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ACD/Labs' Educational Software Package for Drawing Chemical Structures Achieves Key Milestone

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ACD/Labs, an informatics company that develops and commercializes software in support of research and development, has announced that ACD/ChemSketch Freeware has been downloaded by over two million users worldwide. This free version of ChemSketch, intended for academic and personal use, has been accessible for more than two decades to students, academics, and scientists to communicate research and create teaching materials. ChemSketch Freeware is a comprehensive chemical drawing package (for structures, reactions, schema, etc.). Users can also generate names for small molecules, calculate molecular properties, create professional reports, presentations, and publication-ready figures, and search web-based databases.

"Years ago, we viewed the release of ACD/ChemSketch Freeware as a downloadable resource for educational and personal use, and as our contribution to the field of chemistry. We at ACD/Labs are very passionate about it," says Daria Thorp, President and CEO of ACD/Labs. "Over the years, we have received numerous requests, letters, and emails from school students, colleges, universities and upwards to boards and ministries of education, all telling us their ChemSketch stories, which we cherish."

In 2020, chemistry education (and the whole of academia) is facing an unprecedented challenge. With a sudden shift away from the physical classroom in many parts of the world, educators are relying on software to aid in teaching key concepts virtually; and bringing the laboratory experience to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students remotely. While ChemSketch will continue to be free to help educators put together course materials and study projects, ACD/Labs broader portfolio aims to support the wider needs of academia. For more than two decades, ACD/Labs software has been used by educators to teach structure-property relationships using in-silico property predictions; chromatography simulation tools have been used to teach hands-on method development in virtual labs; and analytical chemistry courses have incorporated ACD/Labs' analytical data processing and interpretation software.

"The fact that ChemSketch Freeware experienced a 40 percent increase in downloads amid the COVID-19 pandemic, underscores the critical importance of scientific software and online learning tools in academia today, and we are happy to continue our contribution," adds Thorp.

The commercial version of ChemSketch offers the additional benefits of a dictionary of names and structures, structure-based file search, includes technical support, and is competitive with other commercial drawing software. ChemSketch is available as a site-wide installation.