Introduction to Chemistry Resources: ChemDraw

ChemDraw Professional

All USC faculty, staff, and currently registered students may download ChemDraw Professional software on USC owned and operated computers and laptops, as well as on personal computers for home use. Upgrades to ChemDraw Professional will also be provided during the term of this license agreement. Upon termination of the ChemDraw Professional agreement, all users of the software are obligated to uninstall the software. By downloading the software, you agree to abide by these terms and conditions.

Use the following instructions to download Chemdraw on your computer.

  1. Visit the download page by clicking here.  
  2. In the 'Search for Institution' search bar type in University of Southern California. Click Enter.
  3. Under 'Access Version 16 and below' section, click 'Download'.
  4. Enter your USC email.  When your email is confirmed, click the blue 'Continue' button.
  5. The following page will require you to register your account.  Please enter all required information.
  6. You will now be directed to the download page.  Choose which download your prefer based on the operating system of your computer (ie. Windows or Apple).


  • With marquee tool selected unless specified
  • On Mac substitute CTRL for Apple key

Select a whole molecule -> double-click on molecule 

Move molecule horizontally/vertically -> hold shift and drag (with molecule selected) 

Make copies of molecule -> CTRL and drag (with molecule selected)

Align copies of molecule -> CTRL+SHIFT and drag (with molecule selected) 

Select defined objects -> SHIFT+double click 

Select whole reaction -> double click on reaction arrow 

Flip horizontally -> CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+h (with molecule selected) 

Flip vertically -> CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+v (with molecule selected) 

Switch to Lasso tool -> hold Alt key

Get bond length as you draw bonds -> hold Alt key (with solid bond tool) 

Clean up structure -> CTRL+SHIFT+k  (with molecule selected) 

Name to structure -> CTRL+SHIFT+n (with text box selected) 

Double bond -> press ‘2’ over bond 

Oxygen -> press ‘O’ over atom 

Sprout 1 bond -> press ‘0’ over atom

Sprout 2 bonds -> press ‘9’ over atom

Sprout 3 bonds -> press ‘8’ over atom

Sprout 5 membered ring -> press ‘5’ over bond

Sprout 6 membered ring -> press ‘6’ over bond

Sprout 7 membered ring -> press ‘7’ over bond