I am looking for a free, very simple tool for IUPAC names of organic molecules.

I teach high school chemistry, and it would be fantastic to have an app or web tool that students could use to draw molecules and verify the systematic names of branched alkanes and simple alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, possibly acids; simple ethers, esters, cycloalkanes would be nice but aren't strictly necessary.

I do have MarvinSketch, but I find it too complex for absolute beginners, both to install and to use.
Chemdraw JS does not work well on mobile.



4 Answers 4


A bit more intuitive to interact with may be Chemdoodle Webcomponents which is a JavaScript library set-up to integrate well within webpages and mobile devices like phone or tablet, too. It comprises 2D/3D sketcher, a NMR predictor, and is freely available (open source GPL license). Derived from Chemdoodle, there is a structure -> name utility speking multiple dialects (e.g., IUPAC / CA, Hantzsch nomenclature), too.

Example: enter image description here

The interaction with Chemdoodle is nicely explained by Pritt Balagopal here on ChemSE.


Disclaimer: I made this app.

You can try out this app:

Pro side:

  • Free molecule naming for alkanes & alcohols in free draw mode (bottom right)
  • If you want, also some "levels" and tutorials on how to name alkanes

Contra side:

  • Nomenclature of alkenes, alkynes and some other functional groups is not free
  • No naming of cycloalkanes and other more complex structures

ChemAxon Ltd. offers a web tool at https://chemicalize.com/#/drawing .
Usage of "Chemicalize" requires a ChemAxon account, which is free but requires a name and e-mail to create.
Chemicalize is very easy to learn and use.
IUPAC names, as well as other basic properties are generated for molecules including up to 12 heavy atoms.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ The Chemicalize application requires registration with an institution and has a great disadvantage for free usage: the drawn molecules must contain 12 or less non-hydrogen atoms. We must to pay for molecules that contain more than 12 non-hydrogen atoms. $\endgroup$ Nov 22, 2023 at 11:33

Very intuitive app, easy and free app for PC is ChemSketch, you can download it, I use Windows version and it is fantastic there are short videos (on YouTube) on how to use it. I will explain few things but it is easier to watch a video.

To get a IUPAC name for a certain molecule you just draw the molecule, select that molecule and click Tools and then click Generate Name.

You can easily draw and use whole periodic table within the vertical tool bar. You can draw double and triple bond just by double/triple click on the single bond. When it comes to selecting, 3D models and many other options also very easy, it can even tell you certain things about isomers...

I am really amazed by the app!! The only thing that is negative about the app is that I am in university and I work with molecules larger than 50 atoms. You get a warning that you can not generate name for molecules that have more than 50 atoms, it says how to solve it but I think you might have to upgrade then and pay for the app.


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