Transferring Vector Graphics

19 January 2010, Comments Comments Off on Transferring Vector Graphics

The most important new feature making its debut in ChemDoodle 2 is the ability to seamlessly paste and insert scalable vector graphics into your favorite applications. Vector graphics are images that retain their crisp and clear quality regardless of their dimensions or resolution. We must stress the importance of such a feat, as no other Java application can handle image metadata formats on the system clipboard, but iChemLabs has created a library from scratch for implementing the creation and insertion of vector graphic image metadata into any applications on Windows, Mac and Linux, including Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, iWork and Adobe Products.

UPDATE: ChemDoodle 2 was released on 5/27/09.

Copying and pasting images into other applications from ChemDoodle has not changed, since the technical details of this functionality is invisible to you. However, instead of a bitmap image being inserted into the receiving program, a crisp and clear scalable vector graphic will be inserted instead. The quality differences between two such images are quite drastic, and is why this feature was a main goal for our development team. The following image demonstrates exactly how the quality deteriorates for bitmap images when scaled as compared to vector images. Make sure to click on all the images to see their full size.

So now for a few demonstrations in some popular applications.

First to Linux, Ubuntu 9.04, where ChemDoodle has pasted a vector image into OpenOffice 3.1 Writer*.

Next to Windows Vista, where ChemDoodle has pasted a vector image into Microsoft Word 2007.

Finally to Mac OSX 10.5 where ChemDoodle has pasted a vector image into Microsoft Word 2004 and also into iWork Pages. Note that in the iWork image, a brush stroke style is used for the bonds, so this isn’t a quality issue, it’s supposed to look brushed like that.

ChemDoodle 2 will be released, as of the time of this writing, sometime in the next 24 hours. All customers will receive a free upgrade to ChemDoodle 2 as a thanks for everyone’s support over the last year. As a side note, we will be selling licenses to the Java vector image metadata library created for the above functionality beginning this summer. Please contact us now if you are interested in this functionality, which really is a must for any graphical editors written in Java.

*OpenOffice 3.1 is the most recent version at the time of this writing and is the only version of the software that antialiases images, but it only antialiases drawings made in itself. Vector images from ChemDoodle into OpenOffice may appear to be pixelated and incorrect. But this is not the case as the vector images are just not antialiased. To view the vector image with antialiasing on, you can use a quick trick to get OpenOffice 3.1 to enable it: select the image that was just pasted, copy it IN OpenOffice, then use the Paste Special… function in OpenOffice to paste a GDI metafile.