File Formats for Conversion to XAML

File Formats for Conversion to XAML

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As WPF application development continues to pick up steam, it's becoming more and more important to consider which file formats make the most sense for conversion to XAML. Just based on discussions I've had with many of you regarding my Illustrator export plug-in, I know that there are other formats out there that—due to lack of tool support—are very difficult or next-to-impossible to convert to XAML.

So, I'd like to identify a list of "top x" file formats that would help ease the pain for both WPF designers and developers. What tool does your company use to create 2D or 3D content? What file format(s) does it make the most sense to convert? If you don't have an opinion (possibly because you don't work with those tools), please forward this to your design staff. I'm very interested in feedback.

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  • For applications I work with having a converter for EMF/WMF as a callable utility would be great. This would allow copy/paste with Office, Visio, and many other tools. Ideally anything that supports OLE should be something that can be converted to XAML for inclusion as content in a FlowDocument or FixedDocument.
  • Flash, definitely. We have lots of legacy flash based content that we'd like to carry forward. Yes, the animation part too please. Illustrator also, but fortunately that one seems likely already.
  • SVG is one obvious candidate... there are a plethora of XML-based UI layout schemas out in the wild. Not sure which, if any, are truly popular enough to invest in a converter.

    Heck, it would also be nice to have a forward-port ability for RC files and WinForms designer-generated CS/VB files!

  • I would like to see a XHTML 1.0 Strict + CSS 2.1 to XAML converter. Seeing that WPF has many HTML-like elements/classes, e.g.,, this should be possible.
  • I would really like to see X3D/VRML2 support, it will be great to see all the wonderful scenes I've got render in a XAML3D window
  • WMF/EMF would be great.

    Corel Draw files too.
  • Flash is the current animation leader and I cannot imagine MS shipping the WPF platform and tools without a Flash import either directly or via a partner.

    It would be like MS shipping Exchange without any tools to migrate users from CC:Mail, etc.

    It's a tough sell to ask someone to redo all their Flash content.

    Warm Regards,
  • We use Corel products for graphics design. The import/export functions for collaboration with Corel formats would be great.

    Support for wmf/emf files would be very usefull too.
  • Thanks for the insight so far, everyone. If you have an opinion, please provide feedback (or use the Email link to send me something directly). I'd like to collect as much information as possible regarding the formats that would provide the biggest benefit.
  • Michael, How about the ability to translate an existing Form1.Designer.cs file or .vb file? I am guessing this will be baked into the IDE at a pretty low level. -A
  • I'd like to see support for some of the more common 3D formats (other than .OBJ) such as .COB (Truspace),3DS or DXF
  • Suggest support for native Rhinoceros (Rhino) 3D files;3dm.
  • Given the designer\developer interaction I can see the most common being the most common 3D file formats and designer tools such as Photoshop\Illustrator.
  • I'd love to see a plugin for 3D Studio MAX which provided an export-to-xaml capability.
  • We are on the threshold of making it possible to create and interact with a real as well as virtual representation of the classic man-machine interface. I mean this literally as well as figuratively.

    Please do not continue to choose to focus on drawing buttons and dancing monkeys to the exclusion of making it possible to represent and interact with real and meaningful representations of our real world.

    There are serious people doing serious work using software developed by vendors such as Autodesk or SolidWorks for example.

    The DWG/DXF/EPS file formats have been defacto standards for well over a decade.

    Do we need dancing monkeys? Animated buttons? Hell no. We need support to enable highly skilled professionals to create interactive floor plans, interactive machines and other examples that enrichen the human experience in real and meaningful ways.

    The world has enough dancing monkeys. Please stop pissing on humanity and get serious.
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