Micro Charts - Trend Indicators

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 4:24pm


In today's post, we will introduce another new micro chart control that was added in the 2014.2 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls:  the MicroTrendIndicator control.

What Is a Trend Indicator?

The trend indicator is a three state control that is intended to reflect whether a numeric value is higher, the same as, or lower than an origin value.


This sort of element is commonly used in stock value display where the origin value is bound to the previous day's stock price, and the value is bound to the current price. The trend indicator then renders an upward green triangle if there was positive movement, a gray line if no change, or a red triangle if there was negative movement.


If the values are updating live, the indicator changes use a pleasing animation that rotates and fades in the new indicator.

The template for each state's indicator can be customized as well, allowing for any combination of shapes and elements to indicate the trend state.


There are a lot of uses for trend indicators, such as in dashboards or reports.  Download the 2014.2 versions of our products to check out the new chart type.

TaskDownload TaskLiveDemo TaskBuyNow

Micro Charts - Segment Charts

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, September 22, 2014 at 9:15am


In today's post, I wanted to introduce a new micro chart control that was added in the 2014.2 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls:  the MicroSegmentChart control.

What Is a Segment Chart?

A segment chart provides a visual representation of an integer value in relation to a total number.  Each segment in the chart is rendered as highlighted or unhighlighted.  For instance, if the value is 3 of 10, there will be 10 total segments displayed, with the first 3 rendering as highlighted.


This sort of chart is great for use on dashboards, and also as an indicator of steps or progress achieved.


The style for the segments can be customized, allowing for any sort of shape, size, or color combination.  The Panel used to render the chart can also be set, enabling wrapping and other layout scenarios.


In the WPF and Silverlight versions, value converters can be used to further customize the brush or size of each segment to create some interesting effects:



There are a lot of uses for a segment chart, such as in dashboards or as progress indicators.  Download the 2014.2 versions of our products to check out the new chart type.

TaskDownload TaskLiveDemo TaskBuyNow

Editors for WinRT - DateTimeEditBox

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, September 19, 2014 at 8:32am


In recent posts, we've shown off some of our new edit box controls for WinRT (Windows Store and Windows Phone apps).  We saw our DateEditBox, which is used for date input.  And then we saw our TimeEditBox, which is used for time input.  We also have a DateTimeEditBox, which can edit a date and time in the same control.  That's what we'll show in today's post.

Windows Store Variant

The DateTimeEditBox control is used to input a DateTime value, and uses a DateTimePicker control in its popup.


Edit boxes work great with a keyboard.  When the edit box is focused, values can be directly typed in.  Type in "9/9/14 10am", "09/09/2014 10:00", "2014-09-09 10AM", etc. and press Enter.  Any of those will commit the same date/time value.  You can also move the caret to one of the date/time components (month, day, year, hour, minute, second, AM/PM) and use keyboard arrow keys, PgUp/PgDn, or the mouse wheel to increment values.  Best of all, pressing the left/right arrow keys will instantly jump between the various "parts" (components) of the edit box value and select the part's text.

The date/time value can be displayed in any desired standard or custom format.  By default it will use the current culture's default date/time format.

If the user doesn't have a keyboard, mouse or touch can be used to display the popup.  The popup contains a HorizontalListBox at the top that switches between DatePicker and TimePicker controls.  These two pickers allow for easy mouse/touch selection of dates and times.

Compare to Native WinRT DatePicker and TimePicker

Most competitors have either made date and time pickers that show a large Windows Phone-like spinning selectors, or have gone with the multiple ComboBox approach like these native WinRT DatePicker and TimePicker controls do:



Neither of those control types are ideal for WinRT apps that can potentially be run on large desktops with keyboards.  Compare the usability of the above to our single control:


Windows Phone Variant

Just like our other edit boxes, this edit box will render itself like a button when used on Windows Phone.  Tapping the button shows a full screen picker (same as above) where the date value can be selected.


This post shows how an DateTimeEditBox control can accept date and time input in a single control within a Windows Store or Windows Phone app.  Download our WinRT/XAML Controls to check it out, along with our other beautiful and functional editor controls!

TaskDownload TaskLiveDemo TaskBuyNow

Code Writer v2.4 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, September 12, 2014 at 2:19pm


Code Writer v2.4, our free text/code editor app, is now live in the Windows Store.

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for WinRT/XAML allows you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

Quote Delimiter Auto-Completion

Quote delimiter auto-completion has been added for most file types.


