Code Writer App Gets Its Own Twitter Feed

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 8:50pm

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Many of you are aware that we created a free text and code app named Code Writer that is found in the Windows Store.  It is an excellent tech demo of our commercial SyntaxEditor code editor control (available for all Microsoft UI platforms) and makes a great replacement for Notepad.

We're pleased to announce that we've just created a dedicated @CodeWriterApp Twitter account for the Code Writer app, making it easier to stay on top of the latest app news.

CodeWriterTwitter

Click the View button above to access the app's Twitter feed and be sure to Follow it!

About Code Writer

A bit of history about the app... Code Writer was one of the first high-quality Windows 8 apps in the Windows Store.  Its user interface was originally optimized and designed for full screen usage, making use of app bars, etc.  While the user interface is still clean and minimalistic, its current UI design needs rethinking for windowed usage in Windows 10. Even with a somewhat dated UI paradigm, the app is consistently rated well over 4 stars, which is a testament to the quality of the app.

We have started working on a revamped UI design for a future Windows 10 version and would love to discuss it with you, our users. Please register to join our Slack team and join the #codewriter channel once added so we can throw around ideas for Code Writer v3.0.

New Hotkeys in Docking/MDI

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Friday, February 26, 2016 at 9:59pm

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Quickly Selecting a Tab in the Same Container

Did you know that in the new 2016.1 version of our WPF Control's Docking/MDI product, you can quickly access another docking window tab in the same container by pressing Ctrl+[tabnumber]?  This also works in the Docking/MDI beta for Universal Windows.

TabbedMdi

For instance, in the tabbed MDI screenshot above, if I press Ctrl+2, the Document2.txt document would be selected.  And Ctrl+3 would select Document3.txt.

Ctrl+[tabnumber] will select the "normal" tab that has that tab index.  What if there are pinned tabs though?  Pinned tabs have an unpin button displayed on them and appear first in the tab list.  The same concept applies there but you'd press Ctrl+Alt+[tabnumber], where the tab number there is the tab index within the "pinned" tabs.

The same Ctrl+[tabnumber] keyboard shortcut will even work in docked tool windows when two or more tool windows are attached (tabbed) to each other.

Showing the Tool Window Container Options Menu

ToolWindowContainerOptionsMenu

The Alt+- keyboard shortcut will show the options menu for the current tool window, when the focused tool window is docked in a tool window container.

Showing the Tabbed Document Context Menu

TabbedMdiContextMenu

The Alt+- keyboard shortcut will also show a focused document's context menu when in tabbed MDI.

Showing the Tabbed MDI Document List Menu

TabbedMdiDocumentList

The Ctrl+Alt+DownArrow keyboard shortcut will display the document list menu in tabbed MDI.

Summary

These keyboard shortcuts are great for end users to be aware of and provide access to common docking functionality, all via the keyboard.

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Docking/MDI for Universal Windows Beta

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 9:53pm

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A couple weeks back, we released our first set of Universal Windows controls.  And right before that, all the work we've been doing on Docking/MDI for WPF (codenamed vNext) the past few months was released as part of our 2016.1 WPF Controls.  Docking/MDI's internals were rewritten from scratch to support all the latest docking window oriented functionality found in apps like Visual Studio 2015 and the feedback on the new version has been tremendous.

Here's the really exciting part for Universal Windows app devs… Part of that vNext rewrite was to also ensure that the same Docking/MDI API and design would work in Universal Windows apps!  And today we are formally announcing that we are looking for beta testers to try it out. 

This SyntaxEditor and Docking/MDI combination screenshot shows a tabbed MDI and tool windows docked around it:

UniversalDocking

Are you making a Universal Windows line of business app or any other app that would benefit from docking tool windows and/or a fully-managed tabbed or windows multiple document interface?  Then look no further.  The Docking/MDI product for Universal Windows has nearly the entire feature set of the amazing WPF version!

Write Us to Beta Test

If you'd like to help beta test this brand new product for your Universal Windows app, e-mail our support address to request beta access.  In your email, please give us an overview of the app you're developing and how you plan to integrate docking windows and/or MDI into it.

Code Writer v2.5 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro) - 2 comments
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 5:06pm

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Code Writer v2.5, our free text/code editor app, is now published to the Windows Store.  Please note that the new version may take several hours to show up in the Store.

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for Universal Windows allows you to build apps just like Code Writer.  Download a free evaluation to try it out.

Check out all the new features added to Code Writer…

Accessing App Settings

See the Summary section for info on our future plans to give the app a UI refresh designed for Windows 10.  In the meantime, we've made the app's Settings easier to access in Windows 10.  It can be done in two places:

Settings1

The first is from the hamburger menu on the upper left of the app window.

Settings2

The second is from the bottom app bar that shows when you press Windows+Z or click the status bar ellipses ("…") to show the app bars in the Editor screen.

Browse Picker

The Browse picker's 'All Files' file type filter can now open unregistered file types.  It comes up by default allowing *.* files to be opened.

BrowseDialog

If you drop down the file type filter, all file extensions are now sorted alphabetically.

Move Selected Lines Up/Down

MoveLinesUpDown

Alt+Up and Alt+Down can now be used to move the selected lines up and down.

New Font Options for Eastern Character Display

EasternFonts

New options for Eastern fonts are now available in the Editor settings flyout.

HTML Improvements

A HTML5 doctype is now added by default to the HTML, PHP, and ASP new document templates.

HTML auto-completion for void elements will no longer self-close certain tags like <br>.

Miscellaneous

Several other updates are included:

  • codewriter://close-all URL closes all open documents, losing any unsaved changes.  If you have a troublesome document that might be preventing the app from loading, try this command.
  • Print settings for syntax highlighting, line number margin, and whitespace are now saved.
  • Indentation guide contrast has been increased.
  • Fixed a bug where the Save As dialog didn't select the document's current file type by default.
  • Fixed a bug where the CSS file type wasn't syntax highlighting media queries correctly.

Summary and Future Windows 10 Plans

This update adds several features that have been requested by our users.  It will likely be the last version released for Windows 8.1.  Now that our Universal Windows Controls are released, our goal is to get Code Writer upgraded to the Universal platform and give it a UI refresh that is better designed for windowed usage.

Have any suggestions for a refreshed Windows 10 UI?  Now is the time to post them in the app's discussion forum.

You can also download a free evaluation of our SyntaxEditor control for Universal Windows, which lets you add advanced code and text editing to your own Windows Store apps.

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Universal Windows Controls 2016.1 Released

by Avatar Bill Henning (Actipro)
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 3:35pm

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We're pleased to announce that our Universal Windows controls have officially been released and are ready for use in your Windows 10 apps!  Download a free evaluation today and start building your apps with them.

Let's take a quick glimpse at some of the samples that ship with the product and show off the controls:

ChartsBaseballStatsThumbnail   EditorsColorEditBoxThumbnail

MicroChartsCallCenterThumbnail   SyntaxEditorHtmlEditorThumbnail

EditorsDateTimeEditBoxThumbnail   MicroChartsStockReportThumbnail

ViewsTaskPlanningThumbnail   ChartsFinancialDashboardThumbnail

The focus of this first release was to port our older WinRT XAML controls up to the Universal Windows platform.  Look for plenty more updates and controls added in the future.

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