XAML Power Toys for Cider

Current Version, Last Update 7 July 2010



XAML Power Toys for Cider is a different product from the XAML Power Toys Visual Studio Add-in.

XAML Power Toys for Cider is an extensibility application that extends the WPF & Silverlight Designer for Visual Studio 2010, providing additional features for the Designer.  Cider is the name of the team at Microsoft that writes the WPF & Silverlight Designer.  The Cider team blog can be read here.

This application is an example for writing a globalized WPF & Silverlight platform neutral control designer.  Both WPF & Silverlight applications use the same Design library.  You can check out the source code to see how this is done.  This source code is in VB.NET.

I have also posted a comprehensive two part series on writing control design times that you can read here:  Part 1 and Part 2.

I must give credit where credit is due.  I got a good bit of feedback and suggestions from my teammates on the Cider Team.  Thanks Mark, Zhanbo, Bin, Pav, Marco, Ben  and Ray.  My great friend Josh Smith also came over one day for some pair programming activities.  Thanks Josh!

For those that care, the above designer is an MVVM application that is completely data driven from the ViewModel.

New in this Release

  • Added support for Silverlight 4
  • Fixed installer for x64 systems.  Added workaround for Visual Studio 2010 issue with loading custom control designers for Silverlight 4


Grid Layout Tool

The Grid Layout Tool provides an abstract view of the selected Grid control in the designer that enables editing the Rows and Columns of the selected Grid.

The above image is the Grid Layout Tool that allows you to:

  • Move (reorder) rows and columns
  • Move (reorder) multiple rows and columns (when multi-selected with CTRL+click)
  • Insert row or column before or after any row or column
  • Delete row or column
  • Set all row or all columns sizes using the TextBoxes at the top.  Enter value and press ENTER.
  • Set individual row or column size by clicking the text value the Azure row or column headers and then editing them.  Enter value and press ENTER.
  • To set size to auto type “a” or “auto” and press ENTER.
  • Designer is updated real time as you make your changes.
  • Clicking the “Save” button commits the changes into one Undo Transaction.
  • Clicking the “Cancel” button cancels all changes and puts the designer back in its original state.

Menu Options


This menu is only available when you have selected a GRID control in the WPF or Silverlight designer.

Chainsaw – Leaves Alignment

The chainsaw will remove all Margins, MinHeights, MinWidths and from CheckBox, RadioButton, Label, TextBlock will remove height and widths and on TextBox will remove height.  Will set all Grid Rows to Auto.  Will remove Name and x:Name if enabled.

Use this command if you do not have styles defined that determine layout for your form.  (see video)

Chainsaw – Clears Alignments

The chainsaw will remove all HorizontalAlignments, VerticalAlignments, Margins, MinHeights, MinWidths and from CheckBox, RadioButton, Label, TextBlock will remove height and widths and on TextBox will remove height.  Will set all Grid Rows to Auto.  Will remove Name and x:Name if enabled.

Use this command is you have a styles defined that determines layout for your form.  (see video)

Modify Control Tags on Create

If this option is checked the following controls will be affected when you create the control using the ToolBox.

StackPanel and Grid – Alignments and Name cleared  (note: when the StackPanel is created inside a GroupBox or Expander, the tag modifications are ignored and overridden by the designer.)

TextBox, TextBlock, Label, CheckBox, RadioButton – smaller sizes than the Visual Studio defaults and Named is cleared.  The smaller sizes widths were 120, now 80, except TextBox which is 100.  You can play around with control creation to see if this makes sense for you.

Modify Control Tags and Chainsaw Clears Name

If you want control names cleared by the Chainsaw or the control Modify Control Tags on Create feature check this menu option.  To turn off name clearing, uncheck this menu option.


PLEASE view this short tutorial video.  You will get a full and quick understanding of this great feature.

Videos are now hosted on Vimeo.   You can read about the cool feature provided by Vimeo here.

  XAML Power Toys 2010 for Cider Tutorial Video (13 minutes)


Download now comes from my Windows Live Sky Drive page.  The below link will take you to a page where you can download the installer and/or the source.

After downloading and unzipping, please right click Setup.exe and select, “Run as administrator”

XAML Power Toys 2010 for Cider v2.1.0.0


Hope you use and enjoy XAML Power Toys for Cider

Have a great day,

Just a grain of sand on the worlds beaches.

24 Responses to XAML Power Toys for Cider

  1. […] new version of XAML Power Toys for Cider, runs on Visual Studio 2010 Release Candidate and later can be downloaded here on the XAML Power […]

  2. dukecarey says:

    Karl – your XAML Power Toys for Cider installation package concludes with the following instruction:

    You MUST go to the installation folder and run, RunOnceAfterInstall.exe

    I cannot find this file anywhere. Is that instruction accurate?

  3. […] XAML Power Toys for Cider (le designer XAML présent dans VS2010) […]

  4. jtango18 says:

    Hi Karl,

    Having some issues getting this one installed. MSI throws an exception.

    From the event log:

    Product: XAML Power Toys 2010 For Cider — Error 1001. Error 1001. Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

    This is happening on Windows 7 x86.



  5. odahan says:

    Hi Karl,
    THanks for releasing the tools for Cider. But there is a big problem during setup…
    Even trying the debug installer version, even running as admin there is a null reference when accessing the Is64Bit() method. Then the setup rollback but fail again during rollback with the same error.
    I’m using VS2010 ultimate with all up-to-date toolkits (SL4…).
    PowerToys for xaml has not this problem.
    I can send you screen capture of both errors.

    Thanks in advance for your help

  6. I really like the concept. Is there a Version for Visual Studio 2012?

  7. bala2it4u says:

    Will this tool support c#

  8. bala2it4u says:

    When I try to create grid from my c# code it is not creating, it is showing index range error

    • Karl says:

      When working with grids using this tool, it works with the WPF Designer and not the code window. You’ll have to provide much more detail before I can help.

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