New version of the Ultimate ZoomPanel control for WPF available

by abenedik 21. July 2009 17:50

The ZoomPanel control can add animated zooming and panning to any WPF application. With the new version many new features were added to make it the ultimate Zoom Panel control for every zooming scenario.

The following video shows how easy is to add professional zooming and panning to a sample drawing application.

ZoomPanel sample video

Here is the complete list of new features:

  • Added IScrollInfo support - possibility to use ZoomPanel inside ScrollViewer.
  • Added posibility to limit the zoom area with ViewboxLimits, ViewboxMinSize and IsViewboxLimited properties.
  • When animating images the scale quality is lowered to increase the frame rate.
  • Added support for custom or dynamic zoom content - for example for showing maps - RegisterCustomContentProvider and UnregisterCustomContentProvider.
  • Added a new ZoomPanel.SetViewboxNow method - the value is of Viewbox is immediately changed regardless of IsAnimated property.
  • Added a new ZoomPanel.ResetNow method - immediate reset of viewbox.
  • Added ResetToLimits and ResetToLimitsNow methods.
  • Added PreviewViewboxChangedEvent and ViewboxChangedEvent - in PreviewViewboxChangedEvent subscriber can prevent or change the changed Viewbox.
  • Added IsResetToLimits to ZoomController - if true the reset button on ZoomController resets the ZoomPanel to limits.

The samples that come with ZoomPanel have also been greatly improved. They demonstrate all the aspects of the controls and classes available with the library.

To make the use of the ZoomPanel even simpler the package also includes a detailed help file.

More about the new ZoomPanel can be seen on ZoomPanel page.

The new version can be downloaded from my Downloads page.

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ZoomPanel

New version of Ab2d.ReaderSvg with support for svg patterns is available

by abenedik 19. June 2009 20:33

The biggest improvement of the new Ab2d.ReaderSvg is added support for svg patterns. This feature has been requested by many users because svg patterns are commonly used by svg file created with Microsoft Visio. Another big improvement is support for complex strokes and pens - now also LinearGradientBrush, RadialGradientBrush, VisualBrush are supported.

Here is the whole list of changes:

  • Added support for all types of svg patterns:
    before only TexturePatterns were supported, now other types of patterns are supported as well. All patterns are now converted into VisualBrush.
    NOTE: Silverlight does not support VisualBrush - Red brush is used instead.
  • Added support for complex Strokes and Pens - before Strokes and Pens can be only SolidColorBrush. Now also other types of Brushes are supported (LinearGradientBrush, RadialGradientBrush, VisualBrush, etc.).
  • Fixed using opacity on some svg elements.
  • Improved support for RadialGradient when gradientTransform was used.
  • Fixed getting the size of the root svg element when only width or only height is specified (when AutoSize is false).
  • Fixed using Ab2d.ReaderSvg inside WinForms applications.
  • Fixed licensing problems when used on 64-bit OS.

ViewerSvg screenshot

The new version can be downloaded from my Downloads page.
After downloading just install the new version over the previous version (no need to uninstall).

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ReaderSvg

Licensing model and price changes comming on 1st June 2009

by abenedik 18. May 2009 20:32

Licensing model and prices are going to changes on 1st June 2009.

All the products except ZoomPanel will be divided into four types:

  • Basic Viewer application license will provide basic converter application.
  • Professional Viewer application license will provide fully featured converter application.
  • Basic library license will contain the conversion library (Reader) with basic functionality that could be used in your own applications. The basic Viewer application will be also included.
  • Professional library license will contain fully featured conversion library (Reader) that could be used in your own applications. The Professional Viewer application will be also included.

Examples:

If you will only need to convert a few svg files into xaml for your Silverlight application, you will choose Basic ViewerSvg Application for $79.00.

If you need to read dynamically generated svg files in your WPF application, also need to get object names defined in svg file and other advanced features, the Professional ReaderSvg library for $399.00 will be the best choice.

So the new licensing model is much more flexible. It will be possible to buy basic converter applications for much lower price and complete converter solution with library for higher price.

The preview of the new licensing model with detailed features information can be seen on the new purchase page.

Until the 1st June 2009, all the purchases can be still done on the current purchase page. On the 1st June 2009 the page will be upgraded to support new licensing model.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The owners of the current licenses could still use all the features of the pro library license and could also get all the updated just as having the pro library license.

