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      Tutorial: WinExplorer View - Basics
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 End-User Documentation

WinExplorer View

The Microsoft Windows Explorer-inspired WinExplorerView is the best option for displaying records with images and short captions.

The WinExplorer View supports the following features.

  • Seven data presentation formats - Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, List, Tiles and Content
  • Context buttons
  • Sorting and filtering cards (in code)
  • Data grouping (by one column)
  • Disabling tiles based on data from a data source
  • Built-in item check boxes used to select items
  • Asynchronous image loading
  • Split presentation mode
  • Multiple card selection

Expanded Online Videos

  • WinExplorer View - Basics
    Learn the basics of the Grid control's WinExplorer View.
    Watch on YouTube...

  • WinExplorer View - Context Buttons
    In this video, you will learn how to add context buttons to view items and transform the view into an interactive image gallery.
    Watch on YouTube...

  • WinExplorer View - Item Customization
    This video illustrates how to customize each of the 7 display styles available for the WinExplorer View.
    Watch on YouTube...

Expanded View Styles

The WinExplorer View features seven unique display modes or styles for its records. These styles specify what data each record shows and how it is presented on-screen. To select the currently active view style, utilize the WinExplorerViewOptionsView.Style property.

Expanded Column Set

Unlike other Data Grid Views, the WinExplorer View shows data from only four GridColumns.

Two additional ColumnSet properties allow you to group data and display specific records as disabled.

The following figure illustrates these data fields displayed within a WinExplorer View in the "Tiles" view style.

Expanded View and View Style Customization

The WinExplorerView.OptionsView property provides access to settings that are in effect no matter which view style is active. For example, the WinExplorerViewOptionsView.ShowCheckBoxes property allows you to display check boxes even for those styles that do not provide them by default.

To customize individual styles, utilize the WinExplorerView.OptionsViewStyles property instead. This section provides seven sub-groups, each storing options that affect the specific view style only.

Expanded Images

The WinExplorer View's column set provides four properties for image-containing columns. The view retrieves images from that column, which fits the currently applied view style. For instance, if the view is currently in a "Content" style, the view will try to retrieve medium-sized images first. If needed, you can manually change the default image size for each style. To do so, access the WinExplorerView.OptionsViewStyles property set, expand the desired View style (e.g., "List") and assign your custom size to the WinExplorerViewStyleOptions.ImageSize property. The figure below illustrates the WinExplorer View running under the "List" style; record images are manually scaled up to 48x48 pixels.

If the required image cannot be found, the WinExplorer View will use the next largest image size. If no bigger image available, the View will search for a smaller image. For example, if the view is currently in a "Medium" style and only extra large and small images are available, the view will scale extra large images down to a medium size. This behavior prevents image distortions.

In case no images are found, you may opt for showing fake images called stub glyphs. A stub glyph is a colored shape with one or two of the initial letters of the view entry (see the figure below). To enable stub glyphs, access the WinExplorerView.OptionsStubGlyphs property group and set the StubGlyphOptions.AllowStubGlyphs property to DefaultBoolean.True. Also, using properties from this group, you can modify stub glyph appearance. Refer to the Stub Glyphs article of the Ribbon, Bars and Menu documentation section to learn more about stub glyph customization.

Finally, you can activate the Asynchronous Image Load in WinExplorer and Tile Views feature to do the following:

  • force the view to load images dynamically, on-demand, rather than all images at once;
  • retrieve images from the data source and manually transform them;
  • assign your own images from an external source;
  • display images with animation effects and show animated indicators for those images that are not yet ready.

Expanded Context Buttons

The WinExplorer View allows you to display context buttons for each item (see the image below). These buttons allow your end-users to rate view items or perform specific operations on them.

To add context buttons, use the WinExplorerView.ContextButtons collection in code. At design-time, you can populate this collection using the Context Buttons editor, invoked when modifying the WinExplorerView.ContextButtons property in the view's property grid.

The combo-box next to the "Add" button allows you to choose the type of the added button.

There are three button types available.
  • Context Buttons (ContextButton objects) - simple push buttons that perform specific actions when clicked. With no glyph assigned, such buttons can also serve as labels.
  • Context Check Buttons (CheckContextButton objects) – check boxes that support checked and unchecked states.
  • Rating Buttons (RatingContextButton objects) - based on the RatingControl, these buttons provide an easy and intuitive way to rate specific items.

Context buttons are not drawn directly above item images. Instead, items display two solid stripes along their top and bottom edges to display these buttons. To modify the color and transparency of these panels, access the WinExplorerView.ContextButtonOptions group and utilize the TopPanelColor and BottomPanelColor. Use 4-number ARGB values to assign colors with a transparency key.

By default, context buttons are shown automatically on item hover. You can modify this behavior using the ContextItem.Visibility property. Note that if any context button is always visible, its underlying button panel will be visible as well. The remaining buttons with default visibility settings will be shown as before when hovered only.

All WinExplorer view items display the same context buttons with the same settings. However, you can handle the WinExplorerView.ContextButtonCustomize event to modify individual context buttons for specific data rows. The code below illustrates how to turn a context button into a label that displays unique text for each view record.

Clicking a context button raises the WinExplorerView.ContextButtonClick event regardless of the clicked item's type (regular, check or rating). You can handle this event to check exactly which button has been clicked, and based on this, perform specific actions.

Expanded See Also

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