WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML v2014.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 10:37am

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The 2014.1 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 detailed list of enhancements and updates, including many items not listed below:

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Metro themes have been dramatically refined and updated in this version, mostly in the area of Docking/MDI.  Updated UI includes subtle border lines, new auto-hide tab appearance, title bar gripper decorations, and more.

DockingMetro

Metro themes will now not show images on tabs by default, and have changed auto-hide tabs to require a click (instead of hover) to open.  These updates match Visual Studio 2013 behavior.

We've added new events for the auto-hide popup (flyout) that fire when it is opened or closed.  The popup is also now displayed using a faster default animation speed.

When the DockSite.AutoHidePopupOpensOnMouseHover property is false, clicks on auto-hide tabs are required to toggle the auto-hide popup opened and closed.

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New built-in property editors for FontFamily, FontStretch, FontStyle, and FontWeight type properties have been added.

PropertyGridFontFamily

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New key tip specific theme resources have been added and key tips in Metro themes now render more like Office 2013.

CheckBox-based menu items now are capable of supporting tri-state display.

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Delimiter auto-completion logic for insertion and subsequent scope tracking has been greatly improved.  Delimiter indent provider can now optionally support square braces.

Added a new property that allows SyntaxEditor to measure itself based on text contents.  This works great for smaller documents in both multi-line and single-line modes.

SyntaxEditorAutoSize

Updated single-line mode to support word wrap, which is very useful when combined with the new view line measuring option.

SyntaxEditorSingleLineWrapped

Bookmark indicators now support an IsEnabled state.

LipsumGenerator class added to support generation of "lorem ipsum" placeholder text.

Changed block indent mode to retain whitespace after the caret when Enter is pressed.

.NET Languages Add-on

Numerous improvements to the VB language's handling of identifiers and variable declarations that don't include a type.

Web Languages Add-on

Added IntelliPrompt completion for keywords and symbols to the JavaScript language.

JavaScriptCompletion

Added a new advanced JSON language that can be used to view/edit JSON files, along with a new related QuickStart.

JsonLanguage

Updated JavaScript language to support multi-line strings via backslash continuation.

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Many improvements to Metro themes (mostly in the Docking/MDI area described above), and improved WindowChrome (and RibbonWindow) rendering when maximized.

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WPF/Silverlight Only

Added the RadialSlider control, which is a circular slider that can be used to input any scalar value.

RadialSliderIntro

Added the RingSlice control, which renders a portion of a ring at designated angles and radius.

RingSliceProgressIndicator

Added the CircularThumb control, which is a thumb gripper with a circular shape and arrow adornment.

Added three samples for new Shared Library controls.

WinRT/XAML Only

Added the AppBarHint control, which is a visual hint to users that app bars exist on a page, and can be tapped to toggle them open. 

AppBarHint

Added a related QuickStart.

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Sample Browser (WPF/Silverlight only)

Added the ability to toggle description sidebar on some samples.

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WPF Controls 2013.2 Build 592 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 9:52pm

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WPF Controls 2013.2 build 592 has been released and is now available for download.  This build focuses on numerous enhancements and bug fixes.  While many updates were made, major ones are listed below.

See the announcement post for the detailed list of enhancements and updates.

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  • Added the ability to alter the label positioning mode algorithm for a series.

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  • Improved support for high DPI scenarios.
  • Improved support for highlighting tabs when interop controls get focus.

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  • Added support for the Metro Dark theme.

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  • Added a new Property Dialog QuickStart that shows how to display a dialog from a property editor.

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  • Added the ability to edit multiple lines of text at the same time when block selection is active.
  • Added incremental search features.
  • Added the ability to highlight search match results within a view.
  • Added support for alpha-blended foreground/background style colors.
  • .NET Languages Add-on - Added a 'deprecated' quick info note on types/members flagged as Obsolete.

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  • Improved WindowChrome (and RibbonWindow) rendering in various scenarios.

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WPF Controls 2013.2 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 12:08pm

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Actipro WPF 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.

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PieChart

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

Pie

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

DonutChart

Donut

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

PercentageStackingChart

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

ScatterChart

A new and improved scatter sample has been added.

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Improved Support for Touch

Ribbon buttons have been improved to support touch-based tapping.  Popups on all ribbon controls have also been updated to be positioned properly on tablet PCs that have the "right handed" option set.

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Web Languages Add-on - Advanced JavaScript Language Implementation

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

JavaScript

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.

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.

DelimiterAutoComplete

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.

CurlyBraceIndent

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:

IndentationGuides

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.

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Improved WindowChrome to Not Cover Auto-Hidden Windows Taskbar

In the past versions, WindowChrome (and thus RibbonWindow) would cover up an auto-hidden Windows taskbar when the window was maximized.  This issue has now been resolved, and the auto-hidden taskbar is now visible.

