A brief history of Chem4Word
This page gives a brief history of how the Chem4Word Project began.
In 2008 a collaboration between Microsoft Research and the University of Cambridge was started. The brief was to make it easy to insert and modify chemical information (labels, formulas, 2-D depictions, etc.) from within Microsoft Office Word, and also to have the chemical information stored and manipulated in a semantically rich manner.
On March 22, 2010, at the ACS meeting in San Francisco, CA, we announced the availability of a beta build, and subsequently launched Chem4Word as an open source project overseen by Dr Joe Townsend.
On 1 February 2011, the Chemistry Add-in for Microsoft Word v. 1.0 was released and the project became part of the Outercurve Foundation in the research accelerators gallery.
Just over a year later, version 1.1 was released under the Outercurve Foundation banner, with significant improvements to searching and support for Word 2013. This release could not have been possible without Jim Piavis and his team at Microsoft.
The next version, 1.5 was released in March 2014, and included a new chemistry editor, ChemDoodle Web Sketcher, which allows the ability draw new structures. The manipulation of search results from PubChem were included in this release.
The original versions (prior to version 188.8.131.52) generate the images of the structure as .png bitmaps. The resolution of these images isn’t sufficient to produce high quality professional-looking documents. The project team embarked on a major re-development to introduce a vector-based graphic image when used in Microsoft Word 2010 (or greater) to The current version uses this completely new engine for rendering the structures at a much higher quality than the previous versions.
In July 2016, a new version was released which uses the new rendering engine.
In September 2016, the project moved from its home with the Outercurve Foundation and is now supported by the .NET Foundation.
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