WPF Controls v23.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 1 comment
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 at 4:21pm

While this major new version focuses on the introduction of the new Bars product beta, it also has a number of other minor updates across other products that are described in the related announcement post, which contains a detailed list of enhancements and updates.

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

Bars (Beta)

v23.1 takes the wraps off a new Bars product that implements advanced fluent ribbons, toolbars, menus, and related controls.

Ribbon in Classic layout mode with a color gallery displayed

The new fluent Ribbon has the latest Office appearance and includes the use of subtle animations throughout all controls.

Ribbon's backstage showing an included recent document list control

Ribbon can instantly switch between Classic (taller) and Simplified (single-row) layout modes, allowing for configuration of the variant resizing behavior in both modes.

Ribbon in Simplified layout mode with an Insert Table gallery displayed

Complex galleries can appear in the Ribbon, as well as in any popup and context menu. It's simple to create new galleries with rich visualizations for any need.

A standalone toolbar can display many of the same controls that Ribbon can, including popups with galleries

The StandaloneToolBar control can alternatively be used as an app's primary toolbar, or alternatively within tool windows. It can host any control that can be used in Ribbon and overflows items to a popup as needed.

Three user interface density options can be chosen, letting your application select whether to better support a large number of controls, or focus more on touch-friendliness.

The entire control hierarchy can be built using MVVM (preferred), or alternatively directly in XAML.  An optional open source MVVM library is available that makes it easy to configure the Bars controls with MVVM techniques.  In fact, the main Ribbon demo seen in earlier screenshots above is completely constructed from code-behind view models!

.NET Target and Code Signing Updates

Since .NET 5 is now out of support by Microsoft, we updated our .NET 5 targets to .NET 6. .NET 5-based apps can still use .NET Core 3.1 targets.

We’ve also moved our .NET Framework target to use 4.6.2 minimum, as it’s the most recent supported version of .NET Framework.

Finally, we now automatically code sign all our assemblies instead of shipping both non-signed and signed variations.

WPF Controls v22.1.5 Maintenance Release

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 5:09pm

This version makes a number of minor updates across the WPF control product line.

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

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New WPF Bars Product - Testers Wanted

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 9:28pm

We’ve very excited to announce our new WPF Bars product that has been in development for quite a while now. Bars comes packed with everything you need to implement advanced ribbons, toolbars, and menus in your WPF applications.

The Bars Ribbon in Classic layout mode showing a custom gallery

This first beta release of Bars includes a powerful new Ribbon control that has the latest Office appearance with subtle animations, is extremely customizable, and makes it easy to build custom galleries. A StandaloneToolBar control can be used as a window's main toolbar or can be enclosed within a tool window. Future planned updates for Bars will add docking toolbar functionality. Everything from popup/split buttons to comboboxes to galleries can be included anywhere in a ribbon, toolbar, or menu.

An open source Bars MVVM library implements a complete set of view models and related UI views for building a full ribbon hierarchy in code. It also includes multiple examples of building visually stunning galleries that are seen in Office.

The same window but with the Bars Ribbon switched to Simplified layout mode

The new Ribbon control implementation in Bars was built from the ground up with WPF best-practices in mind. It supports MVVM usage, has fluent animation throughout, allows instant switching between Classic (three row) and Simplified (modern single row) layout modes, uses simple control variant logic when resizing, has better a control infrastructure, includes a full UIA peer tree, and that’s just scratching the surface.

We think you will love using the new Bars product in your WPF applications, and we can use your help. Bars will ship in the WPF Controls v23.1 release and we are nearing release candidate stability for the product. We would like to have additional customers take it for a test drive to provide us feedback.

If you would like to assist in testing a preview build of Bars in v23.1, please write us at our support e-address and describe how you might use Bars in your applications.  We look forward to hearing from you.

WPF Controls v22.1.4 Maintenance Release

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 6:37pm

This version makes a number of minor updates across the WPF control product line.

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

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WPF Controls v22.1.3 Maintenance Release

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 9:04pm

This version makes a number of SyntaxEditor improvements including the abililty to select the next occurrence of selected text, much faster performance with complex IntelliPrompt completion lists, indented word-wrapped lines, and more.  Other updates have been made to Docking/MDI, Editors, Grids, Ribbon, Themes, and the Shared Library.

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

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Here's a peek at a couple of the new features...


Tabbed MDI Float All

A new "Float All" menu item has been added to documents in tabbed MDI. 

The new menu item (left) and the result of clicking it (right)

When clicked the documents float together into a new MDI window that can be dragged as a group to another monitor.


Select Next Occurrence

The select next occurrence feature provides a quick way to select additional instances of the selected text.  Say our caret is in the middle of the "using" keyword.  Pressing Ctrl+D (the hotkey for Select Next Occurrence) will select the current word since no selection was yet available.

A sequence of screenshots showing the Select Next Occurrence feature

After pressing Ctrl+D once a selection is made, it will add another selection of the next instance of the selected text.  In the bottom screenshot in the sequence above, I've pressed Ctrl+D several times so that all instances of "using" are selected.

SyntaxEditor supports multiple carets and selections, and at this point, any typing will update all the selected instances at the same time.

Indented Word-Wrapped Lines

Another great new feature is that word-wrapped lines will now be indented by a couple characters, as long as there is sufficient editor width to do so.

The wrapped portion of line 11 is indented

In the screenshot, you can see how the word-wrapped portion of line 11 is indented a couple characters beyond line 11's anchor indent level.  Indentation of wrapped lines makes it easier to read them.

The indent amount is fully configurable via a new SyntaxEditor.WrappedLineIndentAmount property, whose default is 2.  Set it to 0 to indent to the same amount as the anchor line with no additional indent.  Or set it to -1 to always left-align wrapped lines within the text area (no indent at all).


Theme Designer Base Color Finder

The Theme Designer has a handy Base Color Finder tool that can find a color family that will match your brand's primary color.  Previously this only worked well for light themes.  Updates have been made so that dark themes are also supported.

The Base Color Finder working on a dark theme