WPF Elements 2.0 is here!

We’re proud to announce the release of WPF Elements 2.0, the latest version of our package of controls for Windows Presentation Foundation. WPF Elements 2.0 includes four great new controls to quickly provide an even richer user experience to your applications, five good looking themes based on Microsoft Office and Expression Blend and many enhancements to the Elements 1.0 controls.

CoverFlow

CoverFlow is a list control that presents the selected item front and centre, with the unselected items arranged in a pseudo-perspective view around it. It provides a visually attractive and nicely animated way to present visual collections such as collections of photos, pictures or charts.

You can read more about CoverFlow, with link to a live demo, here.

ColorPicker

The ColorPicker control allows users to select colors in three different ways:

  • Standard colors: a list of the built-in WPF colors displayed as a list of swatches along with their common names.
  • Custom colors: allows users to mix their own colors using sliders or text boxes to specify the red, green, blue and alpha channels.
  • Palette mode: similar to the color picker seen in Microsoft Office. This allows you to define the palette for your application so as to encourage users towards choices that work well together. You can customise the palette contents, arrangement and tooltips.

Here’s the palette view, showing a colour palette appropriate for modern graphic designs:

Here’s the custom color mode that gives the user full control to mix their own color. The colors on each of the sliders change dynamically making it very easy to see how changing each color channel will affect the result.

By providing your own style for the ColorPicker control, you can define which modes are available, style each mode however you like, or even have the ColorPicker displayed inside a window instead of a drop down.

AutoCompleteBox

The AutoCompleteBox helps to save typing and reduce errors by providing users with suggestions as they type. The user can quickly choose a suggestion with the arrow keys and thus “auto-complete” their entry.

To avoid confusing the user with too many suggestions, you can configure the AutoCompleteBox to limit the maximum number of suggestions to display at a time, and also not to display any suggestions until the user has typed a reasonable number of characters. You can also implement your own suggestion provider to perform custom matches, for example against custom sources such as the file system or using custom strategies such as matching initials (e.g. for WL suggest WriteLine).

PromptDecorator

This control can be attached to other controls to display a prompt telling the user what the control is for. The prompt is overlaid on the other control, conserving screen space and giving a smooth modern appearance, but disappears when the user clicks on the control so as to keep the control free of clutter when the user wants to type into it. The PromptDecorator can easily be styled to customize the look of the prompt allowing it to display images as well as text.

Here is the PromptDecorator being used in 4 different ways. The first one is simply being applied to a TextBox. The second one is also applied to a TextBox, but has been given a custom prompt template to include the magnifying glass. The next one shows the PromptDecorator being applied to an editable ComboBox. And the last one is being applied to the AutoCompleteBox.

Take it for a spin

If you have .NET 3.5 installed and want to have a play around with all of the controls included in WPF Elements, then you can see it live here. This also shows the cool new themes. You can also download a trial copy to try it out in your own applications.

We are always open for suggestions for improving these controls or ideas of more controls that you want to see. Put up a post on our forum and let us know!

Tagged as WPF, WPF Elements

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