This means that if you need the pro library license, now it is the best time to buy the library because you will get the pro library features for much lower price. But if you only need a simple converter application, it is worth waiting until the 1st June.

Finally, I would also like to invite you to sign up to receive tweets from my Twitter profile for the latest news concerning tools and libraries on www.ab4d.com.

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General

The long awaited Ab2d.ReaderSvg update is available

by abenedik 9. April 2009 18:20

I am really excited to announce that the long awaited new version of ReaderSvg has been released.

The new version 3.0 is full of great new features and improvements. The most important is the support for Drawing objects (objects that derive from Geometry class - DrawingGeometry, StreamGeometry, etc.)

Previous versions of Ab2d.ReaderSvg returned the read svg files as Shapes (Path, Polyline, Ellipse, etc.). This was great when you needed to manipulate separate objects or add some mouse events to objects. The flexibility of Shapes has its cost when complex objects are shown - the performance could be very poor and memory consumption very high. WPF provides a much more efficient way to show more complex images - by using Drawing objects instead of Shapes.

With the new Ab2d.ReaderSvg it is possible to read the objects as Shapes (with the Read method) or as Drawings (with the new ReadGeometry method). And what is more, it is also possible to further optimize the drawing by using resources for similar Pens and Brushes and by combining geometries together (with passing the GeometrySettings to ReadGeometry method).

To make the usage of read svg objects simpler, there is also a ResourceDictionaryWriter sample applications that can produce complex ResourceDictionaries from svg files with just a few mouse clicks. The following screenshot shows SVG ResourceDictionaryWriter application with three svg files added to the ResourceDictionary (xaml of ResourceDictionary can be seen on the right):

Svg ResourceDictionaryWriter screenshot

The support for Drawing objects is just one of the improvements of the new version. Another very big improvement is much better performance of ReaderSvg - now reading svg files is almost as fast as parsing xaml with XamlReader.

Here is the full list of changes:

  • Added Drawing objects support:
    new ReadGeometry method with support for advanced geometry optimization and use of resources (Burshes and Pens are defined in resources).
    new ResourceDictionaryWriter class and sample SampleResourceDictionary aplication to simplify creating resources from the svg files
  • Added SvgDrawing control to show svg file as geometries in xaml
  • Greatly improved performance on svg files where path elements have a lot of segments.
  • Added GetXaml method to get the xaml of the read objects (also used in ViewerSvg; it is much more accurate as System.Windows.Markup.XamlWriter.Save)
  • Added GetObjectName method - gets the name of the object. If object does not have a name defined returns null
  • Optimized the output xaml for Path element - now the properties with default values are no longer displayed. This in most cases removes the following properties: StrokeStartLineCap, StrokeEndLineCap, StrokeDashCap, StrokeLineJoin, StrokeMiterLimit, StrokeDashOffset
  • Added support for gradientTransform on radialGradient
  • Added support for known colors in xaml writter - known colors like Black, Yellow can now be written with its name instead of hex display (#FF000000). This feature is used by default but can be disabled with setting UseColorNames in XamlWriterSettings to false.
  • Fixed propagating text styles to child tspan elements (for example if text has underline decoration set, underline will be used also on the child tspan elements - if not overwritten by different text-decoraton)
  • The path is now automatically closed when the last segment ends on the same position as the start segment. Before if the paths were not manually closed, there could be some sharp edges on some parts of the path.
  • Improved setting the size of returned Viewbox.
    If AutoSize is false the returned Viewbox has the size that is defined in the svg file. The previous version did not set the size correctly.
    If the svg width and height are specified in cm, mm or inches the output size in xaml is set in cm.
  • Added AutoSize property to SvgViewbox and SvgDrawing
  • Added support for bitmap patterns - used as background textures
  • Added BitmapImages property that contains all the bitmaps read with ReaderSvg (also contains images embedded into the svg file)
  • Added ReadPathAsPathGeometry property - If false (default) the path is read as StreamGeometry (better performance). If true the path is read as PathGeometry (worse performance but path can be modified).

