Sneak Peek: Drag-n-drop, dialogs, more formats with the rich text editor in WinForms

28 October 2009

Part of a series on the new features appearing in DXperience v2009.3. This time around let's delve into the myriad new features of the XtraRichEdit control. This is going to be a long one, sorry in advance for taxing your broadband connection...

First on the (alphabetical) list is drag and drop. We'll start off with an animated GIF showing drag-and-drop working from within the control. It works just as you'd expect: select some text, click within the selection and, without releasing the mouse button, drag the text to a new position and drop it there.


Next up in the same vein is dragging files into a rich text editor. First in this set of examples is dragging an OpenOffice file:


Second is dragging an RTF file:


And last, but not least, dragging a DOCX file.


Of course, drag-and-drop wouldn't be complete unless we could drag and drop rich text from, oh, say, Microsoft Word?




Now if you'd been paying attention there with the drag-and-drop images you'd have noticed something new, so this formal announcement won't be a surprise: we now support the OpenOffice format:


Another format we've added support for is the WordprocessingML format (a.k.a. the Word 2003 XML format):


Third on our big list of new features are some essential standard dialogs. (And surely it goes without saying that all the new dialogs use the current application skin.) First up is the standard bullets and numbering dialog:

bullets and numbering form

Of course, you really want the ability to customize the bullets:

customize bulleted form

And the numbered list as well:

customize numbered form

On the twelfth day of DevExpress Christmas, Rachel gave me the chance to win a 12 month subscription for DXperience Universal so I can get all of my 12 Christmas wishes:

Having done those two, we also added the ability to customize the numbered levels used in outlines:

customize outline numbered form 

Another standard dialog I've been waiting for is the Insert Symbol dialog (warning: we threw in a gratuitous Comic Sans reference in the image):

insert symbol - 1

insert symbol - 2

Fourth in our big list of features is something else you may have spotted already: support for hyperlinks. This comes with its own standard Edit Hyperlink form:


Once you have a hyperlink in your document, you can hover over it and get a standard tooltip. Also the context menu shows editing actions you can make with a hyperlink:


A very nifty hyperlink-related feature we added is the ability to run a "macro" as the target of a link. A picture is worth a thousand words (and an animated one at least double that): here clicking on the hyperlink ">>Deadline Date<<" shows a form that allows the user to set a date. The result of that form replaces the hyperlink text.


Finally, another feature you should have noticed by now if you are already a user of our WinForms rich text editor: rulers. Note the rulers support showing and adding margins, indents, and tabs.



As you have seen, some remarkable new features for the XtraRichEdit control for v2009.3.

23 comment(s)
Chris Walsh [DX-Squad]

Can I assume the document drag and drop functionality within the XtraRichEdit from paragraph to paragraph also works in Silverlight?  Seeing as they are mostly the same code base...

28 October, 2009
Schabse Laks

When are you going to support right-to-left?

That's the only thing stopping me from using it.

28 October, 2009
Boris Bosnjak

Wow :-)

28 October, 2009
Renaud Bompuis

Wow, that makes the control a lot more useful for customers and for us since we won't have to code these.


28 October, 2009
Glen Germaine

This all looks great. This product is now providing some great functionality out of the box.. - but I have to say, WordProcessingML 2003 support seems a waste of energy given good 'ol 97-2003 ".doc" support hasn't yet made it in.

29 October, 2009
Norbert Kustra

great job

29 October, 2009

Very nice! Any prediction when will support for tables be available?

29 October, 2009
Daniel Hulse_1

Looks great!

I especially like the detail taken in the skin styling (ruler styling, dialogs etc.). Very nice job.

29 October, 2009
Steven Rasmussen

Very nice!  It just keeps getting better!  Just a suggestion but you may want to put the animated gifs on a loop so we don't have to keep refreshing the page.  I haven't figured out yet how to look at them all at the same time when the page loads :)

29 October, 2009
Julian Bucknall (DevExpress)

All: As you have already seen, the support for tables is not going to be in v2009.3. We felt that it wasn't quite stable enough, and hadn't gone through enough testing with corner cases, to be ready for release this time round. It's on the cards for v2010.1 though.

Cheers, Julian

29 October, 2009
Tomas M.

I like all these features. Is it possible to drop or paste tables?

29 October, 2009
Sigurd Decroos

Tables and custom drawing (borders, rectangles, lines, circles, ...) are the only 2 options left that I need. Then I can use this editor for setting up mailings and other great additions to our program. Great job so far, but not there yet :)

30 October, 2009
janos Torok

tables, tables tables, tables.. please. OK 2010.1 is okay quality above all.

Nice job though.

2 November, 2009
Andreas Mummenhoff

very nice features. Drag and drop inside the control - perfect.

And yes, tables would be nice, too, but...

the biggest "not usable at all" feature for me is the horrific kerning.

Please, please correct this terrible kerning. Even in this screenshots you see overlapping letters and gaps as big as the grand canyon. It seems that most users doesn't recognize this explicitly, but the text seems kind of dirty to them. Not a good impression at all.

2 November, 2009
Roel Vlemmings

Yes, I completely agree with Andreas. Kerning is awful. Personaly, I would have fixed this before adding any new features. It should be considered a bug and bugs have priority over new features...

3 November, 2009

Guys -- absolutely BRILLIANT. You never disappoint

3 November, 2009
Ayman Wassif

Great job, just disappointed that I don't see the Table support

Table support is higher priority!!!

5 November, 2009
Ryan Havlick

Table support too, and the ability to do page header and footers.  Does anyone know if there will be this ability to do page headers and footers anytime soon?  Trying to get rid of another 3rd party component for word processing - I'd be willing to help on development for free just to get rid of this other product.

5 November, 2009
Ran Sagy

Good work, But i definitely agree with Schabse - RTL Support is sorely missing. It's already built into most the formats you support already - Why not use it?

5 November, 2009

Great job guys.

I could also use table support!

5 November, 2009
Yug Media Resource

NEED NATIVE HTML SUPPORT (XHTML Content Editor for Windows) ...

5 November, 2009

Brilliant but one last thing missing as usual ... XAF integration.


5 November, 2009
Konstantin Balashov


6 November, 2009

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