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Mybowlcut

GUI Themes/Styles in C# Windows Forms Applications

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Hey. I've got an assignment for Uni that requires customisation of the GUI of an application we're supposed to make. I'm curious as to the best way to go about this? I could manually set each GUI element's appearance when a certain style is chosen, but thought there might be a simpler way. Cheers.

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Afaik, skinning is only possible to a very limited degree with the standard controls. Qt, for which there is a C# binding and which is licensed under the LGPL, has the most decent styling capabilities I am aware of (a form of cascading style sheets).

There's also DevExpress and Janus-Controls, but they neither have a free version, nor are they easy to customize.

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Hmm I'd prefer to keep this as simple as possible since I'm not well versed in C#. I guess I'll just do it manually.

Cheers.

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This is hard to do in WinForms, as it generally requires the creation of custom controls (unless you use a 3rd party library). Does the application have to be WinForms? Can you use WPF, which is part of .NET 3.0? WPF has extensive GUI customization control, far beyond any other GUI package I have used, and as an added bonus, it is a lot easier to use.

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The assignment spec says:

Quote:
6. The applications gui should incorporate windows forms and Windows Presentation Framework features.
I have no idea what that means. I was just planning to keep on designing the application with VS2008 through the designer view.

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I'm not sure if this would work, but you could try using something like Microsoft Sketchflow. It allows you to create a mock-up of a UI that looks different than the standard windows forms, yet still allows you to put some functionality in behind things like button clicks.

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If your professor wants you to create a skinned GUI with Winforms in the year 2010, tell him to piss off and go to another Uni. If he is asking for it in WPF, tell him the F stands for "Foundation" and look up how to do it, because it rules. Do you have the Expression suite at Uni in the labs? VS isn't a great design tool for sexily skinned GUIs.

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Someone else asked for clarification:

Quote:
Quote:
2) "The application’s GUI should incorporate windows forms and Windows Presentation Framework features"

Yup, am fine with Forms, but what sort of WPF "features"? I'm not well-versed with WPF yet, but I think its got a lot of graphical/UI features? Any particular ones you're looking for?

Quote:
You need to use the features that you feel are the most appropriate, there is no point put wizz bang WPF features in your application if they are superfulous.

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