WinForms: New Themes and Design Time Enhancements (What's New in 13.2)

Thinking Out Loud
13 November 2013

No release would be complete without a new set of app-wide themes for our WinForms users. 13.2 will ship with 3 new Visual Studio inspired themes (Blue, Light and Dark). The following is an example of the Visual Studio 2013 Blue Theme.

WinForms Theme - Visual Studio 2013 Blue

In addition to app-wide themes for WinForms, we've enhanced our design time experience (something a number of you have asked for) with Visual Studio Color Theme support across all our control designers. Once 13.2 is released, all of our designers can change skin settings to match those you've specified via Visual Studio's color theme. You'll be able to use this feature via the DevExpress menu in the IDE (DevExpress\WinForms\Use Visual Studio Color Theme in Control Designers). Here is an example of how the new themes is applied to the TreeList's custom node editor...

Visual Studio 2013 Theme

As many of you already know, 13.1 introduced Smart Tag support for our biggest WinForms control libraries (Bars, Grid, Docking, etc). 13.2 will extend this support across our product line including the controls that ship as part of the WinForms Data Editors Library (products such as BarCodeControl, ButtonEdit, CalcEdit, CheckButton, ComboBoxEdit, etc).


Visual Studio Smart Tags


8 comment(s)
Christopher Todd
Christopher Todd

Looks really good! I would like to see what the even-odd rows look like. I always find the row's hide selection is hard to distinguish when even-odd is enabled. I always have to enhance the theme a little to make it standout.

13 November, 2013
Ray Navasarkian (DevExpress)
Ray Navasarkian (DevExpress)

Hi Christopher - if you can send me a screenshot of what you've done, I'll be happy to take a look at it - rayn@dev....com

13 November, 2013
Dean J.
Dean J.

At a distance, the blue theme looks good.  But, I think it needs to be at aleast 2 or 3 shades lighter, because the contrast is too low and a strain to look at for long periods.  I'm all for modern colors, but I'm very concerned that readability is not considered important anymore.  You can have both modern and good readability, but what I'm seeing across the board in the industry, is the darker colors (usually gray or in this case blue) is just a few shades too dark.

13 November, 2013
Neven Zovko
Neven Zovko

Looks great! Are we going to see these themes for WPF too?

14 November, 2013
John C-BrightShore
John C-BrightShore

Yes, please add some of these to WPF too!

14 November, 2013
Christopher Todd
Christopher Todd

Ray, thanks for your help! There is a reason Devexpress is #1!!

14 November, 2013
Nate Laff
Nate Laff

They look good. Will this move VS2010 to bonus skins then? If I recall the plan was to keep only the latest and greatest skins in the main assembly and move everything else once they got a little older?

14 November, 2013
Ray Navasarkian (DevExpress)
Ray Navasarkian (DevExpress)

John, we'll add it to WPF of course. For this release, WPF is getting new Office 2013 themes.

15 November, 2013

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