In the screenshot above where a JSON file is being edited, I've typed a quote character to start a string and its end quote was auto-completed.

Text Share Target

Code Writer is now a text share target, meaning that any other Windows Store app can share text to it.  For instance, if I open up the "My first note" note in OneNote and use the Share Charm, I see Code Writer listed:


By tapping the Code Writer item in that list, it opens another flyout where the text that will be sent to Code Writer can be previewed.  Simply tap the "Create a Document" button and a new document will be opened in Code Writer that contains the sent text.

File Share Target

Code Writer is also a share target for all of the default file type extensions. For instance, if you have OneDrive open and select a file, you can open the Sharm charm and Code Writer will be listed as a share target.

Tap on Code Writer and a flyout will open that displays the files being shared.  Press the Open File button and the file will be opened in Code Writer.

Multiple files can be opened at a time too!

Improved Character Encoding and International Support

We've added a special new character encoding option that can be found in the Editor Settings flyout for using UTF-8 without a signature.


When opening non-Unicode files, the default character encoding specified in Editor Settings is now used as appropriate.

We've also improved international support with better caret/selection movement and delete and backspace functionality around multi-byte Unicode characters.


This update adds several features that have been highly requested by our users, and we're excited to get it into your hands.

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for WinRT/XAML, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

TaskWideLearnMore TaskWideWindowsStore

WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML v2014.2 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, September 12, 2014 at 8:08am


The 2014.4 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls have been released and are now available for download.

Major new features are described below.  See the announcement posts for the large detailed list of enhancements and updates, including many items not listed below:

Note that the 2014.2 version of the WinRT/XAML controls came out last month, introducing our Editors controls, but a new maintenance release is available today adding other new features.


We've added six new built-in chart palette options, including Retro and Sand:



Docking/MDI received numerous updates, including a new option for rafting windows to not hide when in scenario where their owner DockSite is hidden, such as if it's nested in tabs itself.  Many updates to focus handling were made, especially in relation to interop controls like WinForms/ActiveX.


Updated the Country and Currency classes with the latest ISO data.


As announced in recent blog posts, our WinRT/XAML controls now have some really unique and universal (Windows Store / Windows Phone) controls for accepting input of common data types.

See our Edit Boxes Overview for a summary of the controls and some links to additional posts describing their functionality.


A new segment chart has been added that allows for visual display of an integer value within a total..


This sort of chart is great for use on dashboards, and also as an indicator of steps or progress achieved.

Another new control is the arrow indicator displayed on the left side of the stock chart below.  It's called a trend indicator and alters its UI to reflect whether a numeric value is greater than, the same as, or less than an origin value.


Six new built-in chart palettes have been added as well, including IceCream and Melon.


We've created a new custom property editor sample that shows how to easily add a custom property editor for a certain Type. 


Double-clicking a property name has been improved such that if the property doesn't support standard values, it will attempt to focus the related editor instead and select all text.


Quote auto-completion support has been added to the DelimiterAutoCompleter class, with double quote completion enabled by default.  As the user types a start quote, the related end quote will be auto-entered after the caret.  The C#, VB, Python, JavaScript, and JSON languages in our premium add-ons have been updated to support quote auto-completion.  It can easily be added to any custom languages as well.

We've added some nice new features like a ScrollIntoView method that can ensure that a text position is visible within the view, improved caret/selection movement around and delete/backspace of multi-byte characters, and improved backspace to move to the previous tab stop when auto-convert tabs to spaces is active and the caret is before the first non-whitespace character on the line.

.NET Languages Add-on

We've had a lot of requests for showing how to support ASP-style server tags, where the C# within the tags has automated IntelliPrompt.

We're happy to deliver a new full source sample (seen above) that shows how to harness our .NET Languages Add-on within server tags.

Python Language Add-on

Today's releases contain the first version of our Python Language Add-on, a new premium add-on that supports both v2.x and v3.x syntax.

We'll blog about the language in more detail soon, but you can download and start using it today.


A new triangle shape can be used in UI such as breadcrumbs, tabs, etc. 

This shape can auto-size to its container and supports strokes and fills.

WPF Only

We've added a ZoomLevelToTextFormattingModeConverter class, which can switch from Display to Ideal text formatting mode when the zoom level is increased, thereby keeping text clear in any scenario.

TaskDownload TaskLiveDemo TaskBuyNow