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Hey everyone, we've been working very diligently on the 2017.1 version of our WPF controls for the past several months and a public beta is almost ready. We'd love as many customers as possible to participate in the beta. First, let's give an overview of what's new in the 2017.1 version.
In the 2017.1 version, we reimplemented all Editors controls to be faster and more lightweight in terms of elements/bindings, and to use a common codebase with the Universal Windows Editors product. The new designs are better optimized for use in large quantities such as within data grids or property grids.
Every new edit box control has more fine-grained control over the step values. Now a native TextBox control is used for input, which allows for more free-form editing, IME input, and better UIA support.
New and improved drop-down pickers have been designed for each edit box. The pickers are optimized for mouse, pen, and touch-based entry. The screenshot above shows the BrushEditBox and the new BrushPicker drop-down control. Altering any edit box's drop-down is simply a matter of providing an alternate Style for its picker control.
New edit boxes have been added for the Byte, Int16, and Single numeric types, along with dedicated date-only (DateEditBox) and time-only (TimeEditBox seen above) variations of DateTimeEditBox.
Our customers have requested custom tree controls from us for a while now and we delivered in this version. We now offer a new TreeListBox control that is a single column tree similar to a native TreeView but optimized for MVVM usage, virtualization, and speed. It supports nearly all of the advanced features you'll find in a tree control like the Visual Studio Solution Explorer tree.
We also offer a new TreeListView control that is built upon the TreeListBox control but displays multiple columns similar to a ListView. Each column supports its own distinct user interface via data templates.
Both of these controls are packaged in a new Grids product.
While the PropertyGrid control found in our 2016.1 and earlier versions was very feature-rich, its performance sometimes left much to be desired and customization via property editors wasn't very straightforward.
In the 2017.1 version, PropertyGrid has been rewritten from scratch and constructed around the foundation provided by the new TreeListBox and TreeListView controls. It's now lightning fast and loads complex objects (like the properties of itself) almost instantly. A lot of this is due to simplification of the internal object model, use of virtualization techniques, and fewer overall UI elements. You'll definitely notice the speed increase.
The core object model used to track properties and categories has been improved and creating custom property editors is much more straightforward now.
The new PropertyGrid is part of the Grids product as well.
If you'd like to help us beta test the product, please write our support address and let us know your existing 2016.1 license information. We will notify you as soon as the public beta is ready and will send you a 2017.1 license if your subscription is still active.
The code for the beta is near complete and should be pretty stable. We have a full array of samples and documentation has been completely updated, including conversion notes.
We also will be chatting about the beta in our Slack channels so please join if you have Slack.
Very large maintenance releases of our v2016.1 WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls have been released and are now available for download. While there are an enormous number of minor updates and bug fixes made across the various UI control product range, the following lists the major updates that were made.
These Actipro maintenance releases update our UI controls to support the Visual Studio 2017 RC version that was released on Wednesday. Congratulations to the Microsoft teams involved in delivering the next major version of our favorite IDE!
A new event has been added that is raised when dragging docking windows over a drop target. Handle this event to specify that certain dock guides should be hidden that normally would be visible.
A new property is available to prevent floating dock hosts that contain MDI from showing in the Windows taskbar. (WPF only)
A new Calculator control has been added that provides a familiar calculator interface to interactively calculate numeric values. A new PickerKind property is available on DoubleEditBox and Int32EditBox to allow for optional usage of the calculator in the popup picker.
New edit box and picker controls have been added for the Int16, Int64, Single, and TimeSpan types.
A new property has been added that determines the scenarios (e.g Enter key press, etc.) in which a value commits when editing in an edit box.
A new property has been added that determines the wrapping behavior used when spinning past a minimum or maximum value in the active part in an edit box.
Added the DoubleEditBox.IsNaNAllowed, IsNegativeInfinityAllowed, and IsPositiveInfinityAllowed properties, which allow entry of those related values.
Improved Int32EditBox to support hexadecimal formats.
Improved GuidEditBox to support multiple formats.
Added UI automation peers for numerous controls.
The MaskedTextBox control added a default context menu and the gradient brush editor added a Remove Stop button.
