WPF Theme Designer – Sample UI Documents

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 2 comments
Friday, August 28, 2020 at 5:28pm

Actipro WPF Controls v2020.1 development is in progress, and the new version’s main goals are to modernize our UI control features/themes, and make theme customization much easier.

In our previous post, we showed how each theme definition has multiple options that control how a rich palette of colors is generated for a theme.

In today’s post, we’ll see how various sample UI tabs are built into the app that let you instantly see how changes to the theme definition affect the rendering of various UI controls.

Sample UI Documents

As we have shown in recent blog posts, the Theme Designer application provides a way to easily alter theme definition properties and it instantly shows a theme preview in the application itself.  That’s great for the controls used in the application, but how can we also preview how the theme renders other controls that aren’t used in the normal application functionality?

The Theme Designer's Window menu

The answer is sample UI documents.  The Theme Designer provides numerous sample UI documents that can be displayed from the Window menu.

Sample UI for buttons

Each sample UI document focuses on displaying a variety of controls related to a certain area.  For instance, in the screenshot above, we see a number of Button, CheckBox, and RadioButton style controls.

Or this screenshot shows another sample UI document for list and grid controls:

Sample UI for lists and grids, with the app theme changed to a Dark theme

By having all these sample UI documents accessible, you can see exactly how altering theme definition properties will affect the rendering of controls throughout your own applications.

The sample UI documents can even be dragged to other monitors for easier viewing.

Summary

It’s important to be able to see how theme definition changes affect UI control rendering, and having a wide variety of sample UI documents available right in the app makes it easy to visualize everything.

Post in the comments below with any questions or comments on the WPF Theme Designer application.

Beta Testers Wanted

We are currently beta testing v2020.1 and would love to have more customers involved. If you would like to assist us in testing, please write us at our support address. We would like individuals who are already licensed for the 2019.1 version, are willing to use beta versions of 2020.1 (.NET Core or .NET Framework), and who want to provide feedback, especially in the area of our themes updates.

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Comments (2)

Posted 4 months ago by Dirk Zellerfeld
Avatar

Thats literally perfect. Two suggestions:

1. Show XAML for each control so we can quickly override one if we need to. For example right click on the button -> Show / Generate XAML. Then we can copy and paste it and add minor changes to it.

2. Show used color names for a control. For example I CTRL+ click on a button and it shows me which color resource name this button uses. In the past it was difficult and costs a lot of time to figure out how to change a specific color on a specific control, because we didn't know what resource name it uses. If you add the #1 suggestion this might become obsolete if the XAML code will show the resource name being used.

Posted 4 months ago by Bill Henning (Actipro) - Actipro Software LLC
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Hi Dirk,

Those are interesting suggestions and I will log them.  It may be difficult to support those in an automated way without some major effort.

If you are a WPF Studio customer, you can download our default styles/templates and the XAML files within that download are organized by product. For native controls, the XAML is found in various files in the Shared Library's area of that download. If you open the XAML file for the appropriate control area, you can see which brush and other asset resources from our theme we are using.

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