What software is used to create skeletal formula diagrams, create 3D models and whatnot? For example, on Wikipedia pages for molecules, you see standard 3D models and skeletal models which I assume are made with certain chemistry programs rather than some widespread ones.

Also, what programs are used to write chemistry papers? I know languages like LaTeX are used for mathematics and I can see you could definitely write a chemistry paper using such a program; I am curious to what actual chemists use.

  • $\begingroup$ molden, jackal (old, good for b/w crystal structures and such), hyperchem, avogadro, crystalmaker, their own stuff $\endgroup$
    – user37142
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ There are several software solutions for each problem you mentioned as well as to other ones. If you are doing Chemical research at a university/in a lab, many of this software are available through campus licenses, so check those first. $\endgroup$
    – Greg
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ @JoshuaFarrell please let us know a) what operating system you are using; b) are you affiliated with a university or any other institution that may have licences available. The things are (sadly), many software pieces chemists need cost ridiculous amount of money. Please leave a note, if you prefer FOSS. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Joshua Farell Regarding the "skeletal representation" in wikipedia you refer to, this in part is partially due to a listing of software (at least, in principle) available: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecule_editor . More importantly, however, regarding consistency of the representations, similar to publishers where you submit an article to a journal, wikipedia has a dedicated set of guidelines how to draw molecules, e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Chemistry/… $\endgroup$
    – Buttonwood
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 11:19
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    $\begingroup$ @JoshuaFarrell Oh. For macOS you might want to have a look at macinchem.org, I guess, unless you need something really specific. Genarally, MarvinSketch for 2D structures and Avogadro for 3D structures are a good start. Regarding LaTeX, I use it whenever possible, if you really want, you can check out my preamble to get an idea what packages might come in handy. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk
    Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 14:15


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