The TreeListBox control and its derivatives added a powerful data filtering mechanism that uses string, boolean, and predicate-based logic to filter items.
A new sample that demonstrates filtering was also added.
Added the ZoomLevelIncrement property that controls the mouse wheel zoom step amount.
Added several UI automation peers for internal SyntaxEditor components.
Improved the IntelliPrompt completion list to try and keep the item matched by typing scrolled to the middle.
Added a UI automation peer for the RadialSlider control.
Updated the RadialSlider control to support more keyboard shortcuts.
All products received numerous other minor enhancements and bug fixes. See the announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates:
The most recent 2016.1 release of our WPF Controls added a new DynamicImage control. This is a drop-in replacement for Image that will auto-grayscale the image content when the control is disabled.
Ribbon buttons have all been updated to automatically grayscale their images when they are disabled.
The left ribbon has enabled buttons and the right ribbon has several disabled buttons
ToolBar buttons (if our native control themes are applied) have also all been updated to automatically grayscale their images when they are disabled.
The left toolbar has enabled buttons and the right toolbar has several disabled buttons
In the past, the above disabled buttons would show their images with some transparency but would retain the color. Having images auto-switch to grayscale ensures that they truly reflect a disabled state.
These features are in the latest 2016.1 maintenance release, available now.
The latest maintenance releases of our v2016.1 WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls had some major work done on SyntaxEditor's line modification marks feature. In fact, its internal logic was completely rewritten and improved.
Line modification marks use colored bars in the selection margin to tell the end user whether changes have occurred on the line, and whether those changes have been saved.
This animation shows this feature in action:
New changes will turn the marks yellow to reflect that those lines are “dirty” (unsaved). If you then "save" the document (which I do above after typing on two lines), the marks turn green to indicate they are now saved.
While the yellow and green marks were present in older versions, there were some bugs that could occur with their tracking over the course of multiple text changes. Those bugs have been fixed in this latest maintenance release.
In addition we also have added orange marks, that occur when you undo past the save point. They show anything that is different from what was saved but is not different from the document when it was originally opened.
These great new features match exactly with what is in Visual Studio and are wonderful for end users. Grab the latest 2016.1 builds to add them to your own apps!
Very large maintenance releases of our v2016.1 WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls have been released and are now available for download.
We've been blogging about our new TreeListBox and TreeListView controls for a little while now. They have been in private alpha testing and now we have placed the alpha test in a new public Grids assembly that has shipped in this WPF and UWP maintenance release.
TreeListBox is a TreeView-like control but has many advanced features like those found in the Visual Studio Solution Explorer. See this blog post for some details on the feature list.
TreeListView inherits TreeListBox and includes all of the tree hierarchy features found in it. It also displays each row similar to a ListView, columns and all! This blog post summarizes the features found in this control.
With this public alpha release of the controls, you are able to start using them and can provide us with feedback. We'd love to hear from you, whether it be via our ticket system or Slack. Our plan is to finalize them for the 2017.1 version, but they should be pretty stable for usage now. Anyone with a WPF/UWP Studio or PropertyGrid license should be able to use them immediately under your existing 2016.1 license.
Going forward, we have already made major progress on rewriting our PropertyGrid control and basing it on TreeListView. So far, performance tests are showing that it's loading large property trees almost instantly. We'll blog more on this in the upcoming weeks.
There were a lot of tweaks and bug fixes in this build for the Docking/MDI product. We recommend you grab the latest if you use Docking/MDI.
There were numerous improvements too, including some more major ones like:
Line modification mark tracking logic has been completely rewritten. It now works much better and even introduces new orange marks that track "reverted" changes, similar to how the Visual Studio editor does.
We added the ability for a programmatically created text change to merge into previous text change on the undo stack. This allows you to chain additional text changes onto previous ones and have them be undoable as a single unit.
We added a new property that can be set to false to only allow backspacing over a single character when the document's AutoConvertTabsToSpaces is true.
The PasteDragDrop event is now also raised drag over events so that the drag effects can be manually altered.
