I'm trying to add chemical reaction mechanisms to a Latex PDF natively (NOT as an image), and chemschemex seems like the best option. According to the manual, I should be able to just "draw my structures in ChemDraw, include them into my document and label them". Unfortunately, it seems chemschemex only supports PDF as the source format, and I can't get ChemDraw to produce useable PDFs (I know you can simply save a structure as a PDF in ChemDraw, but I only have access to windows machines).

So my questions are:

Is there any way of making native PDF versions of structure files on Windows that can include electron pushing curly arrows and other similar things? If not, is it possible to use any other format as a source for chemschemex, preferably one, which is easily made with a common structure drawer?


  • Why not just use chemfig?

I want to be able to add not just reaction schemes, but also curly arrow mechanisms to LaTex. Though chemfig is more than capable of doing this, manually formatting curly arrow mechanisms with it is a nightmare.

As explained in this question, mol2chemfig produces excellent PDF structures, but again, it has limitations. It uses either an MDL molfile or a SMILES structure, which are easy to make, but only support static structures, not curly arrows, lone pairs, or any other fancy stuff. The documentation does mention, that electron puching with curly arrows is possible, but if I understand correctly, we're back to manually adding chemfig curly arrows.

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