Support for VisualStyles in Windows Forms has considerably improved in Whidbey. Here is a list of some of the new features. These should all be in the PDC build.

  • Application.EnableVisualStyles is now part of the "Windows Forms Application" template in Visual Studio. This means VisualStyles will be enabled by default in new Windows Forms apps (VB will be using a slightly different approach, but essentially, the behavior will be the same).
  • The issues you came across with using Application.EnableVisualStyles in .NET Framework v1.1 are fixed, for the most part. You shouldn't need to use any workaround to get imagelists working, for example. If you are using the PDC build and still noticing problems, please do let us know!
  • Controls like Button, RadioButton, ComboBox and GroupBox all render themed by default when VisualStyles are enabled. This means you won't need to set their FlatStyle to System to get the themed look and feel. This is great, because setting FlatStyle to System also meant you lost some of the benefits of Windows Forms doing the rendering - like the ability to set a BackColor, BackgroundImage etc.
  • Some of the other controls that didn't get the visual styles look and feel in v1.1 (like the UpDown controls) now have that support.
  • We have added a bunch of new control renderer classes in Whidbey that give you the ability to render controls with the visual styles look and feel, like ButtonRenderer, CheckBoxRenderer, ComboBoxRenderer, ProgressBarRenderer etc.
  • We have added a class called VisualStyleRenderer that serves as an easy-to-use, managed wrapper for the UxTheme API that shipped with Windows XP.