The Actipro Blog

All the latest UI control development news from Actipro

PropertyGrid for WPF beta testing starts this week

The time has finally arrived, we plan on starting beta testing of our PropertyGrid for WPF control this week!  We're just finishing a couple last minute items and making several quick samples.  Then we'll be ready to get it out into the hands of our beta testers for feedback.


PropertyGrid for WPF showing how you can embed custom controls like our SpectrumColorPicker as an editor for a property value

Beta Testers Wanted

We're looking for more beta testers.  If you are a WPF Studio customer and would like to help try out the PropertyGrid for WPF control, please send our support team an e-mail. 

Please note that you must be willing to provide feedback on the control after using it.  Also, only WPF Studio customers will be accepted for beta testing at this time since they will be receiving it free upon final release.

What's Left Before Final Release?

The code is just about ready for final release, pending any changes or minor enhancements that we make based on the beta testing feedback.  The beta will include several samples, and we'll be working on more before final release.  The beta will not contain any documentation yet since that also will be written while beta testing is in progress.

What's After PropertyGrid?

As I've been posting, progress on SyntaxEditor for WPF has been very good and will be continuing. 

We have some other minor items to work on with our existing products but will also be getting into an editors library such as masked edits, etc. following the release of PropertyGrid.  The goal is for the editors to work flawlessly both inside the PropertyGrid as well as standalone.

Filed under: Actipro, In development, WPF

SyntaxEditor for WPF block selection

As mentioned in previous posts, we're working very hard on the SyntaxEditor for WPF core editing capabilities.  One area that we've been working in this week is advanced selections such as block selections.

Block selections are where you create a rectangle of selection instead of the normal "snaking" variety of selection.


Block selection in SyntaxEditor for WPF

As you can see from the screenshot above, we have block selection working already in SyntaxEditor for WPF.  And it even supports embedded right-to-left text properly!  Although the screenshot's selection looks a bit strange, that actually is the correct way to do a block selection when encountering right-to-left text.

We're making a very concerted effort to ensure that SyntaxEditor for WPF supports any culture.

Filed under: Actipro, In development, WPF

Large file editing in SyntaxEditor for WPF looks great so far

One area that we definitely want to improve with SyntaxEditor is the ability to have good response and performance when editing large files.  In SyntaxEditor for WinForms, there are a number of options you can turn off to help improve performance, yet it would would be much better to be able to leave options on and still have decent performance.  Also when editing huge documents, performance should still be considered good, not just satisfactory.

In our newer internal design that we're prototyping out in SyntaxEditor for WPF, we have already started implementing a number of improvements we've been brainstorming on for a long time.  Let's call these new ideas SyntaxEditor Next since after the WPF version is completed, we'll probably be looking at implementing similar techniques in the WinForms version 5.0.

Here is a list of some of the improved areas (let's assume a large document is 10MB in size for these comparisons):

  • Document loading - When loading a very large document, it may take 10-15 seconds to load and display in SyntaxEditor for WinForms.  In SyntaxEditor Next, it loads and displays instantaneously.
  • Typing performance - When editing a large document in SyntaxEditor for WinForms, there can be a noticeable delay when typing each character.  With our SyntaxEditor Next design, there is almost no noticeable slowdown in typing.
  • Word wrap activation - When switching to word wrap mode in SyntaxEditor for WinForms, very large documents might notice up to a several second delay before the switch is complete.  In SyntaxEditor Next, the change is instantaneous.
  • Word wrap memory - In SyntaxEditor for WinForms, word wrap mode took up a lot of additional memory when working with large files.  In SyntaxEditor Next, it uses almost no additional memory.

The observations above are comparisons made on the same 10MB file with highlighting enabled.

Please note that while SyntaxEditor for WPF (SyntaxEditor Next prototype) doesn't have outlining or semantic parsing implemented yet, to compare apples to apples we turned off outlining and semantic parsing in the WinForms version.  Therefore we are very optimistic that the performance results above can be maintained once outlining and semantic parsing are added to SyntaxEditor for WPF.

Filed under: Actipro, In development, WPF

Updated Organization Purchases web page makes tracking your purchases easier than ever

As part of continuing efforts to improve the quality of service to our customers, we've made some very major enhancements to our Organization Purchases page.  The updates are based on customer feedback along with our own ideas.  We're confident you're really going to love them!

I'd like to walk through the new interface to show you the improved features.


A screenshot of the new Organization Purchases page design for Actipro customers

Streamlined, Cleaner Design

You can see from the screenshot above that the new Organization Purchases page for our customers is drastically different from before.  Each product/version group is now separated by a bold heading and an image for the product. 

Right next to the image are action links for doing things like downloading the latest maintenance release, e-mailing yourself the license key, or purchasing upgrades and additional licenses.

Below the lines is information describing your free upgrade information based on what subscriptions you own, if any.

Finally, the details of the individual purchases you've made for the product/version are listed.


There now are several options for filtering the purchased product list.  A message is shown above the list when at least one product/version is filtered out per the criteria settings.

Platform is a drop-down that lets you select specific platforms only, such as WPF or WinForms.

Latest-owned versions only will only show product/versions that are the latest you own.  For instance if you own SyntaxEditor v4.0, v3.1, and v3.0, when this box is checked, you will only see v4.0 listed. 

Show details will display all the individual purchase details for the displayed product/versions.  By unchecking this box, you hide the grid with header "Date", "Description", "Licenses" in the screenshot above.

Jumping to a Product

Links appear below the filtering criteria that let you jump directly to specific products in your purchased products list.

Product Alerts

The product alerts section is a new concept for this page and probably is the best new feature that was added in the update.  It provides a task list of action items that you can do related to your purchases.

It currently shows three types of alerts:

  1. Free upgrade alerts - When you have an active subscription for a product and a new version is available, this alert will tell you to click on the link to request a free upgrade.
  2. Expiring license/subscription alerts - When you are nearing the expiration date of a license/subscription, this type of alert tells you the expiration date and allows you to jump directly to the related product purchase page to order a renewal.
  3. New version alerts - When you don't have an active subscription and a new version is available, this alert notifies you of the new version and provides a link directly to the related product purchase page to order an upgrade.

We sincerely hope our customers like the updates.  They will be especially useful for our larger customers who have made many purchases over the year.

Please e-mail us if you have any problems with the updated page.

Filed under: General, Actipro

SyntaxEditor for WPF will support bi-directional text (Arabic, etc.)

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, we've been working on core editing functionality for the WPF version of SyntaxEditor.  One feature that isn't in our WinForms version but that we always wanted to add is support for right-to-left languages inline with code.

Bi-directional display of text is a tricky thing because as soon as you enter a sequence of right-to-left characters such as Arabic or Hebrew, the entire sequence is flipped over and directional left/right arrow keys move the caret in the opposite direction.


SyntaxEditor for WPF showing the partial selection of some Arabic text

So in the screenshot above, say you have the caret at the left quote (fourth character) on line 6.  If you press your right arrow, the caret jumps to just before the right quote after the Arabic "Hello world" text, since this is considered "before" the Arabic sequence of characters.  If you press right arrow again, it moves one character to the left, and into the Arabic section.  This continues until you reach the leftmost side of the Arabic sequence, and the caret moves to the right quote again.  From that point on, right arrow moves to the right since it is back in left-to-right mode.

In the screenshot, the selection was anchored at the start of the "SyntaxEditor" word on line 5 and then the caret was moved down to line 6 into the Arabic sequence of characters.  You can see how the selection properly splits to show the contiguous sequence of characters that are selected.

Filed under: Actipro, In development, WPF