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Metro Paint

, 6 Nov 2013 CPOL
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A Metro style app for basic drawing feature.

Introduction

This Metro style application is for drawing basic shapes like line, rectangle, circle, ellipse, free hand shapes, eraser, and clear screen. It also provides a feature to choose stroke thickness, border color, fill color, and handwriting recognition. It allows to save the recognized text as a text file and only ink strokes can be saved as image. It is in the initial version so there are some limitations like saving a whole drawing as image, resizing and moving of the drawn components, etc. 

Using the Code

Basically, this app uses the Windows.UI.Xaml.Shapes namespace and pointer events as there are no mouse events. Here all the drawing features are done with the PointerMoved, PointerReleased, and PointerPressed events. All the drawing is done onto the canvas.

For selection of drawing tools I have used switch case. The tools are basically buttons and the icons used are just "Segoe UI Symbol" fonts. I have used a character map for getting the desired icons.

For drawing the components in the PointerPressed event the current co-ordinates are saved and then after the PointerMoved event, the second co-ordinates are saved. These co-ordinates can be directly used for line drawing but for another shape, I am getting the height and width by difference of the co-ordinates. The free hand drawing tool just adds the points coming in the path during the PointerPressed event. The metro app can't be closed programmatically so the close button will suspend the app and after some time the Task Manager will kill the app to free the resources.

The color combo box is filled programmatically. The code snippet is given below: 

var colors = typeof(Colors).GetTypeInfo().DeclaredProperties;
foreach (var item in colors)
{
    cbBorderColor.Items.Add(item);
    cbFillColor.Items.Add(item);
}

Since in WinRT there is no rendering method, it is not possible to save the drawn object as an image. Moreover, AdornerDecorator is also not available so component resizing and moving are not possible. I hope Microsoft will update WinRT with the missing features.

For handwriting recognition, I have used the Windows.UI.Input.Inking namespace. The basic concept is to use the InkManager class. It provides properties and methods to manage the input, manipulation, and processing (including handwriting recognition) of one or more InkStroke objects. When a user write something onto canvas, all the points covered in that path is saved as InkManager objects. The InkManager class provide an async method called RecognizeAsync(). The results of the recognition is a collection of InkRecognitionResult objects. To get the text components, I have used the GetTextCandidates() method of the InkRecognitionResult class and it retrieves the collection of strings identified as potential matches for handwriting recognition. The code snippet is given below: 

private async void btnRecognize_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    try
    {
        txtRecognizedText.Visibility = Windows.UI.Xaml.Visibility.Visible;
        btnSaveRecognizedText.Visibility = Windows.UI.Xaml.Visibility.Visible;
        canvas.SetValue(Grid.RowProperty, 3);
        canvas.SetValue(Grid.RowSpanProperty, 1);
        MyInkManager.Mode = InkManipulationMode.Inking;
        x = await MyInkManager.RecognizeAsync(InkRecognitionTarget.Recent);
        MyInkManager.UpdateRecognitionResults(x);
        foreach (InkRecognitionResult i in x)
        {
            RecognizedText = i.GetTextCandidates();
            FinalRecognizedText += " " + RecognizedText[0];
            txtRecognizedText.Text += FinalRecognizedText;
        }
        FinalRecognizedText = string.Empty;

    }
    catch (Exception)
    {
        if (canvas.Children.Count == 0)
        {
            var MsgDlg = new MessageDialog("Your screen has no handwriting. " + 
              "Please write something with pencil tool then click recognize.", 
              "Error while recognizing");
            MsgDlg.ShowAsync();
        }
        else
        {
            var MsgDlg = new MessageDialog("Please clear the screen then write " + 
              "something with pencil tool", "Error while recognizing");
            MsgDlg.ShowAsync();
        }
    }
}

Points of Interest

This application demonstrates how a user can draw shapes and how hand writing recognition is performed in a XAML/C# Metro style app. I request other developers to enhance my application with their comments and suggestions. I am very thankful to CodeProject, StackOverflow, and MSDN Forum for solving my problems. 

Copy-Paste apps from here in Windows store 

One day I was searching for a better paint app, and I found these two apps which are fully copy pasted from this article. I suggest Microsoft to not accept these kinds of spam apps. 

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Farhan Ghumra
Software Developer (Senior) Simform Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
India India
Windows Metro Store Apps Developer having 1+ year of experience
 
Follow me on: My Blog on Windows 8 | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
 
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionAbout thickness of Pencil tool PinmemberPavan Srivathsa18-Jan-14 19:53 
QuestionImage unchanged after using Eraser Pinmemberyugandhar111-Dec-13 23:48 
GeneralImage drawn is not cleared after pressing clear button [modified] Pinmemberyugandhar114-Nov-13 1:25 
GeneralRe: Image drawn is not cleared after pressing clear button PinmemberFarhan Ghumra5-Nov-13 23:42 
GeneralRe: Image drawn is not cleared after pressing clear button Pinmemberyugandhar116-Nov-13 2:23 
GeneralRe: Image drawn is not cleared after pressing clear button PinmemberFarhan Ghumra6-Nov-13 2:25 
QuestionSymmetry and Quadrant (mirror drawing) PinmemberManjunath T - Mysore19-Oct-13 18:35 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberlspfc23-Sep-13 7:15 
QuestionUpload only parts of source code PinmemberAmol Kakhandki25-Jul-13 0:40 
QuestionImage PinmemberTshering Lama Moktan5-Jun-13 17:18 
AnswerRe: Image PinmemberFarhan Ghumra5-Nov-13 23:39 
QuestionNullReferenceException while using multi-touch PinmemberMember 993852224-Mar-13 13:05 
AnswerRe: NullReferenceException while using multi-touch PinmemberFarhan Ghumra24-Mar-13 20:00 
QuestionCanvas PinmemberKhaled Jemni10-Mar-13 1:24 
AnswerRe: Canvas PinmemberFarhan Ghumra10-Mar-13 20:54 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmvpVietdungiitb19-Feb-13 22:33 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberFarhan Ghumra20-Feb-13 2:39 
GeneralNice article PinmemberSimon Jackson17-Dec-12 3:30 
GeneralRe: Nice article PinmemberFarhan Ghumra17-Dec-12 18:58 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMihai MOGA14-Dec-12 5:45 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberFarhan Ghumra14-Dec-12 6:39 
QuestionGood attempt Pinmembernicks70728-Oct-12 18:52 
AnswerRe: Good attempt PinmemberFarhan Ghumra29-Oct-12 19:10 
GeneralRe: Good attempt PinmemberStephen Larravide7-Nov-12 13:56 
QuestionEraser erases out of canvas PinmemberVivek Deshmukh9-Oct-12 0:36 

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