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Walkthrough: Customizing the Text View

You can customize a text view by modifying any of the following properties in its editor-format map:

  • Indicator margin

  • Insertion caret

  • Overwrite caret

  • Selected text

  • Inactive selected text (that is, selected text that has lost focus)

  • Visible whitespace

To complete this walkthrough, you must install the Visual Studio 2012 SDK. For more information about the Visual Studio SDK and to download it, see Visual Studio Extensibility Developer Center on the MSDN Web site.

To create a MEF project

  1. Create a C# Editor Classifier project or Visual Basic Editor Classifier project. Name the solution ViewPropertyTest.

  2. Open the source.extension.vsixmanifest file in the VSIX Manifest Editor.

  3. Make sure that the Content block contains a MEF Component content type set to the current project.

  4. Save and close source.extension.vsixmanifest.

  5. Delete the existing class files.

To define a content type

  1. Add a class file and name it ViewPropertyModifier.

  2. Add the following using directives (Imports statements in Visual Basic).

    using System;
    using System.Collections;
    using System.Windows;
    using System.Windows.Media;
    using System.ComponentModel.Composition;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.Text.Classification;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.Text.Editor;
    using Microsoft.VisualStudio.Utilities;
  3. Declare a class named TestViewCreationListener that inherits from IWpfTextViewCreationListener. Export this class with the following attributes:

    internal class TestViewCreationListener : IWpfTextViewCreationListener
  4. In this class, import the IEditorFormatMapService.

    internal IEditorFormatMapService FormatMapService = null;

To change the view properties

  • Implement the TextViewCreated method so that the view properties are changed when the view is opened. To make the change, first find the ResourceDictionary that corresponds to the aspect of the view you want to find. Then change the appropriate property in the resource dictionary and set the properties. Batch the calls to the SetProperties method by calling the BeginBatchUpdate method before you set the properties and then the EndBatchUpdate after you set the properties.

    public void TextViewCreated(IWpfTextView textView)
        IEditorFormatMap formatMap = FormatMapService.GetEditorFormatMap(textView);
        ResourceDictionary regularCaretProperties = formatMap.GetProperties("Caret");
        ResourceDictionary overwriteCaretProperties = formatMap.GetProperties("Overwrite Caret");
        ResourceDictionary indicatorMargin = formatMap.GetProperties("Indicator Margin");
        ResourceDictionary visibleWhitespace = formatMap.GetProperties("Visible Whitespace");
        ResourceDictionary selectedText = formatMap.GetProperties("Selected Text");
        ResourceDictionary inactiveSelectedText = formatMap.GetProperties("Inactive Selected Text");
        regularCaretProperties[EditorFormatDefinition.ForegroundBrushId] = Brushes.Magenta;
        formatMap.SetProperties("Caret", regularCaretProperties);
        overwriteCaretProperties[EditorFormatDefinition.ForegroundBrushId] = Brushes.Turquoise;
        formatMap.SetProperties("Overwrite Caret", overwriteCaretProperties);
        indicatorMargin[EditorFormatDefinition.BackgroundColorId] = Colors.LightGreen;