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Microsoft Previews Dynamic HTML Editing Component

Microsoft Corp. announced the preview release of its new Microsoft Dynamic HTML editing component which provides software developers with an easy way to add rich, visual HTML editing capabilities to Windows operating system applications.

This preview component uses the leading support for Dynamic HTML in Microsoft Internet Explorer to enable precise, WYSIWYG editing, freeing software vendors from the need to develop basic editing capabilities in their applications.

Demonstrating major industry momentum for the technology, 11 top software vendors have committed to using the Microsoft Dynamic HTML editing component in future releases of their products.

The companies--leaders in the HTML tool, e-mail, and help segments--include Allaire Corp., Blue Sky Software Corp., EveryWare LLC, ExperTelligence Inc., HyperAct, Novita Communications Inc., Pictorius Inc., Powersoft Corp., SoftQuad Inc., and Vectrix Corp.

"Microsoft's approach to delivering Dynamic HTML editing technology in a well-defined component is exactly what application developers and ISVs need," said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and vice president of technology strategy for Allaire.

"With this component, we can easily add basic WYSIWYG editing features to HomeSite, our award-winning HTML editor, without having to invest in our own browser rendering engine. This will help us extend the product to reach an even broader range of professional Web developers."

Any 32-bit Windows-based application using or outputting HTML documents can now provide rich formatting and visual editing features to help meet application end-user needs. For example, authoring applications can allow end users to drag-and-drop page elements without having to write positioning code. Corporate developers can use the editing component to generate HTML forms for their Visual Basic development system or Web-based applications.

Besides using the basic features available through the editing component, developers can create custom application features by accessing the powerful Document Object Model (DOM) in Internet Explorer through the editing component.

Using editing component features is easy for both authors and application developers who can use any language including Visual Basic Scripting Edition, JScript development software, Visual Basic, C, C++, or Java to access the following services:

  • Standard, basic formatting includes basic text and table formatting as well as unlimited undo and redo.
  • Precise WYSIWYG positioning moves any absolutely positioned element anywhere on the page, brings elements forward or backward, and resizes selected elements.
  • Flexible, familiar selection enables drag-and-drop as well as keyboard and mouse selection features and enables the transition of elements between selected, unselected, and active states.
  • Seamless interaction with existing HTML documents retains formatting of white space and the ordering of HTML tags in existing source code.

These services are made available through Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM), bringing developers the benefits of components including easier application development, testing, and maintenance.

The preview release of the Dynamic HTML editing component and documentation is scheduled to be available March 31. Developers can license this component at no charge.

The Dynamic HTML editing component requires Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01, an integrated part of the Windows operating system. Internet Explorer 4.01 provides the underlying rendering technology for Dynamic HTML. To distribute Internet Explorer 4.01, third parties can license the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 4.01.

The editing component is incorporated into Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Visual InterDev Web development system version 6.0 Pre-Release, and the Microsoft Visual J++ development system for Java version 6.0 Technology Preview 1.

Both the Visual InterDev 6.0 Pre-Release and Visual J++ 6.0 Technology Preview 1 are available now for free download (connect-time charges may apply).