UWP Controls 2020.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 3:40pm

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2020.1 version of our UWP Controls.  

This announcement post contains the detailed list of updates in the 2020.1 version.  Please be aware that Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) or later and usage of the Microsoft's free 'Win2D.uwp' NuGet package are required.

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While the version includes a wide number of small updates and bug fixes, let’s take a look at a handful of the larger updates.  

Editors

AutoCompleteBox 

AutoCompleteBox now has a SelectedItemChanged event and an InputMode property, that alters input behavior.  Search mode is the default and is intended for usage when the control is providing search-like functionality, commonly seen in application title bars.  ComboBox mode is an alternate mode intended for use when the control should be used in more traditional ComboBox-like scenarios.  When in ComboBox mode, the popup list filter turns off when not typing in the control, allowing the entire list to be browsed when interacting with the control purely via the popup.

Swatch-Only Display

BrushEditBox and ColorEditBox now have a HasText property that allows you to hide the text portion of the edit box for a swatch-only display.

Dates and Times

DateEditBox and TimeEditBox now accept delimiter-less input for several additional custom formats.

Large Incremental Changes

Numeric edit boxes now support large incremental changes when holding Shift while pressing Up/Down or rotating the mouse wheel.

Custom Format Strings

Several numeric edit boxes now support custom format strings with semi-colon conditional format specifiers.

Grids

We've added a PropertyGrid.RequestRefresh method that can be called to tell the PropertyGrid to refresh its contents.

SyntaxEditor

Search Overlay Pane

A new background renders the search range when the search overlay pane is in Selection scope mode.

A new property allows you to disable key bindings that would activate the search overlay pane, which is useful if you have an external search UI.

Logic related the selection scope searching has been improved.

Ctrl+Enter can be pressed to execute a Find All search operation when the Find textbox has focus and the find all button is visible.

IntelliPrompt

New methods allow completion list items to be added much faster, dramatically improving performance.

WPF, UWP, and Silverlight v2017.2 Maintenance Releases

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 1 comment
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 12:17pm

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Our v2017.2 WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls have all been updated with new maintenance releases that are now ready for download.  It is highly recommended that you get these new builds since many products received numerous minor enhancements and bug fixes. 

Let's take a quick look at some of the more notable features that were added.

Docking/MDI

The mouse wheel can now scroll document tabs when in an overflow situation and using certain tab overflow behaviors.

Editors

Updated the color pickers such that the end user can tap and drag anywhere in a hue ring or saturation/brightness square to change color attributes, and not just on the thumb.

BrushEditBoxOpened

Added a new drop-down to ColorPicker that allows switching between RGB and HSB text input modes.

ColorEditBoxHsb

Added new features for adding custom inline UI elements within edit boxes, like the "Now" button in the TimeEditBox below.

TimeEditBoxInline

Improved the DateEditBox and TimeEditBox default formats to better support parsing of entered text values that lack part delimiters.

Grids

Added the TreeListViewColumn.SortDirection property and related ColumnSortDirection enumeration that can be used to indicate that a sort glyph should appear in the column header when paired with a custom sorting mechanism.

TreeListViewSortIndicators

Improved TreeListBox to better handle property updates from view-models on other threads.

Improved TreeListBox selection tracking performance.

SyntaxEditor

Improved numerous edit actions to retain their final selection after the action goes through an undo/redo process.

Improved how Tab indenting is handled when there is a block selection.

Improved the Cut Line to Clipboard edit action to support multiple lines.

Improved the .NET Languages Add-on's logic for selecting the best IntelliPrompt parameter info member overload when typing a comma at the end of an argument list.

SyntaxEditorXmlLineCommenter

Improved the XML line commenter in the Web Languages Add-on to comment the entire line text when there is no selection.

Summary

There were also a large number of smaller improvements made throughout the products.  See the announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates:

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WPF, UWP, and Silverlight Controls 2017.2 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, August 28, 2017 at 5:22pm

BlogPostBanner.17.2

We're happy to announce that the 2017.2 versions of our WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls have been released.  These versions include some new controls, new features, and a lot of minor updates and bug fixes.

See all the details on the 2017.2 releases in the various announcement posts:

SyntaxEditor

Intra-Line Adornments

Full support for intra-line adornments is now included.  These allow whitespace to be reserved above and/or below view lines, and adornments rendered in that space.

CodeLens

A first new sample shows implementation of a Visual Studio-like Code Lens adornment with info display and hyperlink. 

PeekDefinition

A second sample shows a Visual Studio-like Peek Definition (embedded editor) display.  This is accomplished using a second SyntaxEditor within an adornment of the outer SyntaxEditor.

Vertical Scrolling

Vertical scrolling logic has been refactored to better handle view lines of various sizes.

