Actipro Blog 2013 Q3 Posting Summary

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 9:42am


What We Accomplished

In this quarter we released the 2013.2 versions of our WPF and Silverlight control sets.  This major new version added pie/donut charts and other enhancements to our Charts product, an InertiaScrollViewer control that supports touch and friction scrolling, and a ton of new features to SyntaxEditor, like an optional advanced JavaScript language implementation, word wrap (Silverlight), delimiter auto-complete and indent, indentation guides, improved printing support, and more.

We released some great new icon sets that use the flat Office 2013 style and are perfect for modern-styled desktop apps or web pages.  Download the new free Icons sampler to see the quality of our icons.

Our free Code Writer Windows 8 app saw a major new version that improved the live tile, added print support, block auto-indent, a Twilight background theme, improved copy and share, protocol activation, tutorial overlays, and more.

What’s Coming Next

Coming up next will be the launch of our WinRT XAML 2013.2 version, which adds the Charts enhancements recently added to WPF/Silverlight, a full implementation of the SyntaxEditor code editor control, and numerous add-ons for SyntaxEditor.  This will finally let you add robust text and code editing features to Windows 8.1 apps, just like in popular IDEs, script editors, etc.  Contact us if you 'd like to help beta test.

Our Code Writer app has received numerous updates to improve its design for new features in Windows 8.1.  We'll be launching that version after Windows 8.1 is publicly released in a couple weeks.

We also will be working on some new control ideas and will continue to add more SyntaxEditor enhancements.

Blog Post List

Control Product Development

Control Product Releases


Code Writer App

SyntaxEditor Is Coming to Windows 8.1

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 4:11pm


The WinRT XAML port of our popular SyntaxEditor syntax-highlighting code editor control is nearly development complete! 

While the SyntaxEditor control itself has been used as the foundation of our free Code Writer app for a while now, we haven't had the SyntaxEditor control available to our customers yet to use in their own apps.  That's about to change.  The 2013.2 release of our WinRT XAML controls will include all the recent updates to our Charts and Micro Charts, as well as the new SyntaxEditor port and ports of its .NET Languages Add-on and Web Languages Add-ons.

First Look at a Demo

Let's see a screen of the WinRT version of our SDI Code Editor demo:


Here we have a SyntaxEditor contro showing off the advanced C# language that is part of the .NET Languages Add-on.  With SyntaxEditor you can easily add text and code editing functionality to your Windows 8.1 apps.  It supports custom language creation, and as seen above, has some pre-built languages available with features like automated IntelliPrompt popups.

Beta Testers Wanted

We're really excited to get this finished up and into your hands.  If you are interested in helping us beta test SyntaxEditor for WinRT XAML, please contact our sales team (if you haven't already).  We expect the beta to be ready in the next week or two.

Silverlight Controls 2013.2 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:54pm


Actipro Silverlight Controls 2013.2 have been released and is now available for download. 

Major new features are described below.  See the announcement post for the detailed list of enhancements and updates.



A new pie chart control has been added to complement our other bar, line, area, and scatter chart offerings.


The pie chart supports advanced features like multiple label positioning and display options, legend display, nesting of multiple series, hierarchical data, and more.



Donut charts have been added as well.  All the same features found in pie charts are found in donut charts, and the hole radius is fully configurable.

Axis Tick Labels for Percentage Stacked Charts


When using stacking bar or area charts with the percentage axis option, the percentage value labels now display on the axis.

Improved Scatter Chart Samples


A new and improved scatter sample has been added.


Web Languages Add-on - Advanced JavaScript Language Implementation

A new advanced JavaScript language implementation has been added to the Web Languages Add-on.


The syntax language features syntax highlighting, parsing, AST building, syntax error reporting, code outlining, delimiter auto-complete, smart indent, text formatting, and code block selection.

See a summary of the new language in this previous blog post.

Word Wrap

The Silverlight version of SyntaxEditor now supports word wrap features as of 2013.2.  These features have been a common request in the past.


Word wrapped text now also appears on printouts.

Delimiter Auto-Completion

Delimiter auto-complete is where the user types a start delimiter and a related end delimiter is auto-inserted after the caret.


In the screenshot above, the { character was typed and the } character was auto-inserted.  This feature has been added to several of the languages in our add-ons.

Delimiter Indent Provider

Curly brace auto-indent can now be easily added to any language, and it has been added to our C# and JavaScript languages in the add-ons.

