The Actipro Blog

All the latest UI control development news from Actipro

RadialSlider Control

20141ProductNotesBlogPostBanner

The 2014.1 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls were released last week and all contain several handy components in them, such as the RingSlice control we talked about several days ago.

In today's post, I'd like to show off the new RadialSlider control.

What is RadialSlider?

The RadialSlider control allows for quick selection of a degree value, which can easily be converted to some form of scalar value.  The control uses an embedded CircularThumb control, but is otherwise transparent.  It is meant to be used in conjunction with the RingSlice control and have that control render the slider's value UI.

RadialSliderBounds   RadialSliderCorner

Radial sliders function just like normal linear sliders however instead of moving the slider thumb in a straight line, the thumb can move in a circular fashion around the slider's center point.  This sort of UI allows for additional precision when compared to linear sliders, especially with touch interaction.

RadialSliderSegmented   RadialSliderWarningLevel

RadialSlider supports minimum/maximum ranges, infinite wrapping mode, customizable thumb styles, and more. 

RadialSliderRange   RadialSliderCustomStyle

Combine two RadialSlider controls on top of each other to enable range-based selection.

Real World Usage Scenario

RadialSlider and RingSlice controls can be used to create radial input controls such as in this sample (included in our download), which mimics a countdown timer in the Windows Alarms app:

RadialSlider

The sample above is a composite of two RadialSliders (for which you can see the thumbs that set minutes and seconds values), three RingSlices of various purple shades (that indicate the hours, minutes, and seconds values), and three RingSlices of various gray shades (that form the background "tracks").

The end user simply grabs the thumbs, either via touch or mouse, and drags in a circular fashion to alter the values.  The RingSlice controls that render the current values track with the dragged thumb.

Summary

The RadialSlider control is available in our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML Shared Libraries and is licensed for use by any of our customers of those control platforms.  Download v2014.1 and check it out!

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Filed under: Actipro, WPF, Silverlight, WinRT, XAML

WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML Controls v2014.1 Maintenance Releases

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Due to an issue we found with clicks on SyntaxEditor margins that was introduced in the last build, we just published a fix in new v2014.1 maintenance releases for our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls.

Details on the updates can be found in this announcement post.

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Filed under: Actipro, WPF, Silverlight, WinRT

RingSlice Control

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The 2014.1 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls were released last week and all contain several handy components in them.  One that I'd like to talk in more detail about today is the RingSlice control.

What is RingSlice?

The RingSlice control renders a portion (or the entire circle) of a ring shape.  Its start/end angles, radius, thickness, and other stroke properties can be set.

RingSliceFullRing   RingSliceEndCaps

In the screenshots above, we see a RingSlice rendering a full ring and another showing how end caps can be customized.

RingSliceDash1   RingSliceDash2   RingSliceDash3   RingSliceDash4

In the screenshots above, we see how the same RingSlice control can have different stroke settings applied to it to provide dash effects.

Real World Usage Scenarios

Other very interesting composite controls can be created by using the RingSlice control together with other controls.

RingSliceProgress

The screenshot above shows how four RingSlice controls are used to surround a TextBlock and make a segmented progress indicator.  The fill of each RingSlice can be changed as progress occurs, so that the current step is reflected.

RingSliceGraph

Finally, this screenshot shows the radial graph of a numeric value.  Simply animate the end angle of the RingSlice to create a dynamic presentation of the data.

Summary

The RingSlice control is available in our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML Shared Libraries and is licensed for use by any of our customers of those control platforms.  Download v2014.1 and check it out!

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Filed under: Actipro, WPF, Silverlight, WinRT, XAML

WinForms Controls 2014.1 Released

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WinForms Controls 2013.1 build 310 has been released and is now available for download.

WinFormsMetroLight

This version features the updates we did to bring Metro Light themes to the controls as described in this post and this post.  The new themes can make your app's Actipro controls render similar to the visual style found in Visual Studio 2013.

