ChemBioDraw Registration and Install Issues

Registration for non-SAS students

The way the licensing system normally works, requesters should have an SAS email address ( If requesters are in another school, like Engineering or Wharton, they will have a different suffix to their email address (seas, wharton). We have a workaround for those cases. Non-SAS students should register with a generic UPenn address: for example, instead of, enter

Software Compatibility

Cambridgesoft’s requirements for ChemOffice Professional 15 are Windows 7 Professional or higher.

Cambridgesoft’s requirements for ChemDraw Professional 15 for Mac are Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or higher.*

Please read the full list of System Requirements. It is recommended, if possible, to upgrade to at least Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or Windows 7 Professional or above.  Apple offers free OS upgrades through their App Store.  Penn Chemistry Computing may be able to loan you an upgrade USB drive if needed.

*ChemDraw Pro 15 is not fully compatible with Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan.  The text on some menus may be distorted during certain operations, although these items will still function if selected.  Cambridge soft has acknowledged the problem and "plan to support El Capitan for a future release/update." More Information

*ChemDraw Pro 15 is not fully compatible with Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac. When pasting a ChemDraw diagram into Word 2016 using Cmd-V, random text will be pasted into the document.  As a workaround, right-click or Control-click in Word, select Paste Special, then select Paste as PDF.

Install Issues

When first launching the Mac version after install, the program may refuse to open because it is from “an unknown developer” »

The solution is to right-click (or ctrl-click) on the icon and choose “open.” After giving permission, you will never be asked again for this version of the program.

When running ChemDraw for the first time on a Mac, the program quits without error after entering the registration information »

Make sure that your account has read and write permission to the Users/Shared folder on your hard drive. ChemBioDraw needs to place a file in Macintosh HD/Users/Shared/Library/Preferences. If this folder exists, make sure your user account has read/write permission to it.

If you are not able to view the Library folder then you need to unhide the folder. You will find more information to unhide the folders in Mac OSX 10.9 here.

More information on this problem can be found here.