WPF - Designer Enhancements in .NET Core 3 (v20.1)

WPF Team Blog
06 May 2020

As you may know, Visual Studio 2019 16.3 includes a new XAML Designer for WPF .NET Core. We worked closely with the Visual Studio team to address as many issues as possible and to seamlessly integrate our v19.2 WPF .NET Core control set with the new designer.

In our upcoming release (v20.1), we continue to enhance the design-time experience for those targeting the WPF .NET Core platform.

To demonstrate Visual Studio integration and designer support, we recently published the following YouTube video.

Apply application themes from App.config to all designer previews

In our new release, the theme specified in App.config is automatically applied to all the designer previews.

Select non-visual elements (Data Grid columns, Toolbar and Ribbon items) (starting with VS 2019 16.5)

If you've installed Visual Studio 16.5 and our most recent update (v20.1) you can select non-visual elements (such as a data grid's column and toolbar/ribbon item) and quickly navigate to its markup as needed. You can also switch DXTabControl tabs at design time.

Documentation and Application Theme Smart Tags

You can now navigate to the relevant help topic via smart tags. We also added a field for application theme (for root XAML elements including ThemedWindow, standard Window, UserControl, etc).

Note, that the Available themes list is based on themes installed with our Nuget packages. If you install DevExpress.WindowsDesktop.Wpf.Themes.All (a package that contains all DevExpress Themes), you can select any themes from our WPF Theme collection.

Future Plans

As you know, Microsoft continues to evolve its XAML Designer and plans to use a new designer for WPF .NET Framework projects. We don't know when the new designer will replace the current designer, but its inevitable that Microsoft will make this change.

The new designer includes a Suggested Actions menu - a menu that works like our Smart Tags. We will support Suggested Actions within our WPF controls once the Visual Studio team give us the ability to extend this element.

Free DevExpress Products – Get Your Copy Today

The following free DevExpress product offers remain available. Should you have any questions about the free offers below, please submit a ticket via the DevExpress Support Center at your convenience. We’ll be happy to follow-up.
Stephen J White
Stephen J White

I got to try this out the other day, it definitely is nice to be able to select the visual elements again to quickly navigate to the XAML. Greatly appreciate it.

Here's hoping we can have a way to again scaffold grid columns or other repetitious XAML again soon :)
6 May 2020
Junior Thurler
Junior Thurler

Hi Lex!

Is it possible to use WPF .NET Core to compile our apps using DX to be used in Linux distro?

8 May 2020
Dalibor Stys
Dalibor Stys

@Junior: You can't use WPF or Winforms .NET Core for Linux. If you want to create apps for Linux, use e.g. Xamarin GTK# or Avalonia.

10 May 2020

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