One of the new widgets incorporated into ChemDoodle 2 is the new TLC Canvas. This widget allows you to digitally reproduce experimental Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) plates with near photorealism.

UPDATE: ChemDoodle 2 was released on 5/27/09.

The following image and list will describe the layout of the widget.

  1. Choose the current color of the spots being added.
  2. Add a Compact spot.
  3. Add a Expanded spot.
  4. Add a Trailing spot.
  5. Add a Widened spot.
  6. Add a Crescent spot.
  7. Add a Custom spot.
  8. This is the canvas. All actions and gestures are performed here. The TLC plate displayed is a standard size, but once placed on the Doodle Board, it can be resized and rotated to any dimension and orientation.
  9. Places the current TLC plate onto the Doodle Board.
  10. Adjust the settings for the current TLC plate.
  11. Move spots up and down along their lanes. Their Rf value will be displayed while this is occurring. The solvent front and origin can also be displaced with this tool.
  12. Resize and reshape spots. Each spot has four control points, except the Custom spot which has eight.
  13. Remove a spot.
  14. Clear the entire TLC Canvas.
  15. View a brief help file.

There are fourteen buttons associated with the TLC Canvas. The controls on the left are the simplest. The top button is the color of the spots, just click it to choose a different color. The rest of the buttons in that column correspond to spot shapes. These are the compact, expanded, trailing, widened, crescent and custom spots, in that order. Just click on a spot button, then hover over the TLC plate for a preview and Rf calculation. Once you are satisfied with a location, click to place the spot. You can create new lanes by placing spots in between the existing lanes. These spot buttons are group buttons and if you click and hold over the button, more options will appear. All of the spots can be initialized as solid, hollow or gradient styled to imitate different appearances. The gradient styled spots most closely represent actual spots. The controls on the right are for editing the TLC plate and are described above in the list. I should also note that after a TLC plate has been placed onto the Doodle Board, you may always place it back into the TLC Canvas for further editing by dragging and dropping it on the widget.

Mostly everything is customizable. You can control the look of the plate through settings, display Rf values if chosen, change the solvent front and origin by clicking and dragging them, further change spots by right-clicking on them, etc. So while you can create very clear and precise figures for records, you can also create art. The image below shows some examples.