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Silverlight 5 Essential Training

Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid


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Silverlight 5 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

Video: Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid

The Grid panel is the most powerful layout panel in Silverlight. It is the default layout panel. When you create a new XAML document in Visual Studio or Expression Blend, you automatically get a grid as the main UI element. When you add a grid, it contains one row and one column. It is up to you to add the additional rows or columns. When you have the grid structure the way you want, you assign each child element a location in a suitable row and column within the Grid. I am inside Visual Studio and I have opened a project called UsingGrid. I'm going to start by looking at the AddingRows.xaml file.
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 35m 0s
    1. Overview of Silverlight
      3m 29s
    2. Setting up a developer computer
      2m 46s
    3. Installing the Silverlight Toolkit
      2m 21s
    4. Exploring the toolkit samples
      2m 35s
    5. Using Visual Studio 2010 to create a Silverlight project
      5m 10s
    6. Using Expression Blend to create a Silverlight project
      3m 13s
    7. Getting to know the Visual Studio interface
      8m 15s
    8. Working in the Expression Blend interface
      7m 11s
  3. 29m 46s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio project structure
      3m 38s
    2. Creating a Silverlight page
      3m 17s
    3. Compiling your first application
      5m 0s
    4. Using other assemblies in an application
      5m 45s
    5. Deploying a Silverlight application
      3m 43s
    6. Understanding the startup process for an application
      3m 13s
    7. Understanding how users get Silverlight on their computers
      5m 10s
  4. 16m 59s
    1. Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
      3m 57s
    2. Using C#
      7m 16s
    3. Exploring the code-behind file
      5m 46s
  5. 43m 22s
    1. Working with XAML elements and Property attributes
      4m 56s
    2. Investigating XAML namespaces
      7m 31s
    3. Converting XAML properties with TypeConverters
      5m 1s
    4. Working with Property elements
      4m 24s
    5. Assigning runtime data with XAML markup extensions
      4m 21s
    6. Digging into the dependency property system
      6m 12s
    7. Creating a custom dependency property
      4m 42s
    8. Understanding attached properties
      6m 15s
  6. 9m 35s
    1. Debugging your code
      5m 17s
    2. Special Silverlight debugging techniques
      4m 18s
  7. 36m 0s
    1. Understanding layout
      4m 55s
    2. Using DockPanel and WrapPanel
      4m 2s
    3. Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid
      6m 40s
    4. Absolute positioning with the Canvas panel
      5m 20s
    5. Scrolling content with the ScrollViewer
      3m 28s
    6. Adjusting content alignment, margins, and sizing
      5m 6s
    7. Using the TabControl
      2m 17s
    8. Manipulating elements with transforms
      4m 12s
  8. 20m 32s
    1. Painting the user interface (UI) with SolidColorBrush
      6m 7s
    2. Getting colorful with gradient brushes
      3m 15s
    3. Decorating elements with ImageBrush
      4m 56s
    4. Creating effects with VideoBrush
      6m 14s
  9. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding routed events
      3m 12s
    2. Wiring up event handlers in Silverlight
      6m 4s
    3. Understanding event bubbling
      4m 39s
    4. Exploring mouse events
      7m 43s
    5. Exploring keyboard events
      4m 4s
  10. 32m 31s
    1. Displaying text on the screen
      3m 24s
    2. Gathering text input from the user
      5m 30s
    3. Showing complex text with RichTextBox
      6m 7s
    4. Understanding text overflow and text linking
      3m 14s
    5. Searching content with the AutoComplete type-ahead control
      6m 45s
    6. Using and embedding Silverlight fonts
      7m 31s
  11. 26m 47s
    1. Understanding content controls
      5m 7s
    2. Understanding button controls
      6m 16s
    3. Using the BusyIndicator
      4m 40s
    4. Showing tooltips
      4m 34s
    5. Changing content size with ViewBox
      1m 39s
    6. Exploring more controls
      4m 31s
  12. 55m 36s
    1. Connecting elements with binding
      9m 54s
    2. Using business data in a binding
      9m 21s
    3. Listing data with ItemsControls
      6m 39s
    4. Digging into the DataGrid
      8m 28s
    5. Using the DataForm
      3m 49s
    6. Storing data on the client
      7m 10s
    7. Debugging XAML bindings
      5m 41s
    8. Charting data
      4m 34s
  13. 24m 36s
    1. Creating an Out-of-Browser (OOB) application
      6m 16s
    2. Controlling aspects of an OOB application
      2m 49s
    3. Alerting the user with notification windows
      7m 13s
    4. Hosting HTML content in Silverlight applications
      8m 18s
  14. 30m 2s
    1. Exploring Silverlight trust levels
      3m 51s
    2. Creating an elevated trust application
      5m 57s
    3. Reaping the benefits of XAP signing
      6m 5s
    4. Making cross-domain calls
      5m 1s
    5. Getting started with COM Interop using the Speech API
      4m 21s
    6. Using COM Interop to interact with Microsoft Office
      4m 47s
  15. 16m 33s
    1. Showing child windows
      3m 48s
    2. Using a child window as a dialog window
      5m 7s
    3. Creating native windows
      2m 53s
    4. Maximizing a window with full screen mode
      4m 45s
  16. 13m 20s
    1. Dynamically loading UI content with user controls
      4m 46s
    2. Using the Navigation Framework
      8m 34s
  17. 9m 28s
    1. Using resource files
      3m 53s
    2. Using images in an application
      5m 35s
  18. 16m 32s
    1. Playing audio
      4m 27s
    2. Playing sound effects
      5m 4s
    3. Viewing video content with MediaElement
      4m 58s
    4. Changing video playback speed with TrickPlay
      2m 3s
  19. 14m 40s
    1. Capturing video with a web camera
      4m 16s
    2. Working with a microphone
      3m 47s
    3. Creating print output
      6m 37s
  20. 22m 35s
    1. Understanding Silverlight animations
      4m 35s
    2. Creating animations
      7m 52s
    3. Controlling animations
      4m 18s
    4. Simulating physics with animation easings
      5m 50s
  21. 27m 47s
    1. Placing XAML resources within a FrameworkElement
      6m 47s
    2. Centralizing settings in styles
      4m 8s
    3. Creating an alternate control UI with ControlTemplates
      6m 29s
    4. Dressing up your data with DataTemplates
      4m 33s
    5. Explaining the VisualStateManager: a simple way to manage control states
      5m 50s
  22. 10m 55s
    1. Handling global errors in a Silverlight application
      5m 46s
    2. Showing an application loading screen
      5m 9s
  23. 10m 48s
    1. Integrating with XNA
      7m 40s
    2. Exploring data analysis with PivotViewer
      3m 8s
  24. 1m 6s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 6s

