Today, Microsoft Research, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge's Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics and the Outercurve Foundation, jointly announced the free and broad availability of the Chemistry Add-in for Microsoft Word v1 as well as the platform's transition to the Foundation.

The Chemistry Add-in for Word, which was released as a beta last year, makes it easier to insert and modify chemical information, such as labels, formulas, and 2-D depictions, within Microsoft Office Word. It also enables the creation of inline "chemical zones," the rendering of print-ready visual depictions of chemical structures, and the ability to store and expose chemical information in a semantically rich manner.

By using Chemical Markup Language (CML) - a chemistry-specific XML - the Chemistry Add-in for Word makes it possible not only to author chemical content in Word 2007 and 2010, but also to include the data behind those structures.

Microsoft's collaboration with the Outercurve Foundation shows its continued commitment to Interoperability and Microsoft's Openness Initiative, and now makes the tool widely available for users across various disciplines to use, build on, and share their research. 

The platform is being made available as a free download on Outercurve's Research Accelerators Gallery, a collection of open source projects that benefit the research and science communities, in an effort to facilitate the authoring of chemical information in Microsoft Word, specifically the inclusion of chemical structures. 

You can read more about all this on the Microsoft External Research Team Blog and on the project page here.