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The shellac was modified by partial hydrolysis with 2.0% (w/w) NaOH for different times. The hydrolysed shellac was then evaluated for physicochemical and film properties in comparison with native shellac. The tablets coated with native and hydrolysed shellac were also evaluated. The results demonstrated that acid value (AV) of shellac increased with prolongation of hydrolysis time. The solubility of shellac in buffer solution (pH≤7) gradually increased with increasing hydrolysis time. The films prepared from hydrolysed shellac were more flexible and soft than those prepared from native shellac. The increasing of flexibility was correlated with the increasing of soft resin in shellac. The water vapor permeability of hydrolysed shellac film was lower than that of native shellac film. The higher acid permeability of the tablet coated with hydrolysed shellac was observed. In ethanol-based film coating, shellac had lower solubility and thus lower drug dissolution from coated tablets was observed. In ammonia-based film coating, the solubility of shellac was improved higher nearby pH 7.0 by an ammonium neutralisation method because of forming well-soluble salts, thereby higher drug dissolution was obtained. Partial hydrolysis provided modified shellac, which is more effective for ammonium salt formation, thus very higher drug dissolution was achieved in the ammonia-based coated tablets.