ChemDraw Plugin

I work as a chemist and one of the most widely-used softwares by chemists is ChemDraw, which lets us accurately draw and (to a point) analyze molecules. It’s what we use to make any reaction schemes or things like them when we publish literature or even make presentations. When using PowerPoint, I can copy-paste a drawing over from ChemDraw into my slide, which directly copies as a png. I can even double-click on the copied structure, which will open an editing window in ChemDraw for me, where I can directly edit that diagram.

Could something similar be implemented for Obsidian? Even just being able to copy-paste my structures over would be a massive help instead of having to take screenshots. Since I use my Obsidian notes to make a lot of presentations or research summaries, it’s helpful to be able to directly copy and paste, so bringing my structures along with that would be awesome.


Just out of curiosity, Is it possible to use LaTeX for that? I know in academia using LaTeX for math is pretty common but Have no idea how they usually write chemical equation and stuff like that. I know Drawing molecules and writing equations are different but still wonder if there is a way to generate that fro m a code like how LaTeX does it or not.

Maybe this thread is helpful

Hi, I’ve developed a plugin Chem allowing you to render SMILES strings in your note.

If you want to have a structure editor integrated in Obsidian, I would recommand the Ketcher obsidian plugin, which is also newly developed. The Kechter itself is an open-source web-based chemical structure editor. Here’s the official site and a demo page.

In the official plugin store, you can easily find both the plugins mentioned in the reply. If these don’t satisfied your use case, maybe you can try to submit feature request to the repos to ask for feature adaptation.

As for ChemDraw, unfortunately, it’s hard to host ChemDraw directly through the plugin. You may notice that the Reaxys page includes ChemDraw.js as a structure editor, but this requires a ChemOffce+Cloud subscription license. However, develop a pluging to translate/render .cdxml file is possible. I’d also like to support copy & paste of .cdxml and convert them to SMILES strings in my Chem plugin.

1 Like

One might be able to make the chemical equations using the chemical symbols (their abbreviations), but I haven’t heard of anyone using LaTeX for drawing chemical structures. Thank you for the suggestion, though.

1 Like

Both of those look great, and I think Ketcher is closer to what I’m looking for. Thank you so much for the reply and your hard work developing what looks to be a super useful plugin.

The mhchem package can generate beautiful chemical equations and chemfig can be used to draw organic structures. Obsidian has mhchem integrated, but it seems like chemfig is not supported.