Sneak peek: Fun with colors and themes in WPF

22 October 2009

On the eleventh day of DevExpress Christmas, The XtraRichEdit Team gave me drag and drop functionality! We know that creating a new theme or skin is a very long-winded and tedious process, even with a skin editor such as the one we provide with our WinForms controls. But, generally, you don't want to create a brand new theme, you just want to take a theme that you already have and then just tweak the colors, say from a predominantly blue color to a green one or a pinkish one. Well, the WPF guys as part of their general work in providing themes for our WPF controls have come up with a rather nifty little tool for doing exactly that. It has been enabled in most of our WPF demos, so you'll be able to see it in action once you get v2009.3.

Here's an image of the tool itself. At the moment it's called the Color Scheme Customization Dialog, but that's a little unwieldy for a name and we may change it by the time we ship.

ColorSchemeCustomizationDialog

At the moment, it's only activated for the Office 2007 Blue theme. Here's an example of it in use. First I'll show the standard Office 2007 Blue theme in the DXGrid demo:

DefaultOffice2007Blue

And a quick spin of the color wheel later, a pink version:

ModifiedOffice2007BlueScheme(Pink)

Kazaam!

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10 comment(s)
Phillip Roux

Whats the chance of getting this type of flexibility for VCL skins?

23 October, 2009
Richard Morris (DevExpress)

What is nice is that the relationship between the colours on the palette is retained even when the colours change.

So an item that has a less saturated version than another, will still do so whether the entire scheme changes from say blue to pink.  

As will a relationship between the position of items on the colour wheel - so if your items are at 2 oclock (Yellow) and 8 oclock (Blue) on the colour wheel and you rotate clockwise 90 degrees they will be 5 oclock (cyan) and 11 oclock (green) - same relationship ... different colours.

The WPF team are definately rocking :)

23 October, 2009
Karl Rostock_2

If you could do this with the Win Forms skins you would make 99.9% of your win form customers very very happy!

Karl

25 October, 2009
Kai Fjellstadsveen

Looks great. Hopefully you'll make this work with the Azure theme, which is the nicest theme in the stack.

The WPF stuff you've made so far is incredible nice and cool. The grid is very quick and responsive, flexible and looks good out of the box too. The same goes for the chart. I haven't looked at the other stuff yet, but suppose the same applies to those. I'm eagerly awaiting future improvements. Keep up the excellent work.

27 October, 2009
Steve Sharkey

I'm with Karl - I want I want (for WinForms) skins are lovely but I'm hopelessly dependant on what DevX ship!

28 October, 2009
ctodx

Last week I published a blog post showing off our new color scheme customization dialog in WPF, with

28 October, 2009
Peter Have

ASPxColorTheme

6 November, 2009
AndrewJacksonZA

I share Steve's sentiments, I'm also basically 100% dependant on the skins you guys ship.

6 November, 2009
Bojan V.

maybe ColorMixer :)

6 November, 2009
Gili Korman

What the WPF toolkit really needs is a tool to facilitate easy theme stylizing. This tool does only part of the job - it lets you swap colors on an existing theme.

But what if you want to stylize your grid? it's really difficult at the moment because you have to know the names of the grid parts and presenters to customize, look them up in Blennd, if you are lucku you can Edit Resource, if not you have to actually type XAML.

What I wany is a real designer, or better design support for Blend. To be able to select a grid part with my mouse and tweak it's style.

8 November, 2009

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