# [texhax] PPCHTeX mailing list

Rodolfo Medina romeomedina at libero.it
Thu Apr 21 11:45:53 CEST 2005

Rodolfo Medina wrote:

> I've just begun using PPCHTeX to type chemical structure formulas.
> I tried to subscribe to the PPCHTeX mailing list
> at the address ntg-ppchtex at ntg.nl, but apparently
> the subscription was not successful and the mailing
> list itself seems to be inactive.
> Can maybe anyone suggest a place (if there is one)

John Simmie wrote:

> I am not surprised that a TeX/LaTeX chemical structure mailing list is
inactive
> as it is a very clumsy system in general and is only worth using in
extremis
>
> There is excellent, chemically-intelligent freeware available, IsisDraw,
> which both novices and experts use, which runs under Windows and can
> be easily  inserted into your document or presentation.
>
> It is capable of producing very high-quality structures, and is the
software
> of choice for professional chemists ....

No doubt IsisDraw is a valid tool used by professional chemists;
but I can't agree with you that a (La)TeX chemical structure typesetting
system is clumsy: on the contrary, I think PPCHTeX is smart and beautiful.
Just create a file 'myfile.tex', put in it the following stuff,
type 'tex myfile' from command line and you will get as nice
a picture as Isis or ChemDraw couldn't do better:

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\input m-pictex.tex
\input m-ch-en.tex

\startchemical[size=big,scale=big]
\chemical[ONE,SB146,Z046,PB:Z1,ONE,Z0,EP137,ZT8,PE]
[\T{(+)}{C},H,H,O,\scriptscriptstyle(-)]
\stopchemical

\vfill\eject\end
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

I think it's a pity that, apparently, the PPCHTeX project
seems to have been given up by the same people that created it,
and, more in general, that (La)TeX, so widely used to type mathematics,
didn't get the same "success" with chemistry papers.
PPCHTeX would just need to be perfected and developed:
I'd do it myself if I had the TeX knowledge to do it.
I hope someone else will continue the excellent work done
years ago and left aside.

Rodolfo