Design-Time Sizing in Blend - Page 2
       by kirupa  |  31 August 2008

In the previous page, you learned about design-time sizing and how that functionality works inside Blend. In this page, I will explain how to actually use it.

Enabling Design Time Sizing
To actually use the design-time sizing functionality, make sure you have a WPF or Silverlight project open in Blend. Look at the root element in your object tree.

For WPF projects, your root element will be Window for a window or UserControl for a custom user control:

[ Window root element for WPF applications ]

This is applicable to user controls you create as well:

[ UserControl root element for WPF user controls ]

For Silverlight, your root element will always be a User Control:

[ UserControl root element for Silverlight pages and user controls ]

In Windows Phone applications, you will only be able to resize usercontrols. Because the device's resolution is fixed, the root PhoneApplicationPage

Now, select a root element (Window, WPF User Control, or SL User Control) and look in your Properties Inspector at the Width and Height properties in the Layout category:

[ focus on the Width and Height properties in your Layout category ]

Click on the Auto button next to the Width or Height property to set your application's width, height, or both to Auto. This allows your application to automatically size itself based on how much space it needs or has available. You will also notice that your design-time resize adorners become visible:


[ your design-time resize adorners become available after you set the size to Auto ]

Controlling Minimum and Maximum Size 
When you set the width and height of your root element to Auto, you may want to limit how large or small your application actually gets. While you cannot do that by altering the Width and Height properties, you can do so by altering the MinWidth, MinHeight, MaxWidth, and MaxHeight properties.

You can access these properties by expanding the Layout category further by clicking on the Advanced Properties expander:

[ click on the Advanced Properties expander to see more Layout properties ]

Once you have expanded that, you will see the properties for setting your minimum and maximum width and height:

[ adjust the minimum and maximum width and height properties to limit how resizable your application will be ]

By setting these properties to something other than 0 and Infinity, you can limit how small or how large your application's size can be.

Why Design-Time Sizing?
So, why is this called design-time resizing? Your resizing action has the design-time adjective because this does not affect how your final application will look. All of these changes you make using the design-time adorners are just for you to design inside Expression Blend. When you actually run your application, the actual properties for width/height set on the elements will take over.

More specifically, if you look at your XAML, any changes you make using your design-time adorners are written using an ignorable DesignWidth and DesignHeight value that is not used when you actually build and compile your application."d" d:DesignWidth="581" d:DesignHeight="355">

To quickly summarize, design-time sizing is a way to see on the design surface what your application will look like at varying sizes. This is known as design-time sizing because these sizes are only applicable on the design surface. Your final WPF or Silverlight application will not be sized at the size you see inside your design surface.


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