Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chemistry Add-in for Word Introduction

There is a FREE chemistry add-in for Microsoft's Word 2013 program that will make writing your chemistry lab reports and assignments so much easier!
First you will need to go to and
  1. Download the archive Chem4Word and save to a convenient location on your computer.
  2. Double-click to open the archive and run the setup.exe program.
Once you have done this you will have a new "Chemistry" tab next to the "View" tab on your Word menu.
This new tab will help make your chemistry lab reports and assignments look very professional.
Let's start with a quick introduction to a couple of things this new tab will do for:
  • change from a chemical name (or molecular formula) to a structural formula
  • change from a chemical name (or structural formula) to a molecular formula
We are going to work through an example in which we will switch between the name, structural formula and molecular formula for acetic acid (or ethanoic acid) in a Word document.
  1. Open a new Word document.
  2. Type acetic acid (or ethanoic acid).
  3. Highlight what you have typed.
  4. Click on the new "Chemistry" tab.
  5. On the new toolbar that pops up, click the "mark as chemistry" icon.
  6. Highlight "acetic acid" (or ethanoic acid) again (you may need to click within the highlight area to get the chemistry box up).
  7. Click "View" icon on the new chemistry toolbar.
  8. Click "2D" on the drop-down menu. This will replace the name you have typed with a structural formula:
  9. With the structural formula highlighted, click the "View" button again.
  10. Click "acetic acid" from the drop-down menu to change the structural formula back to the name.
  11. With the name highlighted, click the "View" icon again.
  12. Click  C_{2}H_{4}O_{2} from the drop-down menu which will change the name to the molecular formula, C2H4O2
  13. With the molecular formula highlighted, you can click the "View" button again to select either the name or 2D options again.
  14. When you are happy with your selection, just click on the document away from your chemical and it will remain as it is.
Now, isn't that a really useful tool to have!

Suggested Reading:
Naming Organic (Carbon) Compounds

Suggested Activities:
Type each of the following names into a Word document and switch between the name, structural formula and molecular formula for each one:
  1. ethanol
  2. water
  3. ozone
  4. carbon dioxide
  5. methane
  6. butane
  7. carbon monoxide
  8. ammonia
  9. hydrogen cyanide
  10. benzene
  11. citric acid
  12. stearic acid

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