I came across a question with this figure:

Reaction scheme

The image was not described. I would like to edit these questions such that the image or even the question itself has some text describing what's in the image.

Organic molecules can get pretty large and complicated. How would I describe the above? It's not as simple as $\ce{NaOH + HCl -> NaCl + H2O}.$

Should I do precursorMoleculeName + otherPrecursorMoleculeName in OH- at 293 K yields productName?


1 Answer 1


Depends who you are targeting and what message does the reaction scheme deliver. For the visually-impaired users I would use a “word equation” aiming at a concise and human-friendly sentence similar to what one would find in a textbook paragraph or Wikipedia:

Aldol condensation between benzaldehyde and acetophenone in the presence of a base at room temperature yields chalcone

For machine learning and SEO your approach might be more suitable:

Benzaldehyde reacts with acetophenone upon adding a hydroxide at 298 K to produce chalcone

or with the key-value format:

Reactants: benzaldehyde, acetophenone; products: chalcone; conditions: hydroxide, 298 K

or even more ridiculous

Benzaldehyde (CAS 100-52-7) + acetophenone (CAS 98-86-2) →[+OH-, 298 K] chalcone (CAS 94-41-7)

One can also be classy and add separate line under the image with proper caption like it’s been done, for example, in CuAAC "Click" reaction giving inconsistent results and Noyori hydrogenation and the Curtin–Hammett principle, and use an alternative (shorter or more machine-like) description for the Markdown image title. The minor problem is that Markdown does not support proper image captions, so these are technically just new lines, although visually connected with the illustration for the human eyes.


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