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Visual Basic 2012 Programmer's Reference by Rod Stephens

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WPF IN THE IDE

The Visual Studio IDE includes editors for manipulating WPF Window classes and controls. Although many of the details are different, the basic operation of the IDE is the same whether you are building a Windows Forms application or a WPF application. For example, you can use the WPF Window Designer to edit a WPF window. You can select controls from the Toolbox and place them on the window much as you place controls on a Windows Form.

Despite their broad similarities, the Windows Forms Designer and the WPF Window Designer differ in detail. Although the Properties window displays properties for WPF controls much as it does for Windows Forms controls, many of the property values are not displayed in similar ways.

The window represents many Boolean properties with check boxes. It represents other properties that take enumerated values with combo boxes where you can select a value or type one in (if you know the allowed values).

Future Visual Studio releases may make Expression Blend more consistent with Visual Studio, although some more advanced features (such as animation recording) are likely to remain only in Expression Blend to encourage developers to buy it.

Note that the editors in the Properties window merely build the XAML code that defines the user interface. You can always edit the XAML manually to achieve effects that the Properties window does not support directly.

The following sections explain how to write XAML code and the Visual Basic code behind it. ...

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