When working on some reaction schemes in ChemDraw, I sometimes forget to add text/captions with numbering and align it with my molecules before placing all the molecules in a reaction scheme and aligning that.

Now that I already have a scheme, adding the numbers to the molecules will either mean I have to place the numbers by hand (which would mean they are not exactly centered) or aligning the captions to the molecule. The latter option would work, but would also mean I have to redo a lot of the work aligning my scheme.

The question is then: Is there a way to automatically place a number under a molecule, so I do not have to worry about realigning everything?


There is no fully automatic method for creating labels. However, you can manually generate property labels, which are automatically placed and centred without disturbing any existing alignment, as follows.

Select the entire molecule, right-click the selected structure, then click Analysis, and then click one of the available options (Name, Chemical Formula, Exact Mass, Molecular Weight, m/z, or Elemental Analysis):

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Use the Text tool (on the tool bar) to modify the text of the label (after your edit, you will receive the warning “This change to the text has caused auto-updating to be disabled.”):

enter image description here

You can use the Text menu, the Style toolbar, or shortcut keys (e.g. CTRL+B) to change the text format (structure labels are usually written in bold). Repeat this procedure for all relevant structures:

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  • $\begingroup$ Oooooh, I never knew that, great feature! $\endgroup$ – Jan Sep 14 '16 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Usually (personally) I manually create the textboxes and then use Object > Align... to get the desired alignment. Of course this works too. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Dec 27 '16 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol OK, however Object -> Align also moves the molecule, and OP wants to avoid that. $\endgroup$ – Faded Giant Dec 27 '16 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, yeah, oops, didn't see that. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Dec 27 '16 at 15:04

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