Test the incoming HTML Executable 2023
After years of work, we are pleased to offer you the second and last public Beta release of our flagship HTML Executable version 2023. The biggest new features are the integration of two Chromium engines (stand-alone CEF and WebView2), improved performance and a redesigned user interface for your ebooks.
We've chosen to keep HTML Executable 2023 in beta for a bit longer due to the significant internal changes brought about by the introduction of the WebView2 engine. The integration of this new HTML rendering engine is a complex process and we want to ensure that we deliver the highest quality product to our users. By staying in beta, we're able to thoroughly test and refine the software, addressing any potential issues before publishing the final version later this year.
Download Version 2023 Beta 2b
This is the installer for version 2023 BETA 2b.
Please keep in mind that this is a Beta release. All features are now functional and this is the last Beta before final release. Bugs might exist. Use this Beta version with care: make regular backups of your projects and source files. Please report any problem to G.D.G. Software. Thank you.
Note that Microsoft discontinued WebView2 support for Windows 7, so if you want to make applications or ebooks for Windows 7, use the CEF engine as HTML rendering engine. The counterpart is that the EXE file will be larger.
Warning: if you have a previous version of HTML Executable (even 4.x), it will be upgraded to version 2023.
HTML Executable 2023 can import projects made with previous 4.x and 2022 Beta versions. However, some issues may occur: please refer to the Readme.
The licensing system works and thus, if you are a customer with an active maintenance, you can activate this Beta and produce EXE files with no limitations. Otherwise, HTML Executable 2023 will work in the trial state as explained in the Store page.
What's new in HTML Executable 2023
HTML Executable 2023 is an important major release with improvements in all areas.
New Chromium-based HTML rendering engine in addition to WebView2
New Chromium-based HTML rendering engines: CEF and WebView2
- HTML Executable has now more powerful HTML rendering engines based on the Google's Chromium project (WebKit/Blink + V8 JavaSript engines). Thus, applications made with HTML Executable have native support for HTML 5 and CSS 3, and they do not depend on the Trident/Webbrowser engine anymore. This was made possible thanks to the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) project or Microsoft WebView2.
- We dropped the three-type project choice: HTML Executable now features a single project type where you can choose the HTML rendering engine you want for your project: CEF or WebView2.
- When using the Chromium CEF engine, HTML Executable generates single and stand-alone EXE files. They can be compressed with an EXE packer like UPX (not provided). EXE files are large because the CEF engine has a large size: it requires about 60 Mb.
- There is an option to keep CEF runtime files outside the EXE file. However, they must be installed separately (an installer is available in the Redist subfolder of HTML Executable).
You can also choose to use Microsoft WebView2 engine. Unlike CEF, WebView2 does not require that Chromium engine files be included in each executable file generated with HTML Executable, which allows for the creation of lighter EXE files. Considering that Windows 11 includes the WebView2 engine by default and it is automatically installed by Microsoft on Windows 10 and older versions, the process is streamlined. If WebView2 is not installed on the end user's computer, a warning with installation instructions will be displayed. The installer of WebView2 can also be provided to your end users.
- New special protocols are available in addition to our usual target parameters:
heopenit:// + virtual path to the file you want to open in the external application associated to its type (for instance, heopenit://mydoc.doc will extract and open mydoc.doc in Microsoft Word).
heopenext:// + path to an external file you want to open in the external application associated to its type (a file that is not compiled into the application but in the same folder as the EXE file).
heexternal:// + a URL, a path to an application: lets you start the associated application.
- HTML dialog boxes such as the About box or Nag screen in publications had to be rewritten.
- Video playing support: with WebView2, HTML Executable can play video streams directly in webpages thanks to the HTML5 video tag. Most video formats compatible with Edge can be played, excluding certain non-web codecs or formats such as AVI files. However, WARNING: if you choose CEF as the rendering engine, HTML Executable provides support only for open-source audio and video codecs: WEBM, WEBA, OGG. MP4 video format (H264 codec) is not enabled in Chromium builds, because this format requires licensing. We can provide custom CEF runtime builds for customers who want MP4 support in their publications.
- HTML Executable can play audio files directly in webpages thanks to the HTML5 audio tag. Supported formats are MP3, WEBA, OGG.
- Large video and audio files can either be compiled inside the EXE file (not recommended due to EXE size limit) or kept outside the EXE file (for instance, in the same folder as the EXE file): HTML Executable is able to detect them and play them. Moreover, to prevent end users from copying your video and audio files, HTML Executable can encrypt these media assets to secure them. Only your compiled HTML app will be able to play these files.
- Old Flash support by using the last Chromium version that offers it: in the HTML rendering page of HTML Executable, you can choose the CEF version 87 in "Rendering Engine" (and provide the correct pepper Flash player DLL component, not shipped with HTML Executable). This is not recommended as Flash is discontinued. Besides, old Flash content can still be played with Ruffle.
- HTML 5 canvas is fully supported: you can create games based on HTML5, compile them and distribute them as secure Windows apps.
- An interesting debugging feature is available: the Developer Tools. You may access the Chromium debugging tools in live at runtime (when activated, right click on a page and choose "Show Developer Tools"). This feature must first be enabled in the HTML rendering page of HTML Executable: tick "DeveloperTools".
- Security profiles now work in popup and secondary windows.
- See our Main Demonstration for HTML5 demonstrations.
- New UI editor to create customized toolbars, menu bars, ribbons for your ebooks and compiled HTML apps… Associate actions to controls, define their properties...
- New option to create a pure browser application: no other pre-defined UI item (GUI application) is added, except the browser component.
- New skin engine and option not to use any skin at all (Windows default app look).
- Support for dark and light themes (through the use of 2 different skins). HTML Executable can automatically choose the theme according to the user's system preference.
- Improved high DPI support of HTML Executable and publications: UI items are properly scaled according to monitor DPI, new vector graphics (SVG).
- SVG is now used for control images. An image list editor is shipped with HTML Executable to manage SVG files used in your project.
- Publications can show a splash screen with a progress bar while they are loading.
- New option in Loading Screen: Replace initialization dialog box by the splash screen combined with a progress bar. You can even customize the appearance of the splash screen's progress bar.
- Animated GIF for splash screens are also supported.
- Improved multi-threading support: publications are compiled fast and they load fast.
- Improved PDF viewer engine.