ACD ChemSketch program

1.) Download / Installation:

Go to , and Click on "Download ChemSketch 4.5 Freeware".

You'll then be asked to register with ACD. You HAVE to do this, even though the program is free. Just type in your email address (it can be St. Olaf, or Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) and make up a password. Then download the program and remember where you saved it to.

Now click on the downloaded file (chemsk45.exe) and follow the instructions. Basically, click "Next" to everything. This will complete the installation.

2.) How to draw pre-lab reactions:

Go to the Start menu, then Programs, then ACD Labs Freeware, then ChemSketch. You will get a few ads that take a few seconds to display themselves. Cancel out of them (this waiting is the price we pay for getting a free program!). You DO have to register at the OLE prompt. Once a white screen appears with toolbars along the top and left side of the screen, you're ready to go.

Once you have the reaction looking the way you want it, you merely have to copy and paste it into your document (you'll probably be using MS Word). In the ACD window, go to Edit and then click Select All, then copy. Now open up your pre-lab document (if it's not already open). Simply put the cursor where you want to insert the reaction you drew, and then go Edit and then click Paste. You may resize the reaction by clicking on it and dragging on the black boxes in the corners of the picture.

3.) How to look at 3D structure:

Go to the Start menu, then Programs, then ACD Labs Freeware, then 3D. In the bottom-left corner of the screen, click on ChemSk. This will bring up the normal drawing program. Draw the molecule as you would for a pre-lab and highlight it, and click the red ball-and-stick button in the upper-right corner called "3D Optimization". You must do this to get the right 3D structure!

Then go to the bottom-left corner again and click Copy to 3D. The background will now be black, with your molecule in the middle. Select from the toolbar on the top the structure type you want (ball-and-stick, space fill, etc.). Use the mouse and rotate it as you want, or click on auto-rotate on the right end of the toolbar.

Justin Seningen