How to stop a WPF Window from moving using Touch by removing the ManipulationBoundaryFeedback

When using Touch in WPF it is possible to scroll lists. It’s just that the Window is moving to give Feedback when you are reaching the end of the list. This is not always what you want. To make your application ignore this behavior you can mark the ManipulationBoundaryFeedback event handled:

<Grid :Name="LayoutRoot" 

    ScrollViewer.CanContentScroll ="False"

.. your application is here…


private void ManipulationBoundaryFeedbackHandler
    (object sender, ManipulationBoundaryFeedbackEventArgs e)
    e.Handled = true;

The event is bubbling only, so if you place the event handler on your LayoutRoot it should work for all lists.

Actually there is also a System settings in the Panning Tab in the Pen and Touch settings dialog. This is a setting the end users can choose.


Nooks and Crannies of Expression Blend: Artboard Objects List

I can’t even find this one in the Keyboard Shortcut list provided in the User Guide of Expression Blend, so I made up a name for it: The Artboard Objects List:

ArtboardObject List

Known from several drawing programs, this list shows the objects under the mouse cursor when you hold Ctrl and Click the Right Mouse Button. It highlights the currently selected object and lists all other objects overlapping each other from the topmost at the top of the list to the one at the bottom on the bottom of the list. Notice that the order of this list is opposite to the default order in de Objects and Timeline Panel (when you have not changed the order of the panel using the Sort by Z-order option at the bottom left of that panel). Actually, this order is logical for what it shows: the stack of objects in the Artboard under your mouse cursor.

Notice also the option to Pin or UnPin the Active Container. This makes is easier to insert newly created objects in a container like the RegularPolygon Shape in the Grid here inside the RadioButton…


Typography in Silverlight 5

Silverlight 5 is released and contains the Typography features that already existed in WPF. Designers can use these features to make beautiful typographic designs.

SilverlightTypographyThanks to the qualities of the OpenType font format, several typographic features are now available to every web designer. Combining TrueType and Postscript outlines in one format, smaller file sizes, more typographic control and allowing far more characters in a single font file have resulted in a much more versatile use of fonts. The Typography object is available to you inside a TextBlock or TextBox tag. Attributes of this object lead to various typographic results.

Inside a TextBlock or TextBox, a Run element is used that can only contain unformatted text. Properties of the Typography object are applied through this Run element. To group some of the Run elements together, use a <Span>. Both Run and Span have no inherent rendering.

One concept associated with typography is Kerning . Kerning is embedded in the selected font file and Silverlight has no influence on it other than being able to use it or not. You can set the Typography.Kerning attribute to False. The default setting is True.

Superscript and Subscript are Variants of normal characters in a font, placed on respectively a higher or lower baseline than the rest of the text. Other Variants are Normal, Titling, Inferior, Ordinal and Ruby. Note that a Superscript and a Subscript Variant needs to be present in the font file you use.

Nobody should use a smaller font size of normal Capitals when you really need SmallCaps. Spacing of SmallCaps is different and weight and proportion of the letters are adapted to their size and use. Also, for titling purposes capitals with elegant, slender stems are possible, if they are accounted for in the specified font. Setting the property Typography.CapitalSpacing=”True” is a good idea for titles or text that are in capitals, for the spacing between capitals and lowercase letters differs from the spacing between all capitals.

Ligatures are Alternates for two characters that would collide when spaced normally. In the lowercase combination of f and i for example, the point of character i interferes with the end of the stroke of the f regularly. So in the ligature this issue is solved. The same is true for ff, fl, ffi, ffl and many other character combinations. In OpenType fonts standard ligatures are enabled by default in Silverlight 5. If for some reason standard ligatures should be disabled, use the property Typography.StandardLigatures=”False”. Other reasons for ligatures are esthetic, resulting in discretionary or historic ligatures, using Typography. DiscretionaryLigatures and Typograpy.HistoricalLigatures. Ligatures must be present in the font file for you to make them visible with the Typography object.

Swashes are decorative elements of characters associated with calligraphy. Extended serifs and strokes on existing characters may be part of your OpenFont file. To enable a Swash on a character set Typography.StandardSwashes=”1”. When a standards Swash doesn’t result in an agreeable result setting Typography.ContextualSwashes=”1 for that character is also an option.

OpenType has so many positions for characters available, that Stylistic Alternative characters are at your disposal. To enable an alternative character, set the Typograhy.StylisticAlternates property. Random use of alternatives is possible when you specify Typography.ContextualAlternates=”True”, a great way to help a script font in suggesting true handwriting. A font may also contain AnnotationAlternates. These are Glyphs in circles, squares, parentheses, diamonds or rounded boxes used for annotation of images of illustrations. In code-behind this index can be set with Typography.AnnotationAlternates.

