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XtraLayoutControl Suite

by DevExpress (Developer Express) - Product Type: Component / .NET WinForms / 100% Managed Code

New licenses can only be purchased as part of DXperience, DevExpress Universal Suite or DXperience WinForms

If you require information, please visit the pages above or Contact Us for pricing and availability.

Form design, layout and customization library. XtraLayout helps you use straightforward drag and drop operations to quickly create fully customizable forms that meet and exceed the requirements of your users. From automatic arrangement of presentation controls to proportional resizing, the WinForms Layout Control allows you to eliminate the restrictions and time consuming limits associated with pixel-based form design. The Xtra Layout Control was designed to be different designed to bring sanity and consistency to application form design. It dramatically reduces the number of UI modifications you need to make over time and thus the number of costly rebuilds. It is the only suite in the market that allows runtime layout customization so that end-users can re-design the contents of a form using simple drag and drop operations.

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What's new in XtraLayout 13.1?

  • Visual Studio Integrated Image Picker:  The Icon Library includes a rich collection of icons and images created by our design team. Using the design-time DevExpress Image Picker, you can access images from the Gallery and assign them to specific controls.  The design-time Image Picker has powerful search and filtering mechanisms to locate images. The DevExpress Image Picker and extended smart tags work together to provide a superior design-time experience.
  • Grayscale Icons with Skin Synchronization:  If you are using grayscale icons from the new DevExpress Icon Library, you can now enable automatic color adjustment depending on the currently applied skin. If a dark skin is used, all icons will automatically switch to light colors thus maintaining appropriate contrast. These icons will also update colors for hot-tracked and pressed states.  This feature is available across our WinForms Navigation controls including toolbars, menus, Ribbon and Navbar.
  • New Control Designer UI:  Design-time customization dialogs for our WinForms Controls have been re-designed for improved usability and a more consistent user experience.
  • Contextual Smart Tags:  WinForms Navigation Controls (including the Ribbon, Toolbars, NavBar) now display Smart Tags for their individual elements. This allows a customer to customize the control's layout and main settings with a few simple clicks, without using the Property Grid. We've also reviewed and extended our Smart Tags based on the usage experience of the controls.

New WinForms Data Source Wizard
Available via a Smart Tag or the clickable label on any DevExpress data-aware control, this wizard helps you set up your Data Source in three easy steps. In the first step, the Wizard lists all data sources found in the solution, categorized by the data access technologies. If needed, you can select a data access technology and create a new data source. Once the data source has been selected or created, you choose a data binding mode from a list (all list items have short descriptions and links to our online documentation). Finally, the third step allows you to customize Control and Data Source specific settings. After you click Finish, the wizard adds a data source component to the form, binds the control and generates all necessary code.

Visual Studio Template Gallery
Prior to 13.1, DevExpress offered numerous Project/Item Templates that were created over many release cycles. These templates could be found in various locations within Visual Studio. This release includes a fully consolidated DevExpress Template Gallery - the entry point for all Project/Item Templates. The Template Gallery provides a unified way to use DevExpress templates, features powerful filtering and searching mechanisms and contains sample images and descriptions for each template, thus simplifying the way in which selections are made for individual projects. 13.1 also includes improvements to shipping templates and offers additional template options.

FormAssistant component:  This helper component is designed for first time users. When placed on the application form, it allows you to:

  • Convert between various form types (Form, XtraForm, RibbonForm)
  • Select a skin
  • Automatically initialize a skin engine to enable form skinning
  • Add the BonusSkins library to the project's References section
  • Specify basic form settings

Automatic Form Layout and Management
Designed to increase productivity, the DevExpress Layout Control eliminates many of the tedious and time consuming operations associated with pixel-based form design, including manual control alignment. The Layout Control helps you bring products to market in the shortest possible time by reducing the amount of energy you spend on the design and manual customization of individual forms. Key features include the following:

  • Automatic control resizing
  • Horizontal and vertical item alignment
  • Automatic control alignment
  • Independent layout within groups
  • Customizable size constraints for controls
  • Customizable item caption position

Built-in End-User Customization
The Xtra Layout Control is both a developer productivity tool and an end-user customization tool. The extensive customization features of the Xtra Layout Control provide all the tools you will need to combat UI "bloat". It places power back into the hands of each individual user - in a manner that has never been available before in any programming environment. This is accomplished by allowing users to layout and manage their own UI - as their needs dictate - without seeking assistance from developers or being forced to use developer oriented tools.

Design-Time Experience
The Xtra Layout Control allows you to create elegant form layouts within seconds. Controls can be added to the layout in an intuitive manner, using drag-and-drop. Once the controls have been dropped, the Layout Control makes it easy to rearrange and resize them via easily rearrange and resize them using the mouse. Key features include:

  • Dragging controls to and from the Xtra Layout Control
  • Moving items within the Xtra Layout Control via drag-and-drop
  • Combining items into groups and tabbed groups
  • Hiding items and accessing them via the Customization Form
  • Locking and unlocking an item's size
  • On-Form access to individual layout items

Data Aware Layout
When you need to create a detail form with editors bound to fields in a data table, the DataLayout Control will eliminate the drudgery associated with traditional form layout. With this component, you don't have to place individual labels and editors onto the form and then carefully align them to one another. You do not have to bind each individual editor to data and provide proper label captions corresponding to field names. With the DataLayout Control, all this is done automatically. You simply bind the control to a data source and specify which fields are to be displayed.  Initial layout generation is only a half of what the DataLayout Control has to offer. Form maintenance is made much easier as well. To add or delete a data-bound control, you simply click a check box. To change the editor or data-bound property used by default, select an appropriate value from a dropdown list.

Labels, Splitters, Separators and Empty Space Items
Labels allow you to display any static text and separators allow you to draw dividers between any layout objects. If you add a splitter to the layout, an end-user will be able to change the size of layout elements without activating Customization Mode. Although Empty Space Items don't display anything - they are 'empty cells' within the layout table - they allow you to solve numerous layout-aware tasks.

Expandable Groups and Tabbed Groups
If you wish to combine your editors and controls into titled panels or present them as tabbed pages, there is no need to combine them with external Panels or Tab Controls. You can easily do this with the help of built-in Layout Groups and Tabbed Groups. You can combine controls into groups, make them expandable and assign images to groups with just a few mouse clicks.

Layout Converter, Data Export and Printing
With a few mouse clicks, you can easily convert the contents of an existing form and begin using the Xtra Layout Control. All you’ll need is to place a LayoutConverter component on your form (or UserControl), and then use its commands to perform the conversion. The Xtra Layout Control gives you numerous data exchange options by providing WYSIWYG data printing along with data export to many popular file formats.

Appearance Customization and Themes
Like other DevExpress WinForms controls, the Xtra Layout Control allows you to modify appearance settings (background and foreground colors, font settings, etc) of its visual elements. Xtra Layout Control contains properties to customize the appearance of layout items, layout groups, tabbed groups and controls displayed within the layout control.

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