Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


Author License: GPL v3 GitHub last commit

Leverage the power of vector-graphics to create beautiful and scalable custom UI controls for your c#/WPF application. It's quick, easy, pretty, and always sharp!

[PrettyNSharp] Scalable Desgin: no more blurry controls!


How to get started

To run the demo code with the PrettyNSharp solution

To use PrettyNSharp in your own solution

The SharpDisplay

The SharpDisplay is a WPF user control which allows you to display SVG data without headache. It does so by exposing the following dependency properties:

  • Vector: set the SVG graphic design you want to display
  • VectorWidth and VectorHeight: set the width and heigh of the SVG design (which can be a number, Auto, a percentage, or *, more on that here)
  • VectorBrush: fill color of the Vector

The SharpDisplay showcased on the right was produced using the following xaml code:

<ps:SharpDisplay  Width="250" Height="250" Background="LightBlue" BorderThickness="1"
                   VectorBrush="#007ACC" Vector="{StaticResource Gear}" VectorHeight="50%"/>

The SharpButton

The SharpButton is a user control deriving from the standard C#/WPF Button class. It inherits all of its properties and features with a few added bonuses:

  • HighlightBrush: fill color of the Vector when the mouse is over
  • BackgroundOnHover and BackgroundOnClick: background color on hover and on click, respectively
  • CornerRadius: corner radius of your button
  • ContentDisplay: select the content displayed by the button (more on that here)
  • ContentLocation: select the content location when both the icon and content are displayed (more on that here)

The SharpCheckbox

The SharpCheckbox is a user control deriving from the standard C#/WPF Checkbox class. It inherits all of its properties and features with - you guessed it - a few added bonuses:

  • CheckMark and NullMark: set the SVG graphic designs used as checkbox mark when the IsSet property is true and null, repectively
  • MarkBrush and MarkHighligh: set the fill color for the mark in normal conditions and when the mouse is over, respectively
  • BorderOnHover: set the border color when the mouse is over
  • CornerRadius: set the border corner radius

Customize your PrettyNSharp UI controls

PrettyNSharp controls are customizable just like any other WPF control. Here I will showcase a few things you could do to make your PrettyNSharp controls even prettier!

Example of customized close SharpButton

Let's say you want your close button to look like this. In that case I would start by telling you that you are a person with great taste. The cool thing is, your great taste can become reality with with PrettyNSharp. The xaml achieving this level of prettiness is as follows:

<ps:SharpButton Width="100" BorderThickness="0"
                 Vector="{StaticResource Cross}" VectorHeight="50%" VectorBrush="White" 
                 Background="#E83140" BackgroundOnHover="#E87E87" BackgroundOnClick="#E83140"/>

Of course you can also define a style matching the results shown above, allowing you to reuse your close button design very quickly. Your xaml could become as simple as:

<ps:SharpButton style={StaticResource CloseButtonStyle}/>

Example of customized SharpCheckbox

Let's say you want your checkboxes to look like this. I actually do not recommend that design because it resembles a radio buttion, especially when unchecked. This example is here to show possibilities by doing something quite different.

In any case, the xaml achieving this never-seen-before level of beauty is as follows:

<ps:SharpCheckbox BorderThickness="4" Height="50" CornerRadius="25" MarkMargin="5"/>

A neat feature of SharpButton: content display manipulation

Since a picture is worth a 1000 words, let's check that one out.

[PrettyNSharp] Content display manipulation in SharpButton

This was actually a gif, and since it contains 52 frames, I guess it's worth 52,000 words. How about that..
As you can see, buttons can be switched between 3 types of "Content Display":

  • IconOnly: this is the default value, only the SVG is displayed
  • Both: both the SVG and the content are diplayed
  • ContentOnly: only the content is displayed

When ContentType is in "Both" mode, you can select on which side the location is diplayed by modifying the ContentLocation property to, Left, Right, Top, or Bottom.

This is very cool - I decided so - if you have an app with a lot of menus and buttons. Once you are familiar with that app you might be ok with Icons only, but for a while you might want to have a look at what things mean without having to wait for the tooltip to show up.

This unparalleled level of refinement was achieved with the following xaml:

<Grid >
        <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
        <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
        <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
        <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
        <ColumnDefinition Width="*"/>
    <ps:SharpButton Grid.Column="0" BorderThickness="0,0,1,0"
                     Content="Search" Vector="{StaticResource Magnifier}" 
                     VectorHeight="50%" ContentDisplay="{Binding DisplayType}"/>
    <ps:SharpButton Grid.Column="1" BorderThickness="0,0,1,0"
                     Content="Settings" Vector="{StaticResource Gear}" 
                     VectorHeight="50%" ContentDisplay="{Binding DisplayType}"/>
    <ps:SharpButton Grid.Column="2" BorderThickness="0,0,1,0" 
                     Content="Starred!" Vector="{StaticResource Star}" 
                     VectorHeight="50%" ContentDisplay="{Binding DisplayType}"/>
    <ps:SharpButton Grid.Column="3" BorderThickness="0,0,1,0"
                     Content="Messages" Vector="{StaticResource Mail}" 
                     VectorHeight="50%" ContentDisplay="{Binding DisplayType}"/>
    <ps:SharpButton Grid.Column="4" BorderThickness="0"
                     Vector="{StaticResource Cross}" VectorHeight="50%" 
                     BackgroundOnHover="#E83140" BackgroundOnClick="#E87E87" 
                     Content="Close" ContentDisplay="{Binding DisplayType}"/>

More about VectorHeight and VectorWidth

As seen before, you can control the size of the vector by setting its height and width. Both properties are of type AdvanceLength, which allows you to fine tune how you want the vector to be displayed. AdancedLength allows for 3 types of values:

  • Auto: this is the default value. The vector will take as much space as available while maitaining its proportions
  • *: if set to *, the vector will take as much space as possible in the corresponding direction
  • <percentage>: if set to 10%, the vector will take 10% of its container in that direction
  • <double>: if set to an absolute value, the vector take that absolute size in that direction

A cool thing to note is that as long as one dimension is set to Auto, then the vector will maintain its proportions. So for example you can say "I want the vector to take 50% of the width of the SharpButton, while keeping its proportions intact". To do so you simply set VectorWidth="50%". (Since Auto is the default value, you don't have to explicitely set VectorHeight=Auto)

Create your own SVG designs

All the SVG designs available in the SVGLibrary are mine (and now also yours). By "mine" I mean I made them myself. Now that you are impressed, please know that you can do the same. It is actually very simple.

I would recommend using InkScape. It's got all the features we need and it is very easy to pick up. This is not meant to be a tutorial, but rather a quick outline of what you need to do if you want to create a new vector design:

  • Draw a shape (which can be a compound of multiple shapes)
  • Convert them to a path and combine them
  • Save the document as SVG
  • Open that document in a text editor and find the SVG data.
  • Copy that data into the Data property of a path object
<Path x:Key="NewDesign" Data="COPY_DATA_HERE"/>
  • Now assuming this path is in an XAML dictionary, you can now create a sharp control with that vector
<ps:SharpDisplay Vector="{StaticResource NewDesign}"/>

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