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

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WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML v2014.1 Released

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The 2014.1 versions of our WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML controls have been released and are now available for download.

Major new features are described below.  See the announcement posts for the detailed list of enhancements and updates, including many items not listed below:

ProductHeadingWPFDocking

Metro themes have been dramatically refined and updated in this version, mostly in the area of Docking/MDI.  Updated UI includes subtle border lines, new auto-hide tab appearance, title bar gripper decorations, and more.

DockingMetro

Metro themes will now not show images on tabs by default, and have changed auto-hide tabs to require a click (instead of hover) to open.  These updates match Visual Studio 2013 behavior.

We've added new events for the auto-hide popup (flyout) that fire when it is opened or closed.  The popup is also now displayed using a faster default animation speed.

When the DockSite.AutoHidePopupOpensOnMouseHover property is false, clicks on auto-hide tabs are required to toggle the auto-hide popup opened and closed.

ProductHeadingWPFPropertyGrid

New built-in property editors for FontFamily, FontStretch, FontStyle, and FontWeight type properties have been added.

PropertyGridFontFamily

ProductHeadingWPFRibbon

New key tip specific theme resources have been added and key tips in Metro themes now render more like Office 2013.

CheckBox-based menu items now are capable of supporting tri-state display.

ProductHeadingGenericSyntaxEditor

Delimiter auto-completion logic for insertion and subsequent scope tracking has been greatly improved.  Delimiter indent provider can now optionally support square braces.

Added a new property that allows SyntaxEditor to measure itself based on text contents.  This works great for smaller documents in both multi-line and single-line modes.

SyntaxEditorAutoSize

Updated single-line mode to support word wrap, which is very useful when combined with the new view line measuring option.

SyntaxEditorSingleLineWrapped

Bookmark indicators now support an IsEnabled state.

LipsumGenerator class added to support generation of "lorem ipsum" placeholder text.

Changed block indent mode to retain whitespace after the caret when Enter is pressed.

.NET Languages Add-on

Numerous improvements to the VB language's handling of identifiers and variable declarations that don't include a type.

Web Languages Add-on

Added IntelliPrompt completion for keywords and symbols to the JavaScript language.

JavaScriptCompletion

Added a new advanced JSON language that can be used to view/edit JSON files, along with a new related QuickStart.

JsonLanguage

Updated JavaScript language to support multi-line strings via backslash continuation.

ProductHeadingWPFThemes

Many improvements to Metro themes (mostly in the Docking/MDI area described above), and improved WindowChrome (and RibbonWindow) rendering when maximized.

ProductHeadingGenericShared

WPF/Silverlight Only

Added the RadialSlider control, which is a circular slider that can be used to input any scalar value.

RadialSliderIntro

Added the RingSlice control, which renders a portion of a ring at designated angles and radius.

RingSliceProgressIndicator

Added the CircularThumb control, which is a thumb gripper with a circular shape and arrow adornment.

Added three samples for new Shared Library controls.

WinRT/XAML Only

Added the AppBarHint control, which is a visual hint to users that app bars exist on a page, and can be tapped to toggle them open. 

AppBarHint

Added a related QuickStart.

ProductHeadingMisc

Sample Browser (WPF/Silverlight only)

Added the ability to toggle description sidebar on some samples.

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New Font-Related PropertyGrid Editors

PostBannerWPFControlsDevNotes

We've got some more new features coming to our WPF PropertyGrid control in the upcoming 2014.1 version. 

In the new version, when an object with any sort of font-related property (like FontFamily, FontStretch, FontStyle, or FontWeight) is edited in PropertyGrid, it will automatically use new built-in editors designed specifically for those property types.  The editors kick in based on the return type of the property.  For instance, you could have a property defined as this and the FontFamily property editor will be used:

public FontFamily HeaderFontFamily { get; set; }

Example Screenshots

Let's see the new features in action.  Here are some screenshots:

PropertyGridFontFamily

The screenshot above shows the FontFamily drop-down.

