UPDATE: New Catalytic Cycle video below!
James (of Master Organic Chemistry and the Reagents App/Guide fame) and I had some off-line conversations about curved arrows in ChemDraw. I don’t particularly like the suite of arrows ChemDraw gives us in the Arrow Tools menu. Yeah, they give you 4 arc angles, but you have to guess if you need the clockwise or counterclockwise arrow… and I just don’t like them. They look, i dunno, amateur or less professional or something. Nothing against people who use the standard arrows, I just don’t like them.
So over the years I’ve become quite adept at using the Edit Curve function in ChemDraw. It allows me to make my arrows look however I want them to. I have a couple of arrow shapes I particularly enjoy, and I use them a lot.
So I made one. Here it is. If you already know how to use the Edit Curve function then cool. If not, hope it helps
Thanks to everyone who left kind comments about the curved arrow video. Stephen Davey (@stephengdavey) asked if the Edit Curve function could make curly q arrows. I’d never tried to make one like that before, so I took a crack at it. Turns out, this arrow doesn’t work so well with the Edit Curve function (unless some actual graphic designer knows more about making paths than I do. If so, please let me know!!). I ended up combining an arc, an arrow, and a circle and the effect looked ok. Here are my failed attempts, plus the final output (click for larger):
Later, Bal (@gnak_lab) asked about an easy way to draw catalytic cycles. I think the question was referring to the “circle of arrows” like in this mechanism for the Heck reaction. I’ve done catalytic cycles before, but was never really pleased with the result either. Then I had an idea. You can add curvature to straight arrows… so I though if I started with a circle as a template, added the arrows, then deleted the circle, that might just work. So without practicing first, I shot a video on me making the catalytic cycle for the Sonogashira reaction (I just recreated the mechanism from that site). The video for that is below. It’s not a polished mechanism, I’d go back and tweak a few things, but for a first try, I think it turned out pretty well
(video at 2x speed for brevity)