The ITextChange.CustomData property is now settable so it can be updated after the text change was created as needed.
A text formatter for the JSON language has been implemented that beautifies the JSON data.
We added the DynamicImage control, which is a drop-in replacement for Image that will auto-grayscale the image content when the control is disabled. Going along with this, we updated ImageConverter to return a DynamicImage instance instead of Image. Our toolbar, menu, and Ribbon control themes have been updated to use DynamicImage so that you get grayscale effects on images out-of-the-box. Note how the cut, copy, and undo buttons are all grayscale when disabled in the screenshot above.
If you encounter a 'Could not find a part of the path' to bitmap image source error after upgrading to this version, specify the absolute path to the image source using pack syntax as described in the DynamicImage documentation instead of using a relative path.
We moved ImageToMonochromeConverter from our Ribbon assembly to Shared and renamed it to ImageSourceContentConverter. Along the way, it was updated to work on vector GeometryDrawings too. We added an attached ImageSourceContentConverter.CanConvertToMonochrome property, which can be set on portions of a DrawingImage that shouldn't be converted to monochrome, such as areas that display a selected color. We also added a ImageSourceContentConverter.Mode property that sets whether to convert to grayscale (default) or monochrome.
A new version of our Windows Forms controls has been released. This version includes several large new features along with numerous minor bug fixes and updates. First, these are some of the major new features…
When a new DockManager property is set to true, documents can be floated to their own window. This allows them to be moved to and maximized on a second monitor.
We've always had layout serialization for tool windows but now tabbed document windows can have their layouts serialized as well.
The C# parser in the WinForms .NET Languages Add-on has been updated to support the parsing of C# 5.0 syntax.
See the announcement post for the detailed list of other enhancements and updates.
Maintenance releases of our v2016.1 WPF, Universal Windows, and Silverlight controls have been released and are now available for download.
Docking/MDI for WPF and UWP has several new options that give you more control over UI appearance. Tab text on tabbed MDI tabs will now trim long text with ellipses in the middle, instead of the end, allowing for filenames to be more readable.
SyntaxEditor's completion and parameter info providers in all language add-ons now allow you to intercept OnSessionOpening, even when no items were pre-populated, so that you can add your own custom items/info. Cut, copy, paste, drag, and drop all now support the block and full line flags that are compatible with Visual Studio. The Python Language Add-on added a text range property to all type and function definitions, allowing you to implement features like go to definition easier.
The Shared Library added a new RingSpinner control that is an animated ring where the two ring segment ends chase each other around the circle. It's great for display while performing a lengthy operation.
Anyone who has worked with the native WPF TreeView knows that its API is difficult to use (compared to the WinForms TreeView) and the performance isn't very good when binding to large large data sets.
We have started developing a completely custom implementation of a TreeView control that isn't based on the native TreeView control. We'd love to get your input now during our design and prototyping phase on the following items:
Please either write our support address with your feedback or join our Slack discussion on the topic and chat right with us. The benefit of the chat option is that you can see what others are saying and throw in your two cents as well.
WPF Controls 2016.1 build 631 has been released and is now available for download. This build contains numerous minor features, updates, and bug fixes across the various WPF control product range.
It is highly recommended that v2016.1 customers upgrade to this build since it fixes all issues that have been discovered in the major Docking/MDI control updates that were part of the first 2016.1 release.
The first 2016.1 release added new Metro themes that have accent colors, like in the screenshot below.
The QAT buttons on the upper left of the window were originally wider in Office 2016, matching the width of the system minimize, maximize, and close title bar buttons. However in the most recent Office 2016 update, the QAT button width was reduced and we've updated their size in this build to match.
See the announcement post for the detailed list of enhancements and updates in this build.
Do you want to chat with us about what we're working on next? Register to join our Slack team and help guide our future development efforts!
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.
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.
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.
The Alt+- keyboard shortcut will also show a focused document's context menu when in tabbed MDI.
The Ctrl+Alt+DownArrow keyboard shortcut will display the document list menu in tabbed MDI.
These keyboard shortcuts are great for end users to be aware of and provide access to common docking functionality, all via the keyboard.