Best 3 Free Chemistry and Molecular Drawing Software

Best 3 Free Chemistry and Molecular Drawing Software

Whether your practicing drawing molecules in high school, an undergrad needing structures for assignments or a researcher looking for free publication ready molecules, there’s several drawing softwares available for free. Here we’ve listed a few along with the links you need to give them a try.

#1 Chemaxon MarvinSketch

Although more extensive packages are on offer at Chemaxon for assay data, biomolecules and some data management solutions, MarvinSketch is their chemical editor. It boasts built in structure and valence checks for your inputted structures and allows you to export you files in standard chemical formats.

Source: Chemaxon.com

The interface will look familiar if you’ve used sites like reaxys.com and easy to pick up fast. It’s also nicely intuitive even compared with some paid versions.

Note: it is free for anyone for academic and non-commercial uses with extended licences for purposes outside of that.

Download your copy here.

#2 MolView online editor

No download needed for this web-based app and straight away you are greeted by the dual 2D-3D visualiser. Here the interface is clean and easy to get editing right away.

Source: MolView.org

The tools are limited however for simple 2D and 3D visualisation this is just fine. The real benefit of being browser based is that wherever you are you can jump in and create structures right away without having to make sure you have the device with software pre downloaded ready. It also helps to bypass institutional download restrictions. There is some information card and spectroscopy information as well as a similarity search. We haven’t personally tried the protein functions (being chemists) but they are available for those requiring them.

Get started here


Provided by ACD labs who also produce spectroscopy software. There is many features available and it is quite powerful considering it is free to use. These include weight calculations, molar refractivity and logP predictions. The naming feature (producing the IUPAC name for your inputted molecule) is our particular favourite, although it may be an orgchem lecturer’s nightmare!

The MS tools are also a great feature on offer, which even some paid softwares are lacking.

Source: acdlabs.com

Note: the software is free for personal and academic use, other uses require a licence

Download the latest version here