VRML plugins...are small "helper" applications that allow your Web Browser to display files (called "worlds") that have been constructed using Virtual Reality Markup Language.

Although an optional VRML viewer is included with Windows98 on new PC's, there have been suggestions that other software may provide more accurate renderings of many VRML worlds.

A complete and current (as of 9/7/00) summary of the various VRML plugins can be found at the about.comTM web3D information page. Among the most popular of these are the following three:

  • Cosmo Player (Mac and PC versions) which has been available for several years, and is currently downloadable thru the website of Computer Associates International, Inc.
  • Cortona (also available in both Mac and PC versions) is among the smallest (1.6 MB) and newest available and may be downloaded from the ParallelGraphics website.
  • Contact 4.4 has recently been made available for PC users at the Blaxxun website, but there currently is no Mac version of this software being offered.

Since any of these three plugins download as a self-extracting (.exe) file, the actual installation of the software requires only that you make note of the location on your hard drive to which the download is directed, and then double-click the .exe file once the download is complete. The rest of the process is either automatic or self-explanatory.