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Jochen Kühner

  • WPF Designer News Q1/2016

    It's now been a while since the WPF Designer was split out into a separate repository of its own (early October of 2015 to be precise). It still looks & feels the same as before, however there have been quite a few changes, new features, and, as always, bug fixes. It ships on NuGet.

    One very important change is "buried" in our CONTRIBUTING.md - we undertook the work to get rid of third-party UI component assembly dependencies (and we want to keep it that way). That meant writing our own property editors, but it allows us to add/edit just about any XAML control. And additionally, no more version clashes for you, because we ship with zero dependencies!

    Now for an assorted list of news in the designer: 

    • XAML2009 support (partially, not all is yet supported, eg x.TypeArguments)
    • Support for parsing app.xaml and resources defined in there!
    • Implement DesignWidth/DesignHeight support
    • Support for x:Reference
    • Support for Styles and ControlTemplates
    • Pressing "ALT" while clicking on a control allows the selection of a control below
    • Remove dependency to Extended.Wpf.Toolkit, now projects which use these assemblies can be designed
    • Performance fixes: outline node was really slow on big XAML pages
    • Formatted text editor: you can edit a Textblock via inline editor and style the text (Bold, Italic, Font,...)
    • Snapline fixes (now also middle of control has a Snapline, and you can snap to elements in other containers) 
    • Namescope fixes, copy&paste fixes,... the prefix of the XAML element is not lost any more (no "d1p1" in XAML)
    • Better assembly loading support
    • Many new context menus
    • Same context menu for Outline and Designer 
    • XAML parser fixes
    • Editor for formatted text in a TextBlock
    • Support of loading Files from relative URIs
    • Copy/Paste of Bindings uses copied controls

    The WPF Designer has been merged for the current SharpDevelop 5.1 builds on the build server. Please give it a thorough test drive!

    It took a little longer (especially the "no third parties" part) than planned, but we hope that you have now a much more useful experience. If you are looking for examples on how to use the designer in your own projects: there are two samples in the repository, and of course there is always SharpDevelop to look at. 

  • New in WPF: Set RenderTransformOrgin

    One more new feature I've added to the WPF Designer: you can now drag around the RenderTransformOrgin. You have the ability to rotate controls in the designer, and also you can change the center of the rotation.

     Additionally, a few bugs were fixed:

     

    • Don't clear names when pasting from Clipboard, add "_Copy", "_Copy1", ...
    • Fix line number when we have XAML errors
    • When RenderTransformOrigin is not yet set and we rotate, use 0.5, 0.5

     

  • New in WPF: Thumbnail View

    One more feature as part of the pull request for SharpDevelop 4.3.2 - a new pad, the thumbnail view. It is very helpful when you edit very large forms (and I mean veeery large forms).

    It always shows a miniature view of the whole form/control, and a black rectangle indicates the current zoomed area. You can also use it to move the zoomed area around!

  • New in WPF Designer: Rotation Support

    The WPF Designer has learned a new trick in 4.3.2 - you can interactively rotate controls. How does it work? Select a control and click on the black dot in the middle of the control. The mouse cursor changes to a rotate arrow, and you are good to go!

  • New in WPF: Raster Placement Support

    Enable/Disable raster and Snapline placement is another one of the VS / Blend parity features that I added to 4.3.2. It allows to set the raster width

    Here's how it looks:

     

  • New in WPF: A Few "Invisible" Features / Bug Fixes

    There are also a few new features in 4.3.2 which are not directly visible, so I will mention them here:

    • Copy/Paste support for controls which are not from the framework assemblies
    • Copy/Paste will keep position of controls
    • "Graying out" the designer area works now correctly (ie non-active grid cells)
    • Convert User Controls to Custom Controls (Property Grid, Outline View). This may be only interesting for people who use our designer embedded in their applications, but they'll appreciate it.
    • Gradient brushes can now be represented as XAML and parsed
    • Default control size: if a control sets a default size in its style this is now actually used.
    • Move Controls via Arrow Keys
    • Many namespace support fixes (from Tobias Gummeson)

    Those are only a few of the fixes under the hood - but the most visible ones. Hopfully they'll help you too.

  • New in WPF Designer: Support for Outline View to Show/Hide Controls

    In SharpDevelop 4.3.2 (currently on the build server only), I implemented a feature which is available in VS and Expression Blend: to Show/Hide Controls from the Outline View. For this I also implemented support for Design Time Properties.

    A picture is worth a thousand words as it also shows another new feature: preview of the respective control in the outline view.




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