SketchEl / News: Recent posts

Version 1.61

The latest version has had a few tweaks to make the Mac OS X user interface more functional. While it's far from a pure native UI, a number of improvements have been made, particularly regarding keyboard shortcuts.

There is also some additional functionality regarding query extensions for the underlying molecule datastructure. This is mainly only of interest for development purposes at the moment.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2014-10-16

Version 1.60

Two major modifications for the latest version:

(1) Rearranged the source files so they play nice with Eclipse; likewise the Ant build.xml file has been updated.

(2) Both molecules and datasheets can be uploaded to, then opened on the web: content can easily be shared, tweeted, etc.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2013-05-13

Version 1.51

Fixed another glitch with MDL import/export, this time with the charge field.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-08-14

Version 1.50

Latest version has a little bit of Mac lovin': the menu bar for the sketcher window now goes in the main system title bar, when running on Mac OS X.
Also, a stupid bug with exporting MDL files has been fixed.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-07-05


SketchEl now has its very own Wikipedia page, at

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-05-25

Version 1.49a

v1.49 had a bug which prevented opening of MDL MOL/SD files. v1.49a has fixed this minor typo with major side effects.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-05-20

Version 1.49

v1.49 is a cumulative bug fix release.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-05-20

Version 1.48

v1.48 has a lot of minor improvements and bugfixes.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-01-31

Version 1.47

OpenOffice Graphics on clipboard/drag'n'drop now works on Windows as well.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-01-16

Version 1.46

Refinements to ODG export: now when you copy a molecule onto the clipboard, or drag it, into one of the OpenOffice programs, it delivers the ODG vector graphic format. Linux only at the moment, hopefully Windows will follow. This is functionally equivalent to exporting to a file, opening with OODraw, then copying it over into a document.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2010-01-10

Version 1.44

Added export to OpenDocument Spreadsheet format. Also, ODF types now embed the source DataSheet, which is reloadable. Helpful tip: before exporting, select View|Render Policy, and pick one which has a points-per-angstrom scale suitable for your document.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-11-13

Version 1.43

Added a feature in the DataSheet editor for exporting to OpenDocument Text (.odt file), which creates a word processing document containing a table, with all of the molecules drawn in their appropriate cells. Graphics rendering quality with OpenOffice 3.1 is good on screen and on printer. Also fixed a couple of bugs in the DataSheet editor, such as not being able to add columns.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-11-11

Version 1.42

A number of housekeeping tasks and minor improvements. See changelog for details.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-11-07

Version 1.41

When saving a molecule with a filetype of .mol, .cml, .svg or .odg, the default behaviour is to use that particular file format, rather than the native format. Can be more convenient than using the export menu. Also, the SVG export has been fixed up so that does not confuse Batik 1.7, which didn't appreciate the embedded molecule content.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-10-18

Version 1.40

A field for atomic mass (aka isotope) has been added. It should display nicely, and import/export correctly with MDL & CML. Also, some right-mouse context menus have been added into the DataSheet editor.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-10-12

Version 1.39

Main addition to 1.39 is file I/O for CML (Chemical Markup Language). Finally got around to implementing a reader for it. The SketchEl format can do a round trip to & from CML with no information loss. Seems to be largely compatible with JChemPaint, but I haven't tested any other programs yet.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-10-09

Version 1.38

1.38: (25/Sep/2009)

* Added refresh to configuration options, for multiple sessions
* DataSheet has edit menu item, and open-as-new for molecules...
* ... and an insert row feature
* Added spreadsheet-like drag-to-select
* Added drag'n'drop for moving groups of datasheet cells
* Fixed bug with using JDK1.5

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-09-26

Version 1.37

* Fixed SDF type detection bug
* Added force-type for opening files
* Molecule renderpolicy in datasheet mode
* Toolbar hotkeys in applet mode
* Minor improvements & miscellaneous bug fixes
* Added hotkeys to applet mode

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-09-07

Version 1.36

Two major features:

(1) Now pasting stuff onto the clipboard advertises a variety of MIME formats, e.g. plain text, SketchEl native format, MDL MOL, image/png, image/svg, etc. Not many programs can use any of them, but hopefully that will change one day. One notable program which works is TheGimp, which accepts takes the image component. Have not yet persuaded OpenOffice to take the ODG format yet, but maybe one day. And whenever inkscape gets their clipboard import working, the SVG option should have someplace to go, too.... read more

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-09-02

Version 1.34

The latest version has quite a bit of internal restructuring, particularly with regard to I/O. See the changelog for a summary of modifications and bug fixes. Version 1.34 probably has a few brand new bugs, so the next release may occur quite soon.

OpenDocument Graphics (.odg), which have been "nice" since version 1.33, can now be read back in from SketchEl, which embeds the original structure. ... read more

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-07-06

Version 1.33: OpenOffice Graphics

Now that OpenOffice 3.1 has anti-aliased rendering, I put some effort into revisiting the ODG (OpenDocument Graphics) output feature in SketchEl. I have managed to find some kludgey ways to trick OpenOffice into not corrupting the subpixel coordinates which are needed to make a nice diagram, and it actually seems to work. Use File | Export | as ODG, then open the file with OpenOffice Draw, and see that it looks quite nice; from there you can paste it into Writer/Impress/Calc, and even export PDF files which both look and print good.... read more

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-06-27

Version 1.31

No new features for this release, just internal restructuring of code and stomping of bugs. And a bit more testing than usual (10 minutes instead of 5 ;-) ).

The applet on the page's personal website has also been updated, which happens less often than file releases.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-05-26

Version 1.30

Bug fixes and minor improvements.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-04-25

Version 1.29

The most notable addition is File->Export->as PNG, which brings up a configuration dialog for size and style for the raster graphic which will be produced. The picture can be saved to a file as a .png, or copied to the clipboard, in whatever form is appropriate to the system.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-04-10

Version 1.28

No more scrollbars... hope nobody misses them too much. Now sketches that don't fit on one page are manipulated with a new "pan" tool, or the middle mouse button, or menu items, or keyboard shortcuts. The wheel button is also a lot more functional than it used to be.

Fixed some parts of the applet mode which caused unnecessary security exceptions.

Posted by Dr. Alex M. Clark 2009-04-06

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