WinForms Layout Control: Flow Layout and Printing Support (Now available in v14.2)

Thinking Out Loud
19 November 2014

Our WinForms Layout Control has quite a loyal following and with this release, we've added a few important features for those of you looking for more flexibility from this control.

Flow Layout

The Layout Control now supports a "flow" layout mode - wherein items are arranged back-to-back (much like words in a paragraph) and automatically wrapping at the control's rightmost edge. This mode will be indispensable for those of you building forms that display uniform objects...

WinForms Form Layout

Design-Time Templates

Design-time templates will be useful if you regularly use the same set of controls within the Layout Control. You can create a template from a set of layout items and then re-use this template at a later time or in different projects. Each template includes layout elements (controls wrapped in layout items, groups, splitters, etc.), their arrangements and associated settings.

WinForms Form Layout Custom Templates
The Layout Control ships with a set of predefined templates that provide out-of-the-box form layouts for use in your applications... 

WinForms Form Layout Predefined Templates
Here are a few examples of these templates...

SignIn Form

WinForms Login Form
Buttons Yes No Cancel

WinForms Buttons on Form
Tabbed Empty Group

WinForms Tabs Empty Group
Optimized Printing and Export Support

This release includes improved printing and export support - in particular, the manner in which page space is used and the printing of "nested" controls.  

In previous versions, the Layout Control used a “WYSIWYG” approach...content was scaled to fit page width and its nested compound controls (such as a Grid) were printed as images (only the control’s visible region was printed). v14.2 ships with a new print/export engine -- one that follows a “Flow” layout methodology (controls are arranged back-to-back, to most effectively use page space).

WinForms Form Printing
The Layout Control ships with improved print/export support for nested compound controls that implement the IPrintable interface (DevExpress Grid, Chart, Scheduler, etc.). As you know, these controls are able to print their contents via the DevExpress XtraPrinting Library. When printed, the Layout Control invokes the appropriate print methods for nested compound controls used within it.

And yes, you can always customize the print options available for individual nested controls in the Layout Control so as to generate the best possible print output.

WinForms Form Printing
WinForms Form Printing
Though it's not meant to replace a full blown reporting tool like the XtraReports Suite, the Layout Control does allow you to create a broad range of report types with just a single line of code. This new printing engine will be particularly useful to those of you using XAF -  as the framework makes extensive use of the Layout Control. 

WinForms Form Printing
Let us know what you think about these new features...your feedback is always appreciated.

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