Line Drawing

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Structure & Reactivity in Chemistry

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Introduction to Molecules

IM8. Other kinds of drawings

Line drawings

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Lewis structures can tell us a lot about how atoms come together to make molecules. They can also be cumbersome, especially if we are dealing with very large molecules. Drawing a line instead of a pair of dots for bonding pairs of electrons makes it easier to draw structures. There are other abbreviations that are helpful in some situations.

Because organic chemistry is based on the compounds of carbon, we would have to draw the letter C over and over again unless we had a shortcut. In line structures, we drop the label 'C' for the carbon atoms. Anytime there is a joint between two bonds (drawn as a vertex in a zig-zag line), the atom attached to that bond is assumed to be a carbon unless written otherwise.

The atom at the end of a zig-zag line would also be a carbon, unless it is explicitly written as another atom.

Taken even further, we will omit the hydrogens from our structures, since the compounds of carbon almost always contain hydrogen as well. Since we know carbon has a valence of four, we always know how many hydrogen atoms are attached to each carbon in order to reach that valence. A carbon with two bonds drawn in must have two hydrogens on it. A carbon with only one bond drawn to it must have three hydrogens.

Note that the hydrogens are not normally omitted if they are attached to heteroatoms (atoms other than carbon, such as oxygen or nitrogen).

You will also note that lone pairs are frequently left out when we use line structures, so you will have to add them back in to think about Lewis structures. Adding the lone pairs back to the heteroatoms in line structures is a good habit to get into, because later in the course we will be very concerned with keeping track of where all the electrons are.

Below is a summary, showing the relationship between Lewis/Kekule structures, line structures and condensed formulae for a few different compounds.

Remember, in phenol, the hydrogen attached to oxygen was labeled in the line structure. Sometimes there are exceptions in line structures, in which atoms that you might not think about labeling usually do get labels. The most common exceptions are shown below.

Problem IM8.1.

Translate the following condensed formulae into line drawings.

a) CH3CH2NHCH2CH3 b) CH3CHFCH2CH2CH2Cl

c) CH2CHOCH2CH3 d) CH3CHClCH2SCH2CH3

Problem IM8.2.

Translate the following structures into condensed formula.

Problem IM8.3.

Line

Try filling in the missing line drawing, Lewis / Kekule structures or condensed formulae in each line of the table below.

Line Drawing Tattoo

Problem IM8.4.

Look at the following pairs of compounds. Are the compounds constitutional isomers? (Hint: You may need to add in all hydrogens)

This site is written and maintained by Chris P. Schaller, Ph.D., College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University (with contributions from other authors as noted). It is freely available for educational use.


Structure & Reactivity in Organic, Biological and Inorganic Chemistry by Chris Schaller is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Send corrections to [email protected]

In the library menu, you can use these drawing tools to draw line, arc, spiral, rectangle, rounded rectangle, oval, polygon and star shapes

In the library menu, you can use these drawing tools to draw line, arc, spiral, rectangle, rounded rectangle, oval, polygon and star shapes.

Draw Straight Lines with the Line Segment Tool

Use the Line tool when you want to draw one straight line segment at a time.

  1. Select the Line tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. Position the pointer where you want the line to begin, and drag to where you want the line to end.
    2. Double click where you want the line to begin, the 'Line' property dialog will appear and specify the length and angle of the line. Then click OK.

Draw Arcs

Use the Arc tool when you want to draw one arc segment at a time.

  1. Select the Arc tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. Position the pointer where you want the arc to begin, and drag to where you want the arc to end.
    2. Double click where you want the line to begin, and in the dialog box set the following options. Then click OK.

Notes:

Length X‑Axis Specifies the width of the arc. Length Y‑Axis Specifies the height of the arc. Type Specifies whether you want the object to be an open path or a closed path. Slope Specifies the direction of the arc's slope. Enter a negative value for a concave (inward) slope. Enter a positive value for a convex (outward) slope. A slope of 0 creates a straight line.

Draw Spirals

  1. Select the Spiral tool.
  2. Do one of the following:
    1. Drag until the spiral is the desired size. Drag the pointer in an arc to rotate the spiral.
    2. Double click where you want the spiral to begin. In the dialog box, set any of the following options, and click OK.

Notes:

Radius specifies the distance from the center to the outermost point in the spiral. Decrease specifies the amount by which each wind of the spiral should decrease relative to the previous wind. Segment Number specifies how many segments the spiral has. Each full wind of the spiral consists of four segments. Style specifies the direction of the spiral.

Draw Rectangles and Squares

  1. Select the Rectangle tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. To draw a rectangle, drag diagonally until the rectangle is the desired size.
    2. To draw a square, hold down the Shift key while you drag diagonally until the square is the desired size.
    3. To create a square or rectangle using values, double click where you want the center point to be. Specify a width and height, and click OK.

Draw Rounded Rectangles

  1. Select the Rounded rectangle tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. To draw a rounded rectangle, drag diagonally until the rectangle is the desired size.
    2. To draw a rounded square, hold down the Shift key while you drag diagonally until the square is the desired size.
    3. To create a rounded square or rounded rectangle using values, double click where you want the center point to be. Specify a width, height and the corner radius, then click OK.

Draw Ovals

  1. Select the Oval tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. To draw an oval, drag diagonally until the ellipse become the desired size.
    2. To draw a circle, hold down the Shift key while you drag diagonally until the circle become the desired size.
    3. To create a circle using values, double click where you want the center point to be. Specify a width and height, then click OK.

Draw Polygons

  1. Select the Polygon tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. Drag until the polygon is the desired size. Drag the pointer in an arc to rotate the polygon. Press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to add and remove sides from the polygon.
    1. Click where you want the center of the polygon to be. Specify a radius and number of sides for the polygon, and click OK.

Note:

Triangles are polygons too! You can draw one just as you make any other polygon.

Draw Stars

Line Drawing Tattoo

  1. Select the Star tool.
  2. Do one of the followings:
    1. Drag till the star is the desired size. Drag the pointer in an arc to rotate the star. Press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow to add and remove points from the star.
    2. Double click where you want the center of the star to be. For Radius 1, specify the distance from the center of the star to the star's innermost points. For Radius 2, specify the distance from the center of the star to the star's outermost points. For Vertex Num, specify how many points you want the star to have. Finally, click OK.