WinForms Controls v22.1.1 Maintenance Release

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, March 14, 2022 at 7:54pm

This version adds several exciting new features for SyntaxEditor, along with making numerous improvements to the control and its add-ons.

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

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Here's a look at some of the new features.


File Comparison Sample

Many customers have asked how two SyntaxEditor instances could be configured to work side-by-side for comparing files. We've included a new QuickStart that demonstrates comparing two files and highlighting differences in both editors. 

The new sample showing how to use SyntaxEditor to implement file comparisons

Differences are updated in real-time as a file is edited. Our sample is built using simple interfaces to represent the file differences so that any difference engine could easily be adapted to work with the sample.

Column Guides

Use the new column guides feature to designate where line breaks should occur within a file to stay within any readability guidelines your company may have.  For instance, a column guide might be set at column 80 or 120.

An example of editing COBOL code

Other syntax languages like COBOL may also require that certain data is at certain character positions and column guides provide a visual way to ensure code is positioned properly.

IntelliPrompt Completion Performance

We've done some more tuning in the completion item matching logic to squeeze out some additional performance gains.

WinForms Controls v22.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 7:12pm

This version contains many updates and improvements for SyntaxEditor and its add-ons, along with including .NET 5 assemblies in the NuGet packages, validating .NET 6 compatibility, and adding VS 2022 designer support.

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

Download Buy Now

Here's a look at some of the new features.


Synchronization QuickStart

A new sample demonstrates synchronizing the scroller and splitter of one editor instance with another.

Drag and Drop

Improved drag/drop interaction and related scrolling in several scenarios, and enhanced the Drag and Drop QuickStart sample.

Single-Line Mode QuickStart

Added a formula example with alternate style for nested parentheses.

Styles that highlight nested parentheses

Editing and Caret Movement

Made many small improvements in the areas of editing and caret movement, especially in certain special contexts.


Improved popups to reposition themselves as the editor is scrolled.

Multiple IntelliPrompt popups

Vertical Scrolling

The vertical scrollbar has been updated to handle collapsed regions more smoothly.

SyntaxEditor .NET Languages Add-on

C# Parser

Updated to support C# 8.0 syntax.

Go To Definition QuickStart

A new sample that demonstrates using an IResolver to navigate to the source of a reference.

C# Outlining

The outliner will now create nodes for code-level constructs such as block statements by default.

Code outlining now works on blocks, like 'for' statements

SyntaxEditor Web Languages Add-on

JavaScript Parser

Updated to support ECMAScript 2021 (12 Edition) syntax.

JSON Syntax Language

Added a constructor for whether the language should support JavaScript style comments, as in Microsoft’s JSONC variant.

Optional JavaScript comment support in JSON

SyntaxEditor Python Language Add-on

Python Parser

Updated to support Python v3.9.5 syntax.

Python Resolver

Updated to support namespace packages.

.NET 5 Assemblies Added to NuGet Packages

The WinForms Controls NuGet packages on now contain compiled product assemblies that target:

  • .NET 5
  • .NET Core 3.1
  • .NET Framework 4.0

Projects that target .NET 5 or later will use the .NET 5-based assemblies, and projects that target .NET Framework 4.0 or later will use the .NET Framework 4.0-based assemblies.

.NET 6 Support

We’ve also validated that our assemblies work great in .NET 6 applications.

Visual Studio 2022 Designer Support

.NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5+ designer support has been added for Visual Studio 2022.

WPF, WinForms, and UWP Controls Maintenance Releases

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 1 comment
Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 8:03pm

WinForms Controls v21.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 1 comment
Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 1:01pm

We are pleased to announce the release of the 21.1 version of our WinForms Controls. For this version, we have modernized many aspects of our WinForms Controls infrastructure, including:

  • .NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5 support
  • Visual Studio WinForms Designer for .NET Core support
  • NuGet packages
  • Documentation updates
  • Online documentation
  • GitHub repository
  • Backend build infrastructure updates

Our previous post on the WinForms Controls v21.1 Release Candidate gives more information on all of the items described above.

Finally, see this announcement post for the detailed list of enhancements and updates.

Download Buy Now

WinForms Controls v21.1 Release Candidate

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Monday, June 28, 2021 at 3:58pm

A release candidate version of our WinForms Controls v21.1 is now available.  This version makes a lot of minor updates to the controls, better aligns its API namespaces, and modernizes many aspects of our WinForms Controls infrastructure in the same way as a our recent WPF Controls updates.

Downloading the Release Candidate

Since this is just a Release Candidate version, the installer is not available on our download page, and licenses cannot yet be purchased on our web site.  If you'd like to help us test it out, please contact us at our support address and we'll be happy to send you the download URL.  For customers with active WinForms Controls subscriptions, let us know in your e-mail and we'll get you v21.1 license information.

