfire®), and PerkinElmer Signals™  Lead Discovery, ChemDraw JS is now available for customer deployment to enable chemical intelligence into web browsers and other applications.

CHEMDRAW CHEMISTRYChemDraw JS drawing pane

ChemDraw JS has the same underlying chemical smarts as ChemDraw on the Desktop. It comes equipped with all the familiar tools you need to draw structures, reactions, mechanisms and text:

  • Ring, chain and bond tools
  • Arrows
  • Text tool for chemical labels and captions
  • Charges
  • Query features: generic atoms, atom lists, bond type and topology
  • Valence checker
  • Marquee and Lasso selection tools
  • Eraser
  • Templates: Amino acids, Bicyclics, Cycloalkanes
  • Acyclic Chain tool
  • Expand/Contract Labels
  • Round-Trip editing into MS Office documents (requires browser clipboard extension)


In addition to the basic drawing tools, ChemDraw JS provides several ways to speed up the creation of publication quality diagrams:

  • Hotkeys to quickly add atoms and change the nature of bonds in molecules
  • New reaction shortcut
  • Copy/paste to duplicate structures
  • Structure and reaction clean-up


ChemDraw JS generates and reads the same file formats used by ChemDraw Desktop so that files can be easily shared. Additional formats are also available for sharing with other applications:

  • molfile and rxnfile
  • InChI and InChIKey
  • Chemical drawings copied from ChemDraw Desktop, or from other third-party editors, can be directly pasted into ChemDraw JS for immediate exchange of structures and reactions between desktop and web browsers.
  • Chemical drawings embedded in MS Office applications (Windows) can be copied/pasted into ChemDraw JS without loss of information (requires browser extension).


ChemDraw JS is supplied with a fully documented User's Guide, Installation Guide and Developers’ Guide. The latter includes instructions on how to load and to embed ChemDraw JS into an application, and details of how to make API calls to generate the various file formats that are available.

Frequently asked QuestionsChemDraw JS FQ

Question - What is ChemDraw JS? ChemDraw JS is an HTML5/JavaScript implementation of ChemDraw that enables developers to embed chemical drawing and intelligence functionality into any web based application.

Question - What do I need to develop a ChemDraw JS powered application? ChemDraw JS is implemented as a JavaScript library that can be readily embedded into any web based application. The host application developer needs to include an HTML <script> reference to the location of the ChemDraw JS JavaScript files and a single HTML <DIV> tag within their page to host the drawing canvas. Chemical content can be programmatically set or retrieved from the host page via JavaScript. Some advanced functionality such as structure clean up, chemical data format and image conversions/calculations require an additional server-side component that exposes REST services used by the ChemDraw JS client. The host application developer can enable/disable the features that require the service as well as control the service end-point used by the client.

Question - How do I deploy ChemDraw JS with my application? Package and deliver the ChemDraw JS JavaScript library and supporting REST service together with your own application. To that end, ChemDraw JS is distributed as a standard Windows installer package that deploys an embedded HTTP server configured to deliver both the JavaScript library and REST service end-points. The ChemDraw JS REST service can only be installed on a Microsoft Windows operating system. The JavaScript libraries can optionally be delivered from your own HTTP server under any operating system.

Question - Do end-users need to install any software?
No. All the end-user needs to run is a compliant web browser with network access to the ChemDraw JS server.

Question - What is “extended copy-paste”? Modern browsers place restrictions on what data can be read from the clipboard. Most chemical drawing programs place data on the clipboard in a format that cannot be read by any web browser. Extended copy-paste enables ChemDraw JS to read chemical structures from the clipboard, but require installing an additional browser applet or extension. Without extended copy-paste enabled, end-users must manually copy data in a supported format (CDXML or molfile) from a text file into the ChemDraw JS canvas. Recent versions of ChemDraw desktop provide a “Copy as CDXML” menu item making it possible to transfer drawings directly from ChemDraw without enabling extended copy-paste operations.

Question - What features require access to ChemDraw JS services?

End user tools/actions:

  • Name-to-Structure
  • Structure-to-Name

JavaScript API calls:

  • findReactions
  • getProperties
  • getSVG
  • getMolecularWeight
  • nameToStructure
  • structureToName