PropertyGridFontWeight

The screenshot above shows the FontWeight drop-down.

Summary

These new features will be available in the 2014.1 version of PropertyGrid for WPF.

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Code Writer v2.3 Released

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Code Writer v2.3, our free text/code editor app, is now live in the Windows Store.

Are you interested in adding code or text editing abilities to your own Windows Store apps?  SyntaxEditor for WinRT/XAML was recently released, allowing 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…

Mouse Context Menus

Mouse users have been asking for context menus to be added to the editor so that they can quickly access clipboard and undo functionality without having to use keyboard shortcuts.  This version delivers that functionality.  Now when you right-click over the editor surface, a context menu will be displayed:

ContextMenu

This begs the question, how do you access the app bars that used to display on right-click?  There are several ways to show them:

  • Mouse right-click at top/bottom of the screen.
  • Left-click the status bar on the lower left, where the ellipses show (see screenshot below).
  • Press the Windows+Z keyboard shortcut.

StatusBar

And if you'd like to restore the old functionality where mouse right-click always showed the app bars?  We've got you covered there too!

ContextMenuSetting

A new option on the Editor page in Settings lets you determine whether context menus are enabled for right-click or not.

JSON File Type Added

JSON is a very popular data serialization format that is widely used in web technologies these days.  We just finished work on a new JSON syntax language for our SyntaxEditor control, and have added a new JSON file type option to Code Writer as well.

JSON

The new file type has everything from syntax highlighting to code outlining and even syntax error squiggles.  This makes Code Writer an ideal app to view/edit JSON files.

JavaScript Completion Lists

Completion lists have been added to the JavaScript file type.  The completion lists work similarly to other popular editors where all the identifier symbols that are located in the current document are presented in a list in response to Ctrl+Space being pressed.

JavaScriptCompletion

As you type, the list filters down to only show matching items.  This makes entering identifiers much faster since you can easily auto-complete instances of already-inserted identifier names.

Keywords are also included in the completion lists.

Per-Document Character Encoding Option

In past versions, you could set an option in Settings that would affect the character encoding used for all documents.  In this update, we have changed that setting so that it only affects new and opened documents.  From that point on, each document tracks its own character encoding setting, which can be altered from the Document Properties pane:

DocumentProperties

This allows for different documents to be saved in different character encodings.

Miscellaneous

Numerous miscellaneous improvements have also been made:

  • Improved delimiter auto-completion logic.
  • Block indent mode retains whitespace after the caret when Enter is pressed.
  • General settings option for analytics (error/anonymous usage stats) reporting.
  • .log and .srt files open with text file type.
  • .ass and .ssa files open with INI file type.
  • Fixed bug where documents saved with char encodings may not completely clear old file contents.

Summary

This update adds several features that have been highly requested by our users, and we're excited to get it into your hands.

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

TaskWideLearnMore TaskWideWindowsStore

Filed under: Actipro, Apps, New features

JSON Language Coming to SyntaxEditor

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We recently posted that the advanced JavaScript syntax language implementation in our SyntaxEditor Web Languages Add-on (WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML versions) is getting IntelliPrompt completion lists in the upcoming 2014.1 version.

In today's post, I'd like to announce that a brand new JSON syntax language is coming to the add-on as well!

Features

JSON is a lightweight data-interchange format that is a subset of JavaScript syntax, and is commonly used with many web technologies.  With the new syntax language, you'll be able to provide a great editor/viewer for JSON data.  Here's a screenshot:

JsonLanguage

The JSON syntax language has these features:

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Abstract syntax tree (AST) generation
  • Automatic code outlining based on AST structure
  • Reporting and automatic squiggle display of errors for invalid syntax
  • Mouse hover quick info for syntax errors
  • Smart indent
  • Code block selection
  • Delimiter (bracket) highlighting and auto-completion

Summary

This new syntax language will be available when the 2014.1 WPF, Silverlight, and WinRT/XAML versions are released in the next couple weeks.

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