In the Visual Studio 2010 DSL SDK Beta1, we added a few UI enhancements to the graphical designers. This post and the following aim at starting presenting them. I’ll update the links in this post to the following posts as I write them,

The UI Enhancement we have introduced are:

  • The sticky toolbox items (which enable to create, in a raw, several model elements or relationships of the same kind
  • The Moveable decorators: decorators on connectors can now get moveable if you choose so, thus avoiding cluttering the diagram because several decorators get on each other.
  • The copy/paste as an image: graphical selection in a model can be copied and pasted as an image (a .bmp (bitmap) or .emf (Windows Enhanced Metafile)) in Word, PowerPoint of any program supporting pasting images.
  • The copy/paste of model elements: You can now copy cut paste model elements in this designer or in another one
  • Various quick navigation between and inside shapes and compartments have also been introduced.

The next posts will present them all one by one. For the moment, just note that they are very simple and most do not require any custom code. I will dig deeper in the “Copy/Cut/Paste of elements”, which might, in some circumstances, require custom code, depending on what you’ll want to do.


New designer in VS2010 or migrated designer?

if you create a new designer unfolding it from the DSL Tools templates from the VS2010 Beta1 of the tools, you’ll benefit straight away from most of these features. You’ll be able to un-activate them if you want, of course, if you wish

On the other hand if you migrated your designer from the previous version of the DSL tools you’ll have to opt-in these behaviors. We made this decision so that it does not break your existing designer in case you implemented a similar behaviour previously. In every case activating a behavior is just a question of changing a property in the DSL explorer.