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Silverlight 5 Essential Training
8h 51m Beginner Mar 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Microsoft Silverlight 5 is a rich application framework for creating high-performance, cross-platform desktop and mobile applications. In this course, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to build a variety of applications in Silverlight, with particular focus on building compelling business applications and delivering premium video and audio content. Developers will work with the C# programming language and Visual Studio Professional, as well as Expression Blend, a tool that simplifies creation of the interactive user interfaces expected in modern-day applications.

Topics include:
  • Installing the toolkit and setting up the development environment
  • Using Expression Blend vs. Visual Studio 2010
  • Creating a Silverlight page
  • Compiling an application
  • Exploring the relationship between XAML and .NET
  • Using C#
  • Working with XAML
  • Digging into the Dependency Property System
  • Deploying and debugging code
  • Creating sophisticated layouts with panel elements
  • Managing Visual State with Visual State Manager
  • Transforming the user interface (UI) with templates
  • Understanding the event model
  • Working with text
  • Using business data in a binding
  • Creating an out-of-browser (OOB) application
  • Exploring trust levels
  • Playing audio and video
  • Handling errors
  • Exploring animations
  • Working with application windows
  • Integration with XNA
Subject:
Developer
Software:
Silverlight Visual Studio
Author:
Walt Ritscher

Exploring sophisticated layouts with the Grid

The Grid panel is the most powerful layout panel in Silverlight. It is the default layout panel. When you create a new XAML document in Visual Studio or Expression Blend, you automatically get a grid as the main UI element. When you add a grid, it contains one row and one column. It is up to you to add the additional rows or columns. When you have the grid structure the way you want, you assign each child element a location in a suitable row and column within the Grid. I am inside Visual Studio and I have opened a project called UsingGrid. I'm going to start by looking at the AddingRows.xaml file.

Here is the root element I was referring to. When you create a brand new document, you get this Grid as the root. It's usually named LayoutRoot. I've added a second grid down here which is part of my demo. It currently has three rows. They are defined in a section called the RowDefinition section. If I wanted to add some columns, I would come down here to the ColumnDefinition section and then I can type in ColumnDefinition. And now if you look in the top half of a screen, you will say I now have some blue lines. Those blue lines only show up inside Visual Studio.