Let’s take a look at some of the largest changes.

.NET Core 3.1 and .NET 5 Support

First, we updated our products to include a target for .NET Core 3.1. This included a major update to our designer functionality for proper integration with the new design tools Microsoft is still actively developing for Visual Studio.

Next, we validated that .NET 5 applications can successfully reference our NuGet packages and work as expected.  .NET 5 applications will use our .NET Core 3.1 assembly variations, since .NET 5 is effectively the next version of .NET Core 3.1, just under a more concise name.

Visual Studio WinForms Designer for .NET Core Support

Visual Studio is built on .NET Framework, so that presents a unique challenge to supporting WinForms designers for .NET Core since the related types cannot be loaded directly by Visual Studio. Microsoft implemented an elegant solution where .NET Core types are loaded in a remote process. Then .NET Framework types are loaded in Visual Studio that communicate with the remote process. The remote process may one day run on a separate machine from Visual Studio, so all user-facing dialogs must be implemented on the .NET Framework side of the stack.

Moving all dialogs to the .NET Framework client was particularly challenging for products like Bars which historically have relied heavily on drag-and-drop operations on the control surface combined with dynamic popup content. We completely rebuilt the Bars design-time experience for .NET Core around a single dialog which exposes the capabilities previously only available through drag-and-drop.

New Bars design-time functionality for the Visual Studio .NET Core designer

For example, the Links tab provides access to all the menus defined by a BarManager: menus, toolbars, popups, and even menus nested within other menus. From here links can be added/removed, customized, or rearranged. We have even included productivity shortcuts like double-clicking a popup button link will automatically jump to the links of that popup menu to continue customization.

Microsoft is still actively developing WinForms designer support for Visual Studio with breaking changes between releases, so be sure to check our Visual Studio Designer documentation for requirements. 

NuGet Packages

Speaking of NuGet packages, v21.1 is available on  This is the quickest way to reference our WinForms Controls from any project type: .NET 5, .NET Core 3.1, or .NET Framework 4.0 or later.

Documentation Updates

We have ported all our WinForms Controls product documentation from an older Sandcastle-based configuration to a newer DocFX-based configuration.  All our documentation topics are now written in Markdown and DocFX generates the API-related topics. 

The offline documentation that used to ship in our product installer as a CHM (compiled HTML Help) file is now distributed in HTML files that can be opened in your favorite browser.

Online Documentation

Part of the modernization efforts in this version have been geared towards removing the requirement for customers to download and run our product installer to work with our WinForms Controls.  The NuGet packages allow you to access the assembly binaries from any project, but how do you access documentation?

WinForms Controls online documentation

We have added online product documentation for the WinForms Controls on our web site. Full documentation is now always at your fingertips, available from anywhere, even your phone.  The online documentation includes the entire API reference and deep links into Microsoft Docs where appropriate for base CLR types.

GitHub Repository

Assemblies are accessible via and product documentation can be viewed on our web site.  How about getting product samples without an installer? 

We have solved this by creating a new “WinForms-Controls” GitHub repository that contains the full source of our sample project and even our documentation topics.  You can view the sample project source directly in the GitHub repository, or if you prefer to run the samples, you can clone the repo to your machine and run them there.

Actipro's WinForms-Controls GitHub repository

These samples are also the fastest way to evaluate WinForms Controls with .NET Core 3.1 or .NET 5 since the sample project is configured to multi-target both .NET Framework and .NET Core.

By having our samples and documentation source now available to the public, we hope that customers may be willing to contribute where they see opportunities for enhancements in those areas.

Backend Build Infrastructure

While not directly affecting customers, we have internally moved from a build infrastructure that was based on PowerShell scripts to a newer one based on the NUKE project.  NUKE allows you to build a console-based app that is pure C# and has tons of functionality already baked into it.  We have been so happy with the build framework that we now sponsor its author on GitHub.

In addition, we have moved our internal builds for the WinForms Controls off Azure DevOps and over to GitHub Actions.  Having source, issue-tracking, and builds (via Actions) all in one place on GitHub has been a win for us internally and should allow us to be more agile moving forward.


We are really pleased with the results of our efforts to move to a more open, modern infrastructure.  Customers can continue to download our product installer (once v21.1 is officially released) to easily get everything they need.  During the Release Candidate period, please e-mail our support team to get access to the v21.1 product installer.

Customers can alternatively choose to use for products assemblies, view online documentation on our web site, and clone our Github repository for samples.

Let us know what you think of these updates in the comments below, and please star our “WinForms-Controls” GitHub repository.