Application Modernization: What Is It and How to Get Started
Microsoft Office 2007 delivered a bold replacement for the tired menu bar known simply as the Ribbon. Up until recently, the Ribbon was exclusive to Microsoft applications; however, Microsoft has now made the WPF(Windows Presentation Foundation) Ribbon available through the Office UI Licensing. This license in effect allows you to incorporate the WPF Ribbon as well as the Office 2007 styling into your application. I should point out, that you will need to register to download the WPF Ribbon control and essentially agree not to create an Office 2007 competitive application. Using the WPF Ribbon within your application provides the following UI elements:
- The Application Button is the round button in the upper left. Its purpose is to provide access to the Application Menu which includes one or more menu items.
- The Quick Access Toolbar provides convenient access to common functions.
- Tabs provide high level grouping for items within the Ribbon. Within each tab, multiple Groups exists to provide further categorization. Inside each Group is where the individual controls exist.
RibbonControlLibrary. Next, we need to modify the existing Window to start creating the Ribbon. To get started, we need to modify the XAML(eXtensible Application Markup Language) to modify the window and create a blank Ribbon. The XAML to create the window with the empty ribbon is listed below:
<my:RibbonWindow x:Class="WPFRibbonExample.Window1" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation" xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml" Title="WPF Ribbon Example" Background="LightBlue" ResizeMode="CanResizeWithGrip" Height="374" Width="633" xmlns:my="clr-namespace:Microsoft.Windows.Controls.Ribbon;assembly=RibbonControlsLibrary"> <Window.Resources> <ResourceDictionary> <ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries> <ResourceDictionary Source="/RibbonControlsLibrary;component/Themes/Office2007Blue.xaml"/> </ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries> </ResourceDictionary> </Window.Resources> <DockPanel> <my:Ribbon DockPanel.Dock="Top" Name="ribbon1" Height="138" Title="WPF Ribbon Example" VerticalAlignment="Top"> </my:Ribbon> </DockPanel> </my:RibbonWindow>
If you execute the application at this point, you should see the screen as shown below:
Click here for larger image
Figure 1 - Empty Ribbon
This basic XAML above is slightly different from a standard Window. The window tag itself is replaced with a RibbonWindow which provides additional functionlity necessary for the Ribbon UI. Next we pull in the Office 2007 Blue styling and finally create a blank Ribbon inside a DockPanel. Next we'll focus on creating the necessary elements within the Ribbon. Insert the following XAML inside the Ribbon tag.
<my:RibbonTab Label="File"> </my:RibbonTab"> <my:RibbonTab Label="View" /"> </my:RibbonTab">
At this point, the ribbon should show 2 tabs, File and View as shown below.
Figure 2 - File and View Tabs
Next we create a group and finally the individual
controls. The following XAML snippet should be inserted into
<my:RibbonGroup Name="FileOperations"> <my:RibbonGroup.Command> <my:RibbonCommand LabelTitle="File Operations" ></my:RibbonCommand> </my:RibbonGroup.Command> </my:RibbonGroup>
This will create an empty File Operations Group and
assign a label to it. This is done through the RibbonCommand
class. Next we need to start creating buttons within the
group. Before we start creating buttons, it is a good idea
to start planning the commands for the Ribbon. Each command
the ribbon will perform should be created as a Ribbon
Resource so it can be reused for buttons on the Ribbon and
Quick Access toolbar or within the Application Menu. Below
is a simple Open
RibbonCommand Resource which
is to be inserted within the Ribbon tag.
<my:Ribbon.Resources> <my:RibbonCommand x:Key="OpenCommand" LabelTitle="Open" LargeImageSource="Images\Open.png" SmallImageSource="Images\OpenSM.png" Executed="OpenCommand_Executed" /> </my:Ribbon.Resources>