NCATSFind: Resolving Chemical Content in Browser

We have recently developed NCATSFind: a Firefox add-on to help users resolve web content to real chemical structures.

The goal is to make discovering, displaying and downloading chemical structures as simple as possible:

  1. Select some content from a page:
    • name
    • code
    • image
  2. Resolve it to a structure.
  3. Display structure and origin
  4. Allow export

This is accomplished in NCATSFind by using some simple client-side JavaScript to embed some UI elements, along with functions to AJAX our resolving web services. A few format-sniffing functions automatically highlight certain predictable systematic codes (UNII, CAS Number, InChI).

Names and codes are resolved using our resolver web service. This service uses dictionaries from several public sources (PubChem, FDA-SRS, NCI, etc …), as well as OPSIN for systematic name parsing. Images are resolved using our image resolver web service, which uses OSRA to convert an image to a chemical format.

For a simple demo, check out the video:


To install the add-on into your Firefox browser, simply click on the following link:

Logging Note:

While our web services don’t keep systematic logs of searches, any use of the resolver will transmit data to and from our web servers. For that reason, we recommend against attempting to resolve any sensitive data.


QuentinMarch 21st, 2014 at 4:10 am

This plugin alter a jqueryui slider styled with a linear-gradient css, making it totally blue.

Kristian BirchallMarch 21st, 2014 at 4:33 am

That’s really fantastic – will you be planning to port the add-on for chrome users too

tripodMarch 21st, 2014 at 6:43 am

Yes. We’re working out a few bugs in the chrome version, but it should be posted in the near future. You can also build an alpha version yourself from our code on github:

Tyler PeryeaMarch 21st, 2014 at 7:27 am

Quentin, I have openned an issue on github for this:

It should be fixed in the next release.

[...] a much smoother way is now available via a Firefox extension, called NCATSFind, developed by my colleague. It’s a one click install and once installed, automatically [...]

Wolf-D. IhlenfeldtMarch 28th, 2014 at 10:50 am

An alternative to this tool which works without changing your browser set-up, is reasonably browser-independent, and offers more functionality:
Go to, and paste either a name or code into the entry field on the upper right, or (on suitable browsers) drag/drop an image or file onto the drawing area. The structure is resolved, and there are lots of options for further direct searching in >50 Internet databases, export in many formats including desktop formats such as CDX, etc.

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