My employer just "upgraded" my computer, and in place of CorelDraw has installed Biovia Draw. As far as I can tell this is a program designed for creating chemistry graphics.

I use Corel for things like internal map-making, info-posters, etc. I like it better than Illustrator for these kinds of applications that have many "moving parts" and lots of text (but not so much that InDesign makes sense). I also have many, many (now legacy) files in CDR format.

Has anyone heard of Biovia being used for these kinds of projects? If not, what kind of language can I use to explain the difference in programs to IT? (I'm not a graphic designer by trade, but this kind of internal signage is a regular part of my job.)

  • Never heard of it.. but "I have many legacy CDR files" is a good argument, especially of none of them are editable with Bovia Draw. What may be a savings of a few hundred dollars in software now, could easily amount to thousands of dollars in additional man hours later to recreate old files to be compatible with new software. I can't tell anything from your link.. there's just the form to request a download.
    – Scott
    May 25, 2017 at 21:57
  • I've never heard of it either. However if you want a free alternative to CorelDraw, there is Inkscape(dot)org - it's free and Open Source, can be used commercially, and Inkscape can open CDR files.
    – Billy Kerr
    May 25, 2017 at 21:58
  • @Metis That's a good point. I think I've convinced IT to give me back Corel, at least in the old version (they didn't give up the license they previously had, so far as I know). Incidentally, the line at that link "Students, teachers and researchers in an academic settings can—at no charge—download BIOVIA Draw for rapidly drawing chemical structures and chemically intelligent queries" was about all the information I could find about it, along with one example of an academic paper that used it to make figures.
    – 1006a
    May 26, 2017 at 15:27
  • @BillyKerr Thanks for the tip—I will check it out if it looks like this is going to become a long-term problem.
    – 1006a
    May 26, 2017 at 15:27

1 Answer 1


No, also in terms of use for chemical reaction drawings this programme is a piece of crap. IMHO after working for years with that low budget solution in a company.

  • Thanks for answering! I managed to convince IT of that, so I do now have the full Corel suite (still four versions out of date, but better than nothing).
    – 1006a
    Jul 21, 2017 at 13:37

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