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Research Guides

ChemDraw installation and renewal

A how-to guide on installing the latest version of ChemDraw and how to renew each year in November.

Chemdraw 18 installation for Macs

ChemDraw 18.2 is the newest version. Versions 17 and 18 use a different account package called Flexnet to track your serial numbers and allow you to download the software.

If you had a login for the Perkin Elmer webpage for version 16, you must create a new registration for Flexnet - you can reuse the username and password if you want. 

ChemDraw Version 18.2

Click here to register using your University of Toronto email address.


1. Register  - you will be sent an email to create a password. If for some reason you do not get the email, you can click on the "Existing user" tab and use the Password Finder option to force another email.

Flexnet registration    

2. Find version 18 and download the Mac version


3. Retrieve the activation code from the Order History in the left column - click on the Order Number to get the code. The top order is the latest version.


4. Run the installation and enter the activation code when required. Both PCs and Macs use the same activation code now.

5. Open Chemdraw 18.

ChemDraw 16 installation for Macs

The ChemDraw 16 Professional Site Licence package is available free to all registered students, faculty and staff at or affiliated with the University of Toronto.

It does require an up to date version of Mac OS:

  • Mac OS X 10.9.x (Mavericks)
  • Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)

The download steps:

1. Go to the Cambridgesoft web page (owned by Perkin Elmer)

2. Login or create a Cambridgesoft account using your e-mail address that ends in ""

3. Login to Cambridgesoft using your e-mail and new password

4. On the right side of the page is a box containing:

  • Services
    • My Site Subscription
    • My Downloads
    • My Database Subscriptions
    • Register My Software
    • Request Literature & Demo DVD

5. Click on "My Site Subscription" and download the Mac version. Follow the instructions for installation.

6. Click on "My Downloads" to retrieve your serial number and registration code.

7. Open the application if it does not open automatically once installed and enter your name, organization, the serial number and registration code then click on finish.

Note: You can use this serial number/registration code on multiple machines - for a work machine, home machine or laptop for example.  When you need to download the software onto a second computer, you login with your Cambridgesoft account and download again - just use the same serial number/registration code (redo steps  3-5). You can also mix and match Mac and PC versions - PC at work, Mac at home, etc.

Ignore the "Register my software" option if it appears - that is for the commercial users.


If you encounter an error when downloading or installing the software, contact Patricia Meindl,, for assistance stating your operating system and your Chemdraw Version.