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Magic WizardControl / WizardDialog

By , 29 Sep 2002
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Sample Image - MagicWizard.gif

The Standard Controls

The .NET Framework contains a wide range of user interface controls, but they offer only a basic look and feel. Today's user expects a richer experience that you just cannot build with the out-of-the-box controls. The Magic Library (of which the WizardControl/WizardDialog are part of) aims to solve this by providing a set of user interface elements that add the sophistication expected from modern Windows applications.

Downloads

The first download WizardControl/WizardDialog Sample contains a example application that uses shows the MenuControl from the Magic Library. This allows you to experiment and test out the feature. The actual source code is inside the separate second download. At nearly 1MB in size, I thought people would prefer to download the sample before deciding if they want to install the entire source code project!

Description

The WizardControl should be used when you need to guide the user through a series of steps. Simple examples include creating an installation program or allowing the creation a new items by answering a series of questions. In most situations you will want to use a modal dialog to host an instance of the WizardControl. Rather than create your own Form the library already includes a Form called WizardDialog. Download the Magic Library and see the relevant article for more details on how to use the WizardDialog.

Profiles

The Profile property of the control is used to configure the appearance and operation of the wizard. The three available options are: -

Install

As the name implies, this profile should be used to create a series of steps that perform an installation process. In this scenario the ordering of the wizard pages is very important and the control will make assumptions about the purpose of pages.

The last page is always used to report the end result of the install attempt. Therefore the last page will by default only display the Close button as that is the only possible action. It makes no difference if your page is reporting a success or failure result the only possible action is to close down the installation process.

The second to last page is used to perform the actual install action and so the only available button will be Cancel. Once the install attempt has begun it makes no sense allowing the user to move Back to previous pages or to move past the current page. When the install action has completed you should manually move the wizard onto the last page using the SelectedIndex property in order to report the outcome.

All the preceding pages are assumed to be used in gathering information from the user and so the Next and Back buttons will be shown depending on the appropriate availability. The Cancel button is always shown so that the user can exit the wizard at this time.

Configure

Use this profile to gather information needed to perform a custom action that is conducted once the user clicks the Finish button. A good example would be adding a new item to your project. Every page has the Cancel, Next, Back and Finish buttons displayed with the Next and Back only enabled when appropriate for the selected page. The user can use the Finish button at any time to accept all the default values and have the custom action performed immediately. Alternatively they can move through the series of pages and customize the values.

If you need to enfore some mandatory fields before the Finish button is enabled then change the EnableFinishButton property to Status.No when the control is created. Once you notice that all mandatory fields have been supplied change the property to Status.Yes to allow the user to select the Finish button.

Controller

Unlike the previous profiles this one does not show the heading portion at the top of the control and does show the individual tab headers. This allows the user to click between pages in a random order to select and modify the contents as required. There are only two buttons presented by default, Update and Cancel. Use this profile when the user needs to see and modify a group of related settings. They can use the Update button to apply the changes in an appropriate way or use the Cancel button to discard any changes made.

Customization

If none of the above profiles does exactly what you need then you have scope to customize the the profile that comes closest. Each button has a set of three properties used to control when the button is displayed, when the button is enabled and the text shown on the button. For example, the properties for the Update button are called ShowUpdateButton, EnableUpdateButton and ButtonUpdateText respectively.

Imagine you are using the Controller profile to present a dialog box of project settings to the user. The user can move between pages and change the settings as desired. When they press the Update button you apply those changes immediately. However, you might prefer to have the button called Apply rather than Update. Simply set the ButtonUpdateText property to the required string to change the button text. But you must remember that the event generated when the button is pressed is still called UpdateClick .

In another situation you might have a Cofigure profile used to setup a new item within your project. But you do not want the Cancel button availale to the user, instead you want to force your user to move through the whole process and use the Finish button. In this case you would set the ShowFinishButton property to Status.No which prevents the button from being displayed on any page. If you need a button displayed all the time then assign the Status.Yes value to the appropriate button show property. By default each buttons show and enable properties has the Status.Default value that indicates the control should calculate the correct state depending on the currently seleted Profile and page index.

Often you will want to change the displayed/enabled state of buttons on a per-page basis. In this case you need to hook into the WizardPageEnter and WizardPageLeaveevents and set the appropriate values depending on the page selected.

Default Buttons

By default the AssignDefaultButton property is defined as False and so the control will not make any attempt to assign a default button for the Form the control is contained inside. If you decide to enable this property the following logic is used to determine which button should become the default.

Install Profile

On the last page the only button displayed by default is Close and so this will be used as the default. On the second to last page the only button is Cancel which is therefore the default. All other pages assign the Next button as the default.

Configure Profile

The last page will use the Finish button as the default and all other pages the Next button.

Controller Profile

The Update button is always designated the default in this profile.

Revision History

30 Sept 2002 - Initial Revision

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

About the Author

Phil Wright
Web Developer
United Kingdom United Kingdom
I am a big fan of .NET and have been working on developing a free user interface library to enhance the very basic controls that come out-of-the-box. Download the free source code project from http://www.dotnetmagic.com. I often carry out bespoke development work for companies, so feel free to email me for a quote on your .NET needs!
 


Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionAdd Wiz Page on the FLY PinmemberMIGHTY.JOE13-Jan-13 20:38 
hello..
can we add wizard page on the fly ?
how?
 
thanks Big Grin | :-D
QuestionDocking Bug PinmemberCastorTiu30-May-06 21:09 
QuestionA few bugs? PinmemberDetron4-Jun-03 2:36 
GeneralProblem using wizardControl Pinmembervbnetuk17-May-03 8:07 
GeneralMagic 1.7.3 Released PinmemberPhil Wright2-Mar-03 10:15 
GeneralRe: Magic 1.7.3 Released PinadminChris Maunder17-May-03 10:12 
GeneralRe: Magic 1.7.3 Released PinmemberPhil Wright18-May-03 0:28 

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