They don't show up at runtime. If I want to show lines permanently on the screen, I need to set this ShowGridlines to true on the Grid element itself. Let's see what this looks like so far. I will press F5 to run the application and then I'm looking at this adding rows demo. Now you can see the gridlines. They are nice for debugging. They are very ugly for a real UI however. Notice that my Child Element is in the top row and the top column.

Another way of defining a column or a row is to use the Visual Studio Designer. If I move my mouse up to the designer surface and hover over this blue bar at the top of the grid, or on the left side of the grid, I can click and add another column or row. Let me show you. Click here and then you will see that I now have a second column, actually I have three columns now because it's added a second column and sized both of them using the Star Sizing. I will talk more about that soon.

I'll press Ctrl+Z to remove that additional column I added and then I'm going to show you how I can move this Child Element to a new location. I do that by setting an Attached Property on the child. Go to this Button, I will move into the text and I will say Grid. in my drop-down you will see I have a choice of Column and Row and ColumnSpan and RowSpan. I'm going to move this button to the second column, so I will say Column= 1. The numbers starts counting at 0.

And as you can see in the designer at the top half of the screen, it's moved to the second column. I can use the drag-and-drop designer to move it if I pick the button up and drag it around, you will see that it's moving to different locations. Now if I drop it and look at the XAML, you will see that it is moved it to Grid.Row 1, and now it's been moved into Grid.Row 1 and Grid.Column= 1. If I make the button larger than it currently is, now also notice that I get a ColumnSpan now.

This button is going to cross two columns. Ctrl+Z to undo. Next I want to look at the XAML file, PlacingStackPanelInGrid. Sophisticated layout in Silverlight is accomplished with nested panels. The Grid is usually filled with dense layers of child panels. This is a simple example to show you what I mean. I have a child panel called the StackPanel that is contained in the third column of this Grid. Let's scroll down to my XAML and you will see that I have a Grid to find here.

I have a number of rows and columns defined. I have a StackPanel created and I've told the StackPanel to go in Column number 2. StackPanels are optimized for layering items in a stack, in this case it's stacking them from top to bottom. I can control the sizes of my columns or rows. There is a Width property and a Height property available in the RowDefinition and ColumnDefinition elements. I'll show you an example. I'll go to ControllingSizes.xaml and I'll scroll down again to my ColumnDefinitions section.

There are three different sizes available. Currently I am using what's called the Star Size. I can use a Fix Size by typing a hard coded number and you can see that my first column is now 120 pixels, now its 12 pixels. I can also use the Auto size where it sizes to the content, in this case, it's sizing to the width of the three buttons that are in size column one. And the last size setting is the Star Size setting. Star sizing is similar to a proportional size.

Let me show you what I mean. I'll type in 2 star here, and 2 star for the second one, and for the third column, I will type in 6 star. You can think of this as 20% of their size for the first column, 20% of the size for the second column and 60% of the size for the third column. The other way of setting the size in Visual Studio is to hover your mouse over this bar at the top. It's very subtle but there are three translucent buttons up there.

If I mouse up above that bar, I can now change this to Fixed, Star or Auto. Here is another example of Auto sizing a column. I have got this second column and it is currently in a Fixed size, it's 100 pixels in width. And as you can see when I click on some of these shapes, they are wider than 100 pixels. So if I change this to Auto size, the column sizes to whatever the largest item is. For my last demo, I would like to show you the Grid Splitter.

So I will open up UsingGridSplitter.xaml. I have three columns in this grid and currently I cannot size them dynamically at runtime. Run the application, click on the Grid Splitter button, and I'll move my mouse inside this area, and you see there is no change in the pointer. I will return back to my XAML, I'm going to uncomment at this section of code, Ctrl+K, Ctrl+U.So this adds two Grid Splitters and one has it's ShowPreview set to True and one does not.

Now you see when I hover over the edge of the column, I can resize that column. This is the ShowsPreview setting. I get this gray bar as I am dragging it and it's not until I let go of my mouse button that it resizes the column. The grid is an essential layout control. I use it in nearly every project that I create.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Silverlight 5 Essential Training.


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Q: I'm trying to access a Silverlight 3D application template, [cid:image001.png@01CD0E7D.3E07ECA0]. I have already installed the Silverlight 5 SDK and my Visual Studio 2010 is professional. Could you please help me?
A: You must install XNA Studio in order to use the new Silverlight 3D templates. Otherwise the new templates will not show up. Download it at http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=23714.

For other Silverlight downloads (the toolkit, developer runtime, etc.), see http://www.silverlight.net/downloads.
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