Chemistry / Penn Libraries

ChemBioDraw Ultra 14.0 Users Can Initiate a SciFinder Search from within ChemDraw

Users of ChemBioDraw Ultra 14.0 can initiate a SciFinder structure, substructure, or reaction search directly from within a ChemDraw window, thanks to a collaboration between PerkinElmer, makers of ChemBioDraw, and Chemical Abstracts Service, who builds and maintains the SciFinder search tool.  It is relatively easy to do.


Using the ChemBioDraw/SciFinder Integration from on Campus

  1. Draw and select your structure, substructure, or reaction in ChemBioDraw.  For best results, use only standard bonds (single, double, triple, up, down) and atoms that appear on the periodic table.
  2. Once you’ve selected your structure, a button depicting the pink, blue, and purple SciFinder icon  will activate on the toolbar at the top of the window.  Click this button.
  3. If you draw a single structure, you will have the option to perform either a substance or reaction search.  For the substance search, you can choose whether you wish to perform an exact search or a substructure search.  For the reaction search, you must perform a substructure search, but you can choose whether the substance is a reactant or a product.  If you draw a complete reaction (including reaction arrow), you will only have the option of performing a reaction search.
  4. Choose the appropriate action, and click OK.
  5. You will be directed to the SciFinder entry page.  Log in with your SciFinder username and password, and the search will automatically run.
  6. If you wish to alter your search parameters, click on the breadcrumbs at the top of the screen after running your initial search to be taken to the structure or reaction editor, where you can make whatever changes you desire.


Using the ChemBioDraw/SciFinder Integration from off Campus

Since SciFinder requires a Penn IP address in order to run a search, you will need to configure your ChemBioDraw program to search using Penn’s proxy server if you plan to use the SciFinder/ChemBioDraw integration from an off-campus location.  You can do so by following these instructions.


  1. Draw your structure, substructure, or reaction, and select it using the selection tool. This will activate the SciFinder button, a pink, blue, and purple diamond, in the top toolbar of your ChemDraw window.  SciFinder_Icon
  2. Click on the SciFinder button. A pop-up menu will appear. Click on the button labeled “Proxy Settings…” in the lower left corner of the menu.
  3. Paste the following text into the Proxy URL text box:
  4. Click OK.
  5. Run your search. The system will not save your proxy information if you cancel the search. If you are on campus, you will not need to authenticate. However, if you are off campus, you will be asked for a PennKey username and password before you are redirected to the SciFinder authentication page.


Using Other Versions of ChemDraw/ChemBioDraw with SciFinder

If you are using any version of ChemDraw or ChemBioDraw other than ChemBioDraw Ultra 14.0, you will not be able to initiate a search directly from your ChemDraw window.  You can, however, log into SciFinder manually and copy and paste your structure from ChemDraw into the Java-based structure editor in SciFinder. Please note that this process will NOT work in the non-Java editor at this time.


Need more information?  Contact Judith Currano in the Chemistry Library.

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