Macs in Chemistry

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ChemDraw Advanced User tips 1

If you are a regular user of ChemBioDraw (aka ChemDraw) you may be aware of the keyboard shortcuts that enable to quickly enter chemical structures.In fact there are a huge number of keyboard shortcuts and I've tried to describe them all in the table below. I've been through each key on the keyboard with either an atom or bond selected and recorded the result with or without modifier keys pressed.

So with an atom selected pressing shift E converts the atom to COOCH3, others apply only when you have a bond selected.

KeyShift Control Command Shift+ Command Alt+ Command
A A Ac Select All
B Br B
C C Cl Copy Selection Text center Copy selection as SMILES
E Et COOCH3 Open Help Toggle Fixed angles
F F F Toggle Formula font
G g G Group selected objects Ungroup
H H H Toggle Crosshairs Flip Horizontal
J j J Text Justified
K K K Scale Clean up Structure
L Cl Cl Toggle Fixed Lengths Text left
M Me Me Minimise Window to dock
N N Na New document Convert Name to Structure Convert Structure to Name
O O O Open
P P Ph Print Page Setup Paste SMILES
Q Q Q Quit
R R R Rotate Text Right
S S Si Save Save As
U u U
V v V Paste Flip Vertical
W w W Close
X x X Clean up Reaction
Y y Y Repeat
Z z Z Undo
1 n-Bu
2 s-Bu
3 t-Bu
4 Ph
7 7
8 Add 3 carbons
9 Add 2 carbons
0 Add 1 carbon
Enter Open an atom label text box.
/ Display the Atom Properties
dialog box.
' Add atom number (starts at 1)
; Toggle Ruler
+ +ve charge
- -ve charge
= Choose Nickname
With Bond selected
1 plain single bond
2 double
3 triple
4 4 bond
b bold
c bond center (db only)
d dashed
f move to front
h hashed
l bond left (db only)
r bond right (db only)
w wedge
y wavy
? Bond Properties

Also Pressing the command key when benzene ring selected gives resonance structure.

All the key definitions are held in a file found here "/Applications/CS ChemOffice 2008/CS ChemDraw/ChemDraw Items/CS ChemDraw/HotKeys.txt". This file can be edited with a text editor.
The general format is letter space text so to assign j to invoke the lasso tool simply add :-


and save the file. Now pressing the j key will invoke the lasso tool. Other definitions that can be used are in the HotKeys.txt file.