Some characters in a font may be designed to be used together, because they look better next to each other or work together somehow. These characters are combined in a stylistic set and a maximum of 20 of these sets may be set in code-behind.

Numerical features of OpenType include Typography.Fraction=”Slashed” or Typography.Fraction=”Stacked”, old style numerals with Typography.NumeralStyle=”OldStyle” inside a Run tag and Tabular or Proportional alignment with Typography.NumeralAlignment=”Tabular” and even, where available, a slashed zero using Typography.SlashedZero=”True”.

Here’s the XAML I used for the image at the beginning:

[sourcecode language=”XML”]

<StackPanel Background="White" Margin="0,0,0,0">
<TextBlock FontFamily="Adobe Caslon Pro" FontWeight="Normal" TextAlignment="Center" FontSize="200" Typography.StandardLigatures="True">
<Run FontStyle="Italic" Typography.StylisticAlternates="1">fi</Run>
<Run Foreground="Red" FontStyle="Italic" Typography.StylisticAlternates="1">fl</Run>
<Run FontStyle="Italic" Typography.StylisticAlternates="1">ff</Run>
<TextBlock FontFamily="Adobe Caslon Pro" FontWeight="Normal" Margin="0,-150,0,0" TextAlignment="Center" FontSize="200" Typography.StandardLigatures="True">
<Run FontWeight="Normal" Typography.StylisticAlternates="1">fi</Run>
<Run FontWeight="Normal" Typography.StylisticAlternates="1">fl</Run>
<Run FontWeight="Normal" Typography.StylisticAlternates="1">ff</Run>
<TextBlock FontFamily="Adobe Caslon Pro" FontSize="24" Margin="0,-125,0,0" TextAlignment="Center">
<Run Text="Superscript: M"/><Run Foreground="Red" Text="2" Typography.Variants="Superscript"/>
<Run Text="Subscript: H"/><Run Foreground="Red" Text="2" Typography.Variants="Subscript"/><Run Text="O"/>
<Run FontStyle="Italic" Text="Fraction: 8"/><Run Foreground="Red" FontStyle="Italic" Text="1/2" Typography.Fraction="Slashed"/><LineBreak/>
<Run Text="CAPITALS" Typography.Kerning="True"/>
<Run Text="SmallCaps" Foreground="Red" Typography.Capitals="SmallCaps"/>
<Run Text="AllSmallCaps" Typography.Capitals="AllSmallCaps"/><LineBreak/>


Also check out Silverlight 5 OpenType Support from Pete Brown at 10REM.NET.


When dynamically creating objects in code, use Styles

When you need to create objects in code, you can actually build up the entire look and feel in code.

This results in large blocks of code that do nothing special, but set the visual properties of an object:

Grid grdNow = new Grid();


//create Circle

Ellipse cirNow = new Ellipse();

cirNow.Height = 25;

cirNow.Width = 25;

cirNow.VerticalAlignment = VerticalAlignment .Center;

cirNow.HorizontalAlignment = HorizontalAlignment.Center;

cirNow.Fill = new SolidColorBrush (Colors.Red);

cirNow.Margin =new Thickness(5,5,5,5);


//create TextBlock

TextBlock txtNow = new TextBlock();

txtNow.VerticalAlignment = VerticalAlignment.Center;

txtNow.HorizontalAlignment = HorizontalAlignment.Center;

txtNow.Foreground = new SolidColorBrush(Colors.White);

txtNow.FontWeight = FontWeights.Bold;

txtNow.FontSize = 14;

txtNow.Margin =new Thickness(0,0,0,2);

txtNow.TextWrapping = TextWrapping.NoWrap;



//add objects to grid




The drawback of this is that it is a lot of code and hard to maintain. The looks are integrated in the code and that is not what you want.

In Silverlight and WPF there is a standard model to separate the code from the look and feel of the application you’re building. It’s called XAML.

XAML is a markup language that’s easily generated by code and easily maintained by non-programmers with tools of even by hand.

When you are creating objects on the fly you should use Styles. These determine the way the object looks. Only keep the properties necessary for dynamically placing your object on the screen in your code:

Grid grdNow = new Grid();
Ellipse cirNow = new Ellipse();
TextBlock txtNow = new TextBlock();

cirNow.Style = App.Current.Resources["NowStyle"] as Style;
txtNow.Style = App.Current.Resources["NowTextStyle"] as Style;


This is a lot less code. Below is the markup that you shouldn’t have to worry about when you use Styles in your C# code.

You can even just create an empty Style block in App.xaml: <Style x:Key=”NowStyle” TargetType=”Ellipse” /> and thus use it with default values.

The look of these dynamically created objects can be changed later on or even be themed using a separate ResourceDictionary. A designer can come in at any time and change these properties using a Tool like Expression Blend.

