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I'm currently preparing an article and need to ensure all molecules depicted with ChemDraw are consistently sized when pasted into my document. I've encountered an issue where the sizes vary significantly—some appear too large and others too small.

Before posting here, I tried adjusting the page setup in ChemDraw to create a single large canvas for all structures, hoping to maintain size consistency. However, I found that the maximum page size settings are not sufficient for my entire project. I also looked into exporting images directly and adjusting them in external software, but this method compromises the quality and defeats the purpose of using ChemDraw for precise scientific illustration.

Does anyone have experience with maintaining consistent molecule sizes in documents after copying from ChemDraw? Any advice on settings or techniques that might help overcome these challenges would be greatly appreciated. I believe this could also be beneficial for others facing similar issues with document preparation for publication.

Thank you in advance for your insights!

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1 Answer 1

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With a licensed and a recent version of ChemDraw and MS Word, one can draw the molecular structure(s), select the structure(s), and then go to Objects, from there select "Apply Object Settings from". This produces a list of publishers and journals. Select the targeted publisher. By doing so all selected structures are automatically scaled to a uniform size and suitable for the publication ready scheme. One can then copy paste in MS Word. The figure is editable with licensed software, i.e., double clicking the structure opens it up in ChemDraw directly. Closing the ChemDraw, updates the structure in MS Word.

For example this is one example from ChemDraw Professional 20: enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Embedding ChemDraw graphics as OLE objects in the DOCX file could be problematic, and downright disastrous in case of DOC files if one shares and edits this file back-and-forth between users with different versions of ChemDraw ("licensed" doesn't matter), MS Office and OS (Windows/macOS). Even though many guidelines ask to embed CDX in the Word document, I'd strongly advise not to do this until final revision. Frankly, I interpret the question differently — I think OP asks for preserving scaling and DPI uniform within the drawing margins of the selected Word template, not in ChemDraw itself. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Jun 19 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Mimi In addition to templates provided by the editor (there are similar style templates available in ChemDoodle, ISIS/BioviaDraw, ChemSketch etc.) a publisher often compiles acceptable file formats (example ACS) and specific templates to the journal (example Org. Lett.). $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Jun 19 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ @andselisk I agree that for a submission it still is safer to prevent boxes of red crosses in a .doc/.docx "container file" by i) preparing the figures as separate .cdx/.cdxml files and ii) to deliver them as such plus as an illustration in .pdf (or at least high resolution .tiff). $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Jun 19 at 12:26

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