Useful Online Resources for Nomenclature Help

by James

in Nomenclature, Organic Chemistry 1

My least favorite subject, to be honest. I haven’t covered nomenclature in detail but I still get a lot of questions about it. So instead of writing about it, I thought I would point out all the hard work other people have done to make this a more understandable and palatable subject.


Organic Nomenclature“, in the Organic Chemistry Virtual Textbook by William Reusch. I use this all the time. Very useful.


1. Tutorials at UIUC – these are a set of online tutorials that start with hydrocarbon naming and go from there. The tutorials actually cover a wide range of material in organic chemistry, going on to naming functional groups, conformational analysis, and a wide range of other topics.

2. Nomenclature problems from Richard Banks at Boise State: a huge list of nomenclature problems for essentially every type of functional group.

3. Practice Problems from Reusch’s Virtual Textbook: 22 questions on nomenclature, from identifying IUPAC suffixes to problems on carboxylic acids.

4. The chemtiles game: Maybe not for everyone, but it attempts to turn answering chemistry questions into a fun exercise.

5. IUPAC. For the hardcore. Bet you didn’t know that North American chemists call PR3  “phosphines” while European chemists call them “phosphanes”. You’re welcome.


1. The program ChemBioDraw from Cambridgesoft, is able to convert structures to names. Check your university – you might have a site licence.

2. ACD Labs has a free nomenclature software that can handle any molecule up to 50 atoms (registration required).

If you’re aware of any useful resources out there that aren’t on this list, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them. Thanks!

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