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Because of so many changes, it is possible that some of the applications that are using Ab2d.ReaderSvg need to be changed. Please consider the following two issues:

NamedObject dictionarty is changed from Dictionary<string, FrameworkElement> to Dictionary<string, object>. This change was added so the NamedObject property can be also used when svg file was read as Geometry. ReadGeometry method returns objects that are not derived from FrameworkElement. So the type change was needed. It would be also possible to define a new dictionary, but this would only postpone the change - in the future all the readers would implement the same interface and there will be room for only one named objects dictionary. This change could mean that the code that is using the NamedObject must be changed. If only the Read method is used (and not ReadGeometry), than the following code can be used:
FrameworkElement element = myReaderSvg.NamedObject["myObject"] as FrameworkElement;

Another change is that by default all paths are now read as StreamGeometry (before they were read as PathGeometry). This greatly improves the performance of reading svg file and drawing objects in WPF. But if your code expects the PathGeometry, the default behavior would throw a runtime exception. To avoid this, you can change your code to support StreamGeometry or set the new ReadPathAsPathGeometry property on ReaderSvg to true.

The ViewerSvg application has also been updated to support the new features of ReaderSvg. The following screenshot shows the new export dialog (notice the new geometries and new export images options):

ViewerSvg Export Dialog

The new version can be downloaded from my Downloads page.
After downloading just install the new version over the previous version (no need to uninstall).

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ReaderSvg

Updated ZoomPanel control

by abenedik 6. March 2009 23:56

I am happy to announce that the ZoomPanel control has been updated. The following is a list of new features:

  • Added support for WPF Browser applications. There is also a new sample that demonstrated this.
  • Added Viewbox property - Gets or sets the current viewbox as Rect used to determine which part of ZoomPanel's content is shown.
  • Fixed problems when the ZoomPanel content was empty and zoom buttons on ZoomControler were used.
  • Fixed some problems with licensing and evaluation.
  • Added TargetZoomPanelName property to ZoomController - the ZoomPanel that is controller with ZoomController can now be specified by its name (no need for DataBinding on TargetZoomPanel property any more)
  • Added automatic discovery of ZoomPanel on ZoomController. This means setting TargetZoomPanelName or TargetZoomPanel is not needed anymore. The ZoomController will automatically find the ZoomPanel. So everything you need to do is simply drag and drop ZoomPanel and ZoomController from the Toolbox on the Design Surface.

ZoomPanel control

More info about the best zoom and pan control for WPF can be found here.

The new version 1.2 can be downloaded from my Downloads page.

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ReaderWmf

A bunch of additional improvements available

by abenedik 31. January 2009 20:36

I have got some great test svg files and some very helpful user feedback. This lead to the following improvements in Ab2d.ReaderSvg:

  • Added AutoSize property. If its value is true (default - as previous version) the size of returned Canvas is calculated from the size of objects it contains. This is useful if you do not care whether the objects were drawn on the Letter or A4 page - you just need the returned object to be as big as its containg objects. If AutoSize is false the size defined in svg element is used for the size of returned Canvas. This is useful if you were working on a Letter page and would like to preserve the positions of objects inside the Letter area.
  • Improved measuring of objects when AutoSize is true (now transformed elements are correctly measured).
  • Improved ellipse - before svg ellipse was converted into Path WPF element - now it is converted into Ellipse WPF element
  • Added reading elements inside svg link element (before the whole element was skipped). Linking is not supported, but its content is now rendered.
  • Added support for underline and line-through text decorations.
  • Improved processing of text and tspan svg elements.
  • Added help file.

The ViewerSvg has been also improved to support new AutoSize property. Now it also has an automatic error reporting - when an exception occurs in ViewerSvg or Ab2d.ReaderSvg, user can now submit error information to help resolve the problems.

The new automatic error reporting is now part of new Paste2Xaml as well.

To install the new version, download the installer from my Downloads page and simply install it over the previous version (no need to uninstall).

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ReaderSvg | ReaderWmf

Animated 3D Buttons Panel sample

by abenedik 21. January 2009 16:13

As promised I have published a source code for Animated 3D buttons that were used in previous version of Viewer3ds.

The sample shows how to create 3D buttons that are animated when mouse moves over them. Under the buttons there is a nice reflection of the buttons. The models for the buttons are defined in 3ds files and read with Ab3d.Reader3ds.

Animated 3D Buttons Panel sample

The sample is now part of the samples that come with Reader3ds installation.

It is also possible to download the sample alone from here (note that Ab3d.Reader3ds have to be installed on the system).

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Reader3ds