IE WebBrowser Publication

WebBrowser or Internet Explorer (or simply IE) publications - ebooks are feature-rich publications: they rely on the WebBrowser ActiveX control which is part of Microsoft Windows itself, and thus they use the Trident (MSHTML) rendering engine, like Microsoft Internet Explorer does.

This means that websites that are compatible with Internet Explorer can be turned into compiled self-running websites (.exe files) thanks to HTML Executable, and keep their functionality.

How it works

IE publications act like Internet Explorer, displaying a main window where end users can navigate through your website and read the different HTML pages. The main difference with Internet Explorer is that the source HTML files of your website are not unpacked to the user’s hard disk. Moreover, several options let you protect your HTML source code: for instance, the context menu with the “Show Source code” command can be disabled without any JavaScript trick.

HTML Executable combines your website source files and a built-in web browser into a single executable file: end users just need to run it to open the ebook. As explained above, this window is designed to behave like Internet Explorer and any standard web browser, because many users are familiar with that interface style: they can find some useful additional navigation features (search, print preview, copy, favorites) in addition to the traditional navigation buttons (back, forward, home, refresh, print…).

Moreover, IE publications do not require any file to be first locally extracted (except some file types like Flash movies, FLV files or for any ActiveX plug-ins). They read the necessary data directly and silently from the program’s memory: thus end users cannot access the source of your HTML data and files. Your HTML documents are safe and cannot be copied without your authorization. Furthermore, HTML Executable also provides you with several ways to protect your HTML documents.

All interesting features of Internet Explorer are also available in IE publications built with HTML Executable: in addition to the latest HTML features, you have support for JavaScript, ActiveX controls and, with Internet Explorer 9 or higher, they can handle HTML 5 and CSS 3.

About the Trident engine

IE publications are based on the Microsoft WebBrowser control which uses the Trident (MSHTML) rendering engine. Note that you do not need any knowledge about the WebBrowser control in order to use HTML Executable!

This ActiveX control is provided by Microsoft to developers who want to add browser functionality to their applications.

When an IE publication is run, it creates its own custom protocol (similar to HTTP, FTP, etc…) in order to communicate with the WebBrowser control. In other words, an IE publication works like a small server combined with a client (the main window allowing users to navigate through HTML pages). Your website is available as if it was on a server, except that no Internet connection is necessary!

It is worth noting that IE publications do not require Internet Explorer itself on recent Windows versions (actually starting with unsupported Windows 98). The WebBrowser component and the Trident engine are always shipped with Windows!

Compiled publications currently work with Internet Explorer versions 6 (available with XP SP3) to 11, including Windows 10 even if Internet Explorer is hidden.

If you want to create a real stand-alone publication that does not require any third-party component, you should consider creating an HTML Viewer publication.

Types of publications

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