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InertiaScrollViewer

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.

InertiaScrollViewer

In the screenshot above, you can see how our main Sample Browser pages have been updated with InertiaScrollViewer, allowing full touch interaction and navigation within them.

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WPF Controls 2013.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 2 comments
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 12:04pm

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Actipro WPF Controls 2013.1 have been released and is now available for download. This version adds a new full-size Charts product, a Metro Dark theme, a complete reimagining of the Sample Browser's UI, and some great new SyntaxEditor functionality.

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

ProductHeadingWPFCharts

Our new full-size Charts product has been added, allowing you to create stunning charts for your apps.  See this announcement post and this first look post for a couple other chart screenshots.

Line Charts

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A line chart renders quantitative data as a series of points connected by line segments. Lines can be straight, curved, or stepped. Markers can optionally be displayed based on type (such as first/last, high/low, negative, etc.).

Scatter Charts

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Scatter charts render data points where each point is represented by a marker. Markers can use numerous built-in shapes or can be set to use custom shapes.

Area Charts

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An area chart is a derivative of a line chart, where the area between the line and axis is filled in. As with line charts, areas can also be rendered using straight, curved, or stepped lines

Bar Charts

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A bar chart displays rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values they represent. Bar spacing can be set and the bars can be changed to render horizontally instead.

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Indicators

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A rich object model for supporting indicators has been added.  Indicators are special "tagged" regions of text that optionally display a glyph in the indicator margin and optionally highlight the text range with special styles.  Built-in indicators include bookmarks, breakpoints, and current statement indicators.  Custom indicators can easily be created as well.

See this bookmark indictors post and this debugging indicators post for much more detail on indicators and examples of functionality.

Line Terminator Backgrounds

When a style that has a background encompasses a line terminator, it now will render the background of the line terminator's virtual character.

A new property BackgroundSpansVirtualSpace property has been added to highlighting styles that when set to true, will extend the background over a line terminator to cover all the way to the right edge of the view.

Trim All Trailing Whitespace

A new edit action has been added to trim all trailing whitespace in the entire document, regardless of the current selection.

CollectionTagger<T> Enhancements

The CollectionTagger<T> class has received a large number of new methods that make it easier than ever to manage a collection of tagged regions.

.NET Languages Add-on - Text Formatting

Text formatters have been added to the C# and VB languages in the .NET Languages Add-on, which beautify code by adjusting whitespace and making it more readable.

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See this C# text formatter post and this VB text formatter post for more information and examples of the formatting results.

.NET Languages Add-on - Attribute IntelliPrompt

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Full automated IntelliPrompt while editing C# and VB attributes is now included.

.NET Languages Add-on - Implicit Variable Type IntelliPrompt

Automated IntelliPrompt quick info now displays when hovering over var in C# or Dim in VB.

ImplicitTypes_thumb

See this blog post for some more information and screenshots.

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Metro Dark Theme

A Metro Dark theme has been implemented that renders similar to Visual Studio 2012's dark theme.  This new theme affects all controls and even can apply to native WPF controls.

MetroDark

Actipro Themes for WPF now provides implementations of all system themes, three Office themes, and three Metro themes!

See this blog post showing several screenshots of the new Metro Dark theme in action.

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WPF Controls Getting New Metro Dark Theme

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 2 comments
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 11:03am

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In the 2012.2 version of our WPF Controls, we added two Metro themes.  The Metro Light theme renders similar to VS 2012's gray window, and the Metro White theme renders similar to an Office 2013 window.

We've had several requests for a dark theme, and we've delivered one for the upcoming 2013.1 version of our WPF Controls!

Sample Screenshots

SyntaxEditor

Here is the main SyntaxEditor demo with the Metro Dark theme active.  We updated the Sample Browser to show off use of dark SyntaxEditor highlighting styles for some common languages when the Metro Dark theme is activated. 

Outlook

In this screen, we show a mail app using the dark theme.  Just like in the prior screen, it is a regular WPF Window but we've applied our WindowChrome on it to enable the full Metro appearance.

Wizard

All of the Actipro and native controls support the new theme.  Here we see a Wizard with various text, links, and buttons all fully themed.

Easily Theme Your Entire App

Actipro has a very robust theming system that allows you to fully theme your entire WPF application with several lines of code.  We include over 10 built-in themes and they can optionally apply themed styles to native WPF controls as well.  Each theme involves almost 900 distinct resource assets, such as brushes and thicknesses, specifically designed for the theme.

In addition, our WindowChrome class lets you instantly transform a normal WPF Window to a chromed window that matches the theme.

The end result is that your windows, native WPF controls, and Actipro controls all blend well together and provide a consistent user interface for your customers.

Summary

This new Metro Dark theme will be included in the 2013.1 version, due in the next several weeks.

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