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02 February 2011, 15:47

Word's chemistry add-in released as open source.

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Microsoft Research Microsoft Research and Cambridge University's Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics have assigned the Chemistry add-in for Word project to The Outercurve Foundation. An announcement from the foundation, originally known as the CodePlex Foundation, about the assignment says the add-in will now be available as open source. The Chemistry Add-in for Word uses the XML-variant, the Chemical Markup Language (CML), to enable users to "insert and modify chemical information, such as labels, formulas, and 2-D depictions, within Microsoft Office Word."

Compatible only with Word versions 2007 and 2010, the add-in was first released as a beta by Microsoft Research and Cambridge University in March 2010. The software has subsequently been downloaded more than 250,000 times.

The add-on is still in development, and as of 1 February, just reached version 1.0. The move to release the source is said to be an attempt to bring a greater range of expertise to bear on the next stages of development. The team hopes that scientists around the world will contribute, not just with bug reports and suggestions, but to the code base itself. The project comes under the Outercurve Foundation's Research Accelerators Gallery. Sponsored by Microsoft Research, this was set up in October 2010 "to encourage collaboration on open source software projects designed to empower research scientists and academics by providing software tools to support innovation, research and experimentation."

The software, documentation and source code can be downloaded from the project's site. The Chemistry Add-in for Word is licensed under Apache License 2.0


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