Code Outlining

A couple new code outlining commands have been added: apply default outlining expansion and expand all outlining.

.NET Languages Add-on Roslyn Extensions

A new optional assembly is available that has Roslyn extensions for loading IBinaryAssembly instances that can be referenced by a project assembly, instead of using normal .NET reflection.

.NET Languages Add-on IntelliPrompt

IntelliPrompt completion is now available for object creation expression initializer member names.

ObjectInit

Docking/MDI (WPF/UWP)

Floating Windows

A new property can be data-bound to your VM to float or restore a docking window.  The default location request event allows for specifying that a docking window should open in a floating dock host.  Docking windows that were closed while floating now support more precise restoration later.  Dragging standalone floating docking windows by their tabs now has a better experience.

Contextual Indicators

The read-only contextual indicator for documents now uses a separate display mechanism from the custom contextual indicators, allowing both to show at the same time.

Editors (WPF/UWP)

AutoCompleteBox

A new AutoCompleteBox control has been added that allows text entry and provides suggestions for auto-completion.

AutoCompleteBox

This kind of control is ideal for use in search query and quick launch kinds of scenarios.

DateEditBox

DateEditBoxOpened

Clicking a date on the popup calendar now closes the popup.

Grids (WPF/UWP)

Drag/Drop

The TreeListBox item adapter has been updated with a method that fires when hovering over an item during a drag, allowing you to determine whether it should be expanded.

TreeListBoxDragDrop

New adapter methods have also been added that are called immediately before and after a drag, allowing for custom adornments to be displayed while dragging.

Shared Library (WPF/UWP)

AdvancedTextBlock

A new AdvancedTextBlock control has been added that can show a tooltip when overflowed and can highlight spans of text based on captured text ranges (i.e. filter match results).

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WPF, UWP, and Silverlight Controls v2017.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at 4:50pm

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The 2017.1 versions of our WPF Controls, Universal Windows Controls, and Silverlight Controls were recently released, with the WPF and UWP controls getting some enormous updates in these versions.

The primary focus of the 2017.1 version in WPF and UWP was to add an improved PropertyGrid control and tree controls (TreeListBox and TreeListView) in our new Grids product, and to update Editors to be more modern/lightweight, and share a codebase between the two platforms.  Another focus was on maximizing the performance of all the controls.  The new PropertyGrid for instance shows a massive speed increase over the older WPF v2016.1 PropertyGrid.

PropertyGrid

See the entire lengthy detailed update list in these announcement posts:

If you want to discuss the new controls added in 2017.1 or have suggestions for additional features, please join our #UIControls channel in our Slack team.  It's free and you can chat with us and other customers.

Please note that the v2017.1 WPF Controls have PropertyGrid, Editors, and licensing breaking changes to support better API design and features, so be sure to read the "Converting to 2017.1" topic in the documentation that comes with the controls.  It walks through everything in detail.

ProductHeadingGenericGrids

Grids is a new product added to the WPF and Universal Windows Controls in v2017.1.  It features three primary controls:  TreeListBox, TreeListView, and PropertyGrid.

TreeListBox

TreeListBox is a single-column control that renders a tree structure.  It is designed to mimic the features found in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer.  You have full control over the appearance of each node, and can easily wire up any tree data model for rendering via the use of our adapter pattern.

TreeListBox

The UI tree is virtualized for optimal performance.  Unlike the standard WPF TreeView, TreeListBox is a single ItemsControl that is far less resource intensive and doesn't experience odd vertical scroll jumpiness.

TreeListBoxAsyncLoading

You have full control over whether nodes are expandable, when they load children (and with optional use of async loading with a busy indicator as seen above), and selection modes (single/multiple).  A powerful filtering mechanism is included that allows you to add type-to-filter support.  F2 can initiate inline editing of node text.  Drag and drop can be enabled and you determine what is dragged/dropped.  This just scratches the surface, and there are many other features included.

TreeListView

The TreeListView control builds on top of the foundation provided by TreeListBox and adds multiple columns with an optional header, similar to a standard WPF ListView.

TreeListViewColumns

Columns can be sized using several algorithms, resized/reordered by the end user, or certain columns frozen such that they don't scroll horizontally.  Grid lines can be optionally displayed.

PropertyGrid

The PropertyGrid control is based on TreeListView and renders a grid of all the properties of one or more objects and their values. Properties can be displayed by category, alphabetically, or using a custom sort.

PropertyGridBrushEditBoxOpen

A PropertyGrid control was available in older versions of our WPF Controls, but we rewrote much of the internals for v2017.1 and optimized the object model to focus on maximizing speed and ease of use.  The new PropertyGrid can load large complex objects almost instantly.  It's simpler than ever to customize how properties are edited via the use of property editor DataTemplates.  You have full control over which properties are presented and how.