When the caret is in the middle of a curly brace pair, pressing Enter normally will move the close curly brace to the next line with the caret right in front of it.  If you have an indent provider for your language, the close curly brace will be indented properly however it's still not an ideal situation because you generally want the caret to be on its own line before the close curly brace's line.


This scenario is where curly brace auto-indent comes in!  This feature injects a new blank line in between the braces, indents one more level, and positions the caret on that line.

Indentation Guides

Indentation guides are subtle vertical lines that render at each tab stop on lines prior to the first non-whitespace character.  They help visually align the indentation of visible code blocks.

You can see the silver indentation guide lines in the tab stops within this screenshot:


Whitespace-only lines are intelligent and render indentation guides based on the tab stop level of surrounding text.

Improved Code Fragments Performance

Lexer and token scanning performance has been improved when using our code fragments feature, which allows you to set header and footer text to surround the document's text for purposes of parsing.

Improved Printing Support

A custom highlighting style registry can now be set explicitly for printouts.  This is ideal if your editor is in a dark theme since then you can use an alternate highlighting style registry designed for light backgrounds on printouts.

Rendering of printouts has also been improved when the syntax highlighting option is off.

.NET Languages Add-on - IntelliPrompt Parameter Info for Array Indexers

Automated parameter info support has been added when the end user edits array indexers.

.NET Languages Add-on - Customizing Completion Items Sample

A new sample is now included that shows how to add and remove items from the C# and VB automated IntelliPrompt completion list.  This ability lets you filter out certain completion list items or add your own custom ones before the list is displayed to the end user.



The InertiaScrollViewer control is a drop-in replacement for the native WPF/Silverlight ScrollViewer control but allows you to scroll content using touch, similar to what you're used to on Windows 8 and mobile devices.

It reacts to dragging, flicking, mouse wheel, and normal mouse operation via the scrollbars. You can adjust properties like EasingFunction, VelocityTimeRatio, and VelocityDistanceRatio to fully control how inertia scrolling looks and feels.

Our main Sample Browser pages have been updated with InertiaScrollViewer, allowing full touch interaction and navigation within them.

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More Windows Workflow Designer Editing Enhancements

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 2:52pm


A couple weeks ago we posted a blog entry showing off a sample we created, where a hosted Windows Workflow Designer instance is integrated with our WPF Docking/MDI and SyntaxEditor controls to dramatically improve the designer UI.

Since that post, we've had a number of customers request the sample that we created, and we have been happy to pass it along.  In today's post, I wanted to announce that we've updated the sample yet some more, adding automated variable IntelliPrompt features!


In the screenshot above, two variables are declared: myText (a string) and anotherVar (a boolean).  I pressed Ctrl+Space in the expression editor (a SyntaxEditor control) to display the completion list.  The myText variable shows up properly as a string.


Next, I moved to the assignment expression (another SyntaxEditor control) and typed anotherVar. to get the members of that variable.  SyntaxEditor's .NET Languages Add-on kicks in again here and shows the members appropriate for a boolean value.


These sorts of features really improve the editing experience for your customers.  If you rehost the Windows Workflow Designer in your WPF apps and would like our example, please contact us and we'll pass it along.

For those customers who downloaded the first version, this update (along with some other tweaks) is at the same URL as before.

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Code Writer App Transitioning to Windows 8.1

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 9:10pm


We've been anxious to get our hands on Windows 8.1 and were finally able to after Microsoft released the RTM to developers earlier this week!

We've been working on updating our Windows 8 controls and apps to target Windows 8.1.  These updates will be part of the 2013.2 version of our WinRT XAML UI controls.  That version will also be the first to include our syntax highlighting code editor control named SyntaxEditor, which is designed for use in Windows Store apps!

Our SyntaxEditor control is the same core editor used in our free text/code editing app named "Code Writer".

Improving Code Writer App Size Support

One feature we completed today for Code Writer is to have full support of Windows 8.1's new window sizes.  The current Code Writer version on the Store does support "snapped" mode, but while in that mode, app bars and the Advanced Editing gallery are disabled.


In the new code updates we made for Windows 8.1, the app properly resizes itself and still allows full access to app bars and the gallery.  See the screenshot above for an example showing how the app bar buttons collapsed down to a compact size, which still providing app functionality.


The updates above will be published to the Windows Store once Windows 8.1 is publicly released next month.

Go to the Windows Store to download Code Writer, and help us by tweeting about the app!

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