WPF Designer: Changes and Fixes in VS2008 SP1 Beta

Here's the definitive list:

List of changes and fixed issues for Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 Beta for Windows Presentation Foundation Designer

New features

  • The Properties window now contains the Events tab. The Events tab lets you create events, assign events, and review events.
  • The Properties window now includes a category sort option and an alphabetical sort option to allow for faster property location.
  • Code changes have been made to the XAML Refactor/Rename definition and to the Go to definition. These changes allow XAML rename operations to occur automatically. Additionally, you can navigate the XAML definition by pressing F12.
  • You can now drag controls or create controls from the toolbox in XAML view or in Design view. You can do this even if you use a split view configuration.
  • Snaplines are now implemented for control margins. This lets the designer control a fixed distance from other controls, from container edges, or from gridlines.
  • Tab controls now support TabItem activation and TabItem design. To do this, click the tab that you want to design.
  • The Expander control now expands conditionally based on what is selected. You can design the contents of the Expander control at design time with affecting the IsExpanded attribute of the runtime.
  • Many stability improvements have been added to Visual Studio 2008 SP1. These include improvements to document loading in the designer and to error reporting. Because of these improvements, you will be able to load more documents in the designer.

Comments (6)

  1. jhanford says:

    You have to add the ability to insert a row or column on a WPF Grid. Trying to refine layout or modifying an existing layout to add new controls is extremely tedious.

    The capability is there in WindowsForms TableLayoutPanel which works (at least from the designer perspective) similarly to the WPF Grid with Column and Row dependency properties.

    This one thing is causing our design team to ignore WPF as they see it as not very RAD.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. We are considering the feature you describe for a future release of the designer.

    If you have any other WPF Designer feedback we’d love to hear it over on the designers MSDN forum http://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=169&SiteID=1.


    Mark Wilson-Thomas

    Program Manager, WPF Designer, Visual Studio

  3. Tim Sneath says:

    …and don’t forget to check out the video interview with Mark and Erick from the team here:



  4. AgeKay says:

    Since installing both .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Beta and VS 2008 SP1 Beta, the WPF designer (cider) and my compiled WPF applications do not use the Windows Theme set on my computer, which is Vista Aero, but "Classic" instead. So when developing my app now, I know feel like I am programming on Windows 95. I can force the use of the Vista Aero theme with the method described here though: http://arbel.net/blog/archive/2006/11/03/Forcing-WPF-to-use-a-specific-Windows-theme.aspx . But that’s not very clean as you might imagine. Is this a known bug or am I the only one that is experiencing this side effect?

  5. JGalasyn says:

    Hi AgeKay,

    Thanks for visiting. We’re pursuing this issue internally. It appears to be a platform issue, as Cider doesn’t do anything to force the theme.

    I’ll post an update when I hear more.

    Jim Galasyn

  6. JGalasyn says:


    Do the released versions of SP1 (VS and .NET) continue to have this problem? You can install these from http://blogs.msdn.com/wpfsdk/archive/2008/08/11/visual-studio-2008-sp1-and-net-framework-3-5-sp1-are-live.aspx.


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