ProductHeadingGenericEditors

The 2017.1 version ported the Universal Windows Editors back to WPF so that they now share a codebase.  This decision was made because the newer Editors designs are much more lightweight in terms of UI elements used in each control, and the number of bindings involved.  This improves UI performance when using many Editors controls in grids like PropertyGrid.

You'll still find many great editing features such as the ability to use arrow keys when typing in edit boxes to increment or decrement part values.

DoubleEditBoxOpenedCalculator

Each edit box now has an optional dedicated picker control that is used in the drop-down, like the calculator shown above.  The picker can be easily styled if a custom appearance is needed.

DateTimeEditBoxOpened

In addition to porting the UWP Editors to WPF, we also added a number of new editor controls.  Editors in both platforms feature specialized edit boxes and pickers for these .NET types:  Brush, Byte (WPF only), Color, CornerRadius, Date, DateTime, Double, Enum, Guid, Int16, Int32, Int32Rect (WPF only), Int64, Point, Rect, Single, Size, Thickness, Time, TimeSpan, and Vector (WPF only).

Rating

Editors also has these other various miscellaneous controls:  Calculator, CountryComboBox, CurrencyComboBox, EnumListBox, GradientStopSlider, HsbColorPicker, MonthCalendar, RadialHuePicker, Rating, SaturationBrightnessPicker, and Spinner.

ProductHeadingGenericShared

The licensing mechanism was updated for the WPF Controls in v2017.1 to be simpler.  Regardless of which WPF products you've licensed from us, your apps will only need a single line in the licenses.licx file going forward.  Please read the Converting to 2017.1 topic in the documentation for details on these updates.

Enjoy the new version!

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WPF Controls 2017.1 Beta Testers Requested

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 6 comments
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 at 6:48pm

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Hey everyone, we've been working very diligently on the 2017.1 version of our WPF controls for the past several months and a public beta is almost ready.  We'd love as many customers as possible to participate in the beta.  First, let's give an overview of what's new in the 2017.1 version.

Editors Reimagined

In the 2017.1 version, we reimplemented all Editors controls to be faster and more lightweight in terms of elements/bindings, and to use a common codebase with the Universal Windows Editors product.  The new designs are better optimized for use in large quantities such as within data grids or property grids.

Every new edit box control has more fine-grained control over the step values.  Now a native TextBox control is used for input, which allows for more free-form editing, IME input, and better UIA support.

BrushEditBoxOpened

New and improved drop-down pickers have been designed for each edit box.  The pickers are optimized for mouse, pen, and touch-based entry.  The screenshot above shows the BrushEditBox and the new BrushPicker drop-down control.  Altering any edit box's drop-down is simply a matter of providing an alternate Style for its picker control.

TimeEditBoxOpened

New edit boxes have been added for the Byte, Int16, and Single numeric types, along with dedicated date-only (DateEditBox) and time-only (TimeEditBox seen above) variations of DateTimeEditBox.

Tree Controls Added

Our customers have requested custom tree controls from us for a while now and we delivered in this version.  We now offer a new TreeListBox control that is a single column tree similar to a native TreeView but optimized for MVVM usage, virtualization, and speed.  It supports nearly all of the advanced features you'll find in a tree control like the Visual Studio Solution Explorer tree.

TreeListViewColumnReordering

We also offer a new TreeListView control that is built upon the TreeListBox control but displays multiple columns similar to a ListView.  Each column supports its own distinct user interface via data templates.

Both of these controls are packaged in a new Grids product.

PropertyGrid Reimagined

While the PropertyGrid control found in our 2016.1 and earlier versions was very feature-rich, its performance sometimes left much to be desired and customization via property editors wasn't very straightforward.

PropertyGridIntro

In the 2017.1 version, PropertyGrid has been rewritten from scratch and constructed around the foundation provided by the new TreeListBox and TreeListView controls.  It's now lightning fast and loads complex objects (like the properties of itself) almost instantly.  A lot of this is due to simplification of the internal object model, use of virtualization techniques, and fewer overall UI elements.  You'll definitely notice the speed increase.

The core object model used to track properties and categories has been improved and creating custom property editors is much more straightforward now.

The new PropertyGrid is part of the Grids product as well.

Beta Testers Wanted

If you'd like to help us beta test the product, please write our support address and let us know your existing 2016.1 license information.  We will notify you as soon as the public beta is ready and will send you a 2017.1 license if your subscription is still active. 

The code for the beta is near complete and should be pretty stable.  We have a full array of samples and documentation has been completely updated, including conversion notes.

We also will be chatting about the beta in our Slack channels so please join if you have Slack.