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14.1 Drawing with Shapes
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Using Shapes is probably the simplest way of drawing in WPF. In some cases, you can literally drag a Shape from the Toolbox onto your window, set a few properties, and voil , you have a shape. Of course, the situations where this solves a useful programming problem are vanishingly small, but it s still quite useful to be able to manipulate shapes in this manner. Also, the same properties and behaviors apply whether you ve dragged a Shape onto your designer, whether it s part of a control template, or whether you re programmatically creating and manipulating Shape objects.
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14.1.1 Shapes in XAML There are six shape classes in WPF. Figure 14.2 shows an example of them all. Although they all work in more or less the same way, they each have their own different properties and behaviors. When doing any serious graphic work, you re likely to use a combination of the different shapes. We ve created this beautiful application by creating a new WPF app and replacing the Grid with a Canvas it s slightly easier to read the properties that way. We re going to run through each shape in turn and show some of the various properties and options. In the Visual Studio Figure 14.2 There are six shape classes 2008 editor, by default, you can only drag a cou- in WPF. It might interest you to know that ple of the shapes (Rectangle and Ellipse) Triangle isn t one of them. onto the form. But, if you manually add the others to your XAML, you can then edit their properties in the property editor. Also, if you expect to do a lot of work with Shapes, you can right-click the Toolbox, select
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Or do what we do use IntelliSense and experiment.
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Figure 14.3 You can add the remaining Shape classes to the Toolbox by right-clicking the Toolbox and selecting Choose Items Here you can see the Path, Polygon, and Polyline Shapes are now checked. We ve also added Line, although it s offscreen. Rectangle and Ellipse are already in the Toolbox by default.
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Choose Items , then switch to the WPF components, and add the other shapes to add to the Toolbox (figure 14.3). In the real world, it isn t often that you need to be able to drag, say, a Polygon onto a form, so it s quite reasonable that the default is to not show all the shapes. Once they are there though, we d probably never bother to remove them.
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RECTANGLE
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We hope you learned about this one in kindergarten. Our rectangle has the same height and width, making it a square. You can either enter the XAML or, in the case of a Rectangle, drag the thing off the Toolbox. Here s the XAML:
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<Rectangle Fill="Blue" Canvas.Left = "40" Canvas.Top="40" Width="40" Height="40"/>
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As you can see, the properties are pretty straightforward. The Canvas.Left and Canvas.Top properties set where the Shape goes, and the Width and Height specify its size. The Fill property is the brush to use to fill the shape. If you don t specify a Fill, the shape will be invisible. Fill can be any brush. For our example, we could use a gradient.
<Rectangle Canvas.Left = "40" Canvas.Top="40" Width="40" Height="40"> <Rectangle.Fill> <LinearGradientBrush> <GradientStop Offset="0" Color="Blue"/>
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<GradientStop Offset=".8" Color="Yellow"/> </LinearGradientBrush> </Rectangle.Fill> </Rectangle>
You could animate this shape, bind properties, catch events, and do just about anything with this shape that you can do with any other UIElement, such as a Button, although the shape doesn t do too many interesting things by itself. One cool thing is that WPF can automatically round the corners of the Rectangle by specifying values for the RadiusX and RadiusY properties.
<Rectangle Canvas.Left = "40" Canvas.Top="40" Width="40" Height="40" RadiusX="10" RadiusY="10">
Figure 14.4 shows the rectangle with the gradient and with the rounded corners. We d say more about rectangles, but, well, they re boxes.
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