Biotech > FAQ > ChemDraw FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

I am having problems transferring a Word or Powe...

To see other biotech frequently asked questions, please visit

(Continued from previous question...)

I am having problems transferring a Word or PowerPoint document containing embedded ChemDraw structures between Mac and PC.

1. If you are trying to transfer a Word or PP 98 or greater Mac document containing ChemDraw structures to Word or PP for Windows, you will need to save the Word or PP document as a Word or PP 5.1 document, and then transfer to Word or PP for Windows. Microsoft broke something in Office 98, and has not fixed this problem as of yet. Another option is to transfer the ChemDraw and Word or PP documents over separately, and then reassemble on Windows. This problem is not present in versions before MS Office 98 Mac.

2. If you are transferring a Mac Word or PP document to Word or PP for Windows, make sure the Mac document was saved in the Word or PP 5.1 format and that you are using Word or PP 6.0c or greater on Windows. Once you have transferred the Word or PP document to the PC properly, you will also be able to copy the structure out of Word or PP and paste into the latest ChemDraw Windows. At this point you can make changes to the structure, and copy and paste back into Word or PP. By doing this, you will have updated the ChemDraw structure to a Windows graphic. After updating the graphic to a Windows graphic, you can then simply double click on the graphic in the Word or PP Windows document to edit it with the latest version of ChemDraw.

3. Please note that Windows Word or PP documents containing embedded ChemDraw structures will not transfer properly to the Mac. Word and PP Mac cannot translate the Windows graphic properly, so you end up with either low resolution images for structures or with Office X, you get structures with no atom labels. In either case, the graphic cannot be edited by ChemDraw on the Mac. This is out of our control. Until Microsoft addresses this issue, your only option is to transfer the Word document and ChemDraw structures over to the Mac in separate documents (i.e. a Word doc and a ChemDraw doc), and then reassemble the Word document on the Mac.

There has been a report from a user of an alternative workaround. Translate the Windows Word or PP document with MacLinkPlus into Word or PP 5 format (MacLinkPlus 13: Version 11 in Classic was used). It should then open in Word or PP X with the atom labels intact.

Another option for PowerPoint users is to open the PowerPoint Windows document in Apple's KeyNote program for the Mac. KeyNote does not have any problems with ChemDraw structures when opening a PowerPoint Windows document.

(Continued on next question...)

Other Frequently Asked Questions