Techniques can be viewed by selecting from a drop down list. Also one basic material can be selected from a drop down list. If a shader happens to use the DEBASIC_MATERIAL_COLOR or basic texture semantic then the shader will have access to the selected basic material. This obviously allows the user to see what various shaders look like in combination with basic materials.
This editor works very much the same as the effect editor provided with the DX SDK. The next step will be to create a dialog that allows creation of a few different types of shader templates. This should speed up the creation process. If I feel like it I may add an option so the user can define and save new shader templates.