Signals Blog

Paste Structures from ChemDraw into ChemWriter [Video]

A common question asked by users of Web-based cheminformatics systems is how to paste structures from a desktop drawing tool such as ChemDraw™. I'm happy to report that this capability is now supported by the latest release of ChemWriter™.

For good reasons, Web browsers maintain a strict barrier with the system clipboard - little can usually get in or out. This is particularly true in the case of the binary format in which ChemDraw structures are encoded.

We get around this limitation by dynamically deploying a signed applet when a user clicks the ChemWriter 'import' button. Until that point, no browser plugins are deployed, ensuring the same fast page load times and broad browser compatibility ChemWriter users have come to expect.

The new clipboard feature is disabled by default. To enable it, follow the instructions in the ChemWriter developer guide.

System clipboard paste is only currently supported on Windows systems running a Java plugin version of 1.6. Based on feedback so far, two future directions might involve bringing this capability to Mac users and extending the Painter to support pasting ChemWriter structures in CDX format.