ChemWriter 3, a major update to Metamolecular's chemical structure drawing and editing software, has been released. This new version, a complete rewrite, retains many of the best features of ChemWriter 2 while adding a few new ones, including:
- Streamlined Editor Interface for Desktops Usable screen area was maximized by grouping less-common buttons under a redesigned multi-button palette. A new interactive, syntax-checking Document View panel has been added. The most common element symbols are now available as buttons for users who either can't or don't want to use keyboard shortcuts. Dead simple structure positioning is now possible with shift-mouse move.
- Full Screen Editor Drawing a chemical structure in a tiny Editor window is no fun, but space on most web pages is limited. The new fullscreen button in the lower right resolves this dilemma by allowing the Editor to fill the entire browser viewport.
- Updated iPad Interface A brand new system using integrated pinch zoom+pan has been added that makes drawing structures on the iPad as easy as drawing with the mouse - possibly even more so.
- High Performance Structure Rendering Both inline and linked molfiles are rendered using the same fast, non-blocking algorithm used in ChemVector.
Some important new features of ChemWriter 3 won't be immediately visible.
ChemWriter 3 was designed to take full advantage of HTML5 and new browser APIs that have begun to appear at a rapid pace. Because of the high cost of doing so while continuing to support dead-end browser technologies, ChemWriter 3 only supports Internet Explorer 9 and higher. Fortunately, ChemWriter 2 continues to remain fully compatible with IE6+.
Another goal was to create a platform that will enable the creation of custom ChemWriter extensions. Over the last few years, many people have requested features that, although clearly valuable, didn't make sense for the majority of ChemWriter's customer base. Because ChemWriter 2 was not written with extensibility as a major design goal there was no practical way to fulfill these requests.
Trying out and deploying ChemWriter has never been easier. Gone is the need to separately download an SDK. You can create your first ChemWriter page in a matter of minutes by following the Quickstart.
ChemWriter 3 extends Metamolecular's commitment to enabling the Web browser as a first-class platform for interactive chemistry software. Whether you're an experienced ChemWriter user or a newcomer, I encourage you to head over to chemwriter.com and try it out.