Whether you’re a developer or designer, 3rd party tools can improve productivity and just make life easier. Here you will find my top 5 tools I use on a day to day basis. Hopefully you will find them as useful as I do!
- Fireworks to XAML
I’ve been using this tool since I began working with XAML. Since I create all my UI mockups in Adobe Fireworks, this is my exportation tool of choice (Other export tools are available and I included a short list at the bottom of this blog). Fireworks to XAML converts Fireworks data into XAML. I find it extremely useful for converting vector based icons to XAML path data.
- Snoop and XAMLSpy
Snoop (WPF) and XAMLSpy (Silverlight, Windows Phone, WinRT and WPF) allow you to browse the visual tree of a running XAML based application. This can save you countless hours trying to solve UI issues. Can’t figure out where a color is coming from? Why a border has margin? These tools give you the answers!
Pistachio is a resource visualizer that allows you to see all the resources that are defined in your WPF application and identifies which are being used and which are not. Often in large applications with multiple developers many resources are created, this allows you identify the resources that are not needed and deliver a cleaner project to your client.
Is a lightweight XAML editor (think of a Notepad for XAML) that gives you a split view of both the XAML and the rendered content. This is particularly useful because the Visual Studio/Expression designers can be rather heavy when it comes to rendering the output and the project structure.
- XAVIOR - XAML Color Extractor (Not Public, Yet)
XAML Color extractor extracts hard coded colors and converts them into resources. This tool was created here at Infragistics using our JQuery Controls and we plan to release it to the public shortly, so stay tuned! I will post an update to the blog once released!
A few other noteworthy XAML tools:
- Visio to XAML Exporter - http://visioexporttoxaml.codeplex.com/
- XAML TUNE - Svg to XAML Exporter http://xamltune.codeplex.com/releases/view/21436
- Illustrator to XAML - http://www.mikeswanson.com/xamlexport/
- Flash to XAML - http://www.mikeswanson.com/SWF2XAML/
- Paste2XAML - convert clipboard and metafiles into XAML http://www.ab4d.com/Paste2Xaml.aspx
- XAML Exporter for Blender - http://xamlexporter.codeplex.com/