<Style x:Key="NowStyle" TargetType="Ellipse">
    <Setter Property="Height" Value="25"/>
    <Setter Property="Width" Value="25"/>
    <Setter Property="VerticalAlignment" Value="Center"/>
    <Setter Property="HorizontalAlignment" Value="Center"/>
    <Setter Property="Fill" Value="Red"/>
    <Setter Property="Margin" Value="5"/>
<Style x:Key="NowTextStyle" TargetType="TextBlock">
    <Setter Property="VerticalAlignment" Value="Center"/>
    <Setter Property="HorizontalAlignment" Value="Center"/>
    <Setter Property="Foreground" Value="White"/>
    <Setter Property="FontWeight" Value="Bold"/>
    <Setter Property="FontSize" Value="14"/>
    <Setter Property="Margin" Value="0,0,0,2"/>
    <Setter Property="TextWrapping" Value="NoWrap"/>
    <Setter Property="Text" Value="nu"/>

So, when you find yourself creating a lot of C# code to set the visual properties of a dynamically created objects: Stop!

Create a Style in XAML and refer to that Style instead.


Silverlight Togglebutton Push Pin Style with IsoStore

Now you can pin a full-screen app to a second monitor in Silverlight 4, you may want an UI control to facilitate this. In fact, what you need is a ToggleButton. And your ToggleButton has to be communicate it’s function. A Push Pin Style is a good solution for that.

This Push Pin Style for a silverlight (or WPF) ToggleButton is small, totally customizable and free :). It features tooltips to show the action you can do. The setting is stored in IsoStore and picked up the next time you start your app. The states are each represented using a canvas, so you can easily swap the visuals for your own if you want to.


The XAML is simple:

<ToggleButton x:Name="btnPin" Style="{StaticResource btnPin}" Checked="pin" Unchecked="unpin" Content="" ToolTipService.ToolTip="Pin this"/>

Files are too large to include here, but I put the project on my SkyDrive.


Mix Essentials Europe is Serious: Serious Games in Silverlight

It took a while, but finally the session on Serious Games is added to the reserved slot at the end of the first day of Mix Essentials Europe on the 28th of May.

Together with TNO, André van der Plas and myself will present our experience and some cases, where we successfully used serious games to educate employees and citizens.

It is going to be very interesting! See you there!

Intellisense for Expression Blend 2 SP1 working again!

I found a message saying: “FYI I was able to get the Intellisense plugin working against 2.0 sp1 simply by recompiling the source against the 2.0 sp1 assemblies”. As a designer, it was a bit too short and cryptic for me. But I decided to have a go anyway. And it works!

Tonight I found this short cryptic message by Bennage on the MSDN Code Gallery site:

Blend 2.0 SP1
Oct 1 at 4:37 PM 
FYI I was able to get the plugin working against 2.0 sp1 simply by recompiling the source against the 2.0 sp1 assemblies.

As a designer, it was a bit too short and cryptic for me. But I decided to have a go anyway. This it what I had to do do make Intellisense working again for Blend 2 SP1:

  1. Download the original from the MSDN Code Gallery site:
  2. Install the Addin as explained on the Homepage:
    Blend.bat, Addins folder with a DLL and the Schemas Subfolder should all be in place. If you have a failed attempt to install BlendSense for Blend 2 SP1, you’ll probably be in good shape 😉
  3. Download the Code from the MSDN Code Gallery site:
  4. Upzip it to your visual studio or Blend projects directory:
    c:\users\YOU\Documents\Expression\Expression Blend Projects
  5. Start Visual Studio or Expression Blend and load the Expression.Blend.Intellisense project
  6. Open the Solution Explorer or Project tab and check the References  folder to find several dll’s that are missing or invalid, marked by a yellow exclamation mark
  7. Right-click on the References folder and select Add Reference…
    Click the Browse tab in the Add Reference dialogbox and browse to your Blend 2 SP1 location: “c:\program files\Microsoft Expression\Blend 2”
  8. Select all the DLL files that are missing by keeping the Ctrl key down while clicking the filenames. Click OK. The yellow exclamation marks in the Solution Explorer or Project tab References folder will disappear.
  9. Build the project using Build/Rebuild Solution. If all is well, the build will succeed.
  10. Check the debug folder in de Expression.Blend.Intellisense folder for a DLL called Expression.Blend.Intellisense.dll (if you made a release build you’ll find it in the Release folder of course).
  11. Copy this file to the Add-In folder in the Expression Blend program folder: “c:\program files\Microsoft Expression\Blend 2\Addins” Replace the existing file with the same name but smaller in size with this new DLL. Don’t paste it in the Blend program folder, but in de Add-in folder.
  12. Run Blend.bat from the Blend Program folder.
    This contains the command:
    start Blend.exe -addin:Addins\Expression.Blend.Intellisense.dll
  13. Blend wil start and ask you to open your last project. Open the project.
    Press F11 twice or click the XAML tab at the top right of the working area in Blend.
  14. Press Ctrl + Spacebar inside any XAML statement to find intellisense working!

Thanks bennage for the original post at: and of course many, many thanks to Stefan Dobrev for making it all possible at

Hope this helps (I know it will!) Njoy!

WPF 3D: Presentation at the Software Development Conference (3): Deepest

deepestDe derde Demo heet Deepest en gaat over interactieve schermen op driedimensionale oppervlakken. Ik spin en flip hier planes met een Registratieformulier erop. Verder schanier ik die planes opzij in twee richtingen en draai ik ze uit de hoek in beeld voor ik ze rechtzet. Ook hier is een Harmonica te zien, eigenlijk twee: een bovenin het scherm met portretjes en een rechtsonder in het scherm die afbeeldingen bevat. Die kunnen gecombineerd worden tot interessante 3D oplossingen voor master/details scenario’s. Verder toon ik hier ook kubussen met formulieren van buiten en van binnen en draai de camera om een kubus met formulieren erop.

Daarnaast zitten er nog wat verassingen in de demo’s. Linksonder in Deep klapt een Expander uit om buttons te tonen waarmee ik de Xbox doos omvorm tot boeken over WPF 3D: 3D Programming For Windows van Charles Petzold, WPF Unleashed van Adam Nathan en mijn eigen Handboek XAML, waar ook een hoofdstuk over 3D in staat.

deepmacawenergydrinkOm te bewijzen dat andere modellen dat een rechthoekige doos ook kunnen, wilde ik een blikje frisdrank tonen. En welk blikje is beter geschikt dan die van de Macaw Liquid Energy, die ook tijdens de SDC wordt uitgereikt? Het was tamelijk eenvoudig om in de 3D modelleer applicatie ZAM3D de rechter contour van het blikje te tekenen en via de lathe functie (denk draaibank) er een cylinder van te maken. De afbeelding erop is van het oorspronkelijk ontwerp voor het etiket, al aangepast is aan de nieuwe huisstijl. Via de Viewbox en Viewport eigenschappen is die op de juiste plaats gezet en een animatie, die het blikje eindeloos ronddraait, maakt het helemaal af.

Dit alles levert materiaal op voor de mensen, die de sessie op de Software Development Conference bezoeken, met voorbeelden en code om zelf in hun interfaces met 3D aan de slag te gaan. Ze krijgen een CD mee met de presentatie en de mogelijkheid om vanuit de slides deze demo’s op te starten. Verder staat op de CD alle broncode die ik het verzameld en geschreven om deze demo’s te laten werken.

De demo en de source code zijn beschikbaar via mijn public map op mijn SkyDrive:

WPF 3D presentation at Software Development Conference(2): Deeper

Second part of a three-part post on my presentation called Deep, Deeper, Deepest on WPF 3D. This time: Deeper, a demo showing off all possibilities of 3D graphics like spinning, flipping, stacking, harmonicas, carousels and cover flow.

Last time I mentioned the first demo of my presentation at the Software Development Conference called Deep. This dealt with product presentation, using a 2D UI for a 3D scene with only one model. In this demo, called Deeper, I will show you several effects you can use for your own UIs with WPF 3D.

The second demo (Deeper) consists of several possibilities to use a series of primitive models (plane, cube, cylinder, sphere) in User Interfaces. It show the spinning, flipping and stacking of planes, cover flow, harmonicas and carousels. Cubes are rotated en cylinders viewed from the inside. It was hard to think of good usage for a sphere and at first I only could come up with the planet Earth. With HitTesting you can point at a specific location and show it on the Earth surface. Later I also created a menu with five revolving spheres. Beyond that, you can see an animated SpotLight, transform of textures via sliders and animation of a camera around a cube.

The Demo executable and the source code are available from the public folder on my SkyDrive at:

De tweede demo ( Deeper) bestaat uit een aantal mogelijkheden om een serie primitive modellen (plane, cube, cylinder, sphere) te gebruiken in User Interfaces. Het toont het spinnen, flippen en stapelen van planes, cover flow, harmonica en carrousel. Verder worden kubussen gedraaid en een cylinder van binnen bekeken. Voor een bol kon ik eerst alleen een aarde bedenken, waar je via HitTesting een locatie op kon aanwijzen, maar later heb ik ook een menu van vijf om elkaar heen draaiende bollen gemaakt. Verder zie je hier een geanimeerd SpotLight en is het verschuiven van textures via sliders en het animeren van de camera rond een kubus te zien.

De demo en de source code zijn beschikbaar via mijn public map op mijn SkyDrive: