Thursday, June 1, 2017

WPF Tip #11 - Free Controls with the Extended WPF Toolkit Community Edition

Everyone loves free things. When it comes to WPF controls, there is a wide selection of 3rd party components from which to choose: Telerik, Infragistics, DevExpress, etc. If you're an independent developer or a small business on a tight budget, the Extended WPF Toolkit, maintained by Xceed, is a great choice.

Currently available on Codeplex, the Community Edition of the toolkit includes nearly 50 WPF controls. These are just a few:
Xceed also offers two paid versions of the toolkit with additional controls and technical support, the Plus Edition and the Business Suite for WPF.

The latest release of the community edition is 3.0.0 and was released in Dec. 2016. I have recently contacted Xceed to inquire about their plans for the future of the toolkit and whether it will be migrated to GitHub or another host. As you may be aware, Codeplex is shutting down this year. See Brian Harry's post about the transition to GitHub for Codeplex projects.

EDIT: A representative replied to me to inform me that there will be an announcement about the migration of the Extended WPF Toolkit from Codeplex within a month.

In the spirit of including some code in these tips, here is a quick sample of the little bit of code required to add a SplitButton that opens a ColorPicker control for the user:
<Window x:Class="WpfApp1.MainWindow"
         xmlns="
http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
         xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
         xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/expression/blend/2008"
         xmlns:mc="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006"
         xmlns:local="clr-namespace:WpfApp1"
         xmlns:tk="
http://schemas.xceed.com/wpf/xaml/toolkit"
         mc:Ignorable="d"
         Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525">
     <Grid>
         <tk:SplitButton Content="Pick a Color" Height="32" Width="120">
             <tk:SplitButton.DropDownContent>
                 <tk:ColorCanvas />
             </tk:SplitButton.DropDownContent>
         </tk:SplitButton>
     </Grid>
</Window>
The end result when running the app looks like this with the button open:
image
The color picker itself require a little more code to setup. Let's take a look at its use in our next tip.

Happy coding!

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