Sapling Learning > Drawing Molecules: General Chemistry

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 25, 2017Last modified by Digital Support on Oct 3, 2017
Version 9Show Document
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The animation below provides an introduction to drawing molecules for general chemistry.


Click on the image to play the video.

Tool details

The molecule drawing module has several tools. Depending on the grading mode, some of these tools may not be available on every question.


  1. Atom tool. Click to place atoms, or click-and-hold to change the type of atom being placed to something other than carbon. You can also double click an atom to change it to a different element.
  2. Bond tool. This is the default tool, and can be used for almost all drawing tasks. Click and drag to add a bond with atoms at either end. Click an existing atom and drag to add a bond from that atom. Click an existing bond to cycle between single, double, and triple bonds.
  3. Wedge and dash bond tools. Use these tools to place wedge and dash bonds for chiral molecules. If chirality is not graded, these tools are not available. Please view the help article Drawing Molecules: Chirality for more information.
  4. Charge tool. Click this tool, then click an atom on the stage to apply a superscripted charge. Type in the charge. You can also hold down + or - and click an atom to add or remove charges.
  5. Electron tools. With this tool selected, click an atom to add lone-pair or radical electrons. You can also hold down ; (for lone-pair electrons) or . (for radical electrons) and click an atom to add electrons.
  6. Highlighter (graded select) tool. Use this tool to select atoms or bonds in your molecules, as instructed.
  7. Select and move tool. Use this tool to move atoms or groups of atoms around the stage, or to select groups of atoms to be deleted (using the delete key).
  8. Eraser tool. Use this tool to erase atoms, bonds, electrons, or charges.
  9. Grading indicators. This section of the editor indicates grading options. Mouse-over a grading indicator to highlight any tools related to that grading mode.
  10. Reset button. Use this button (found on most modules) to reset the module to how it was when you first loaded the question. Usually, this will erase the stage, but if the question started with a partial molecule, this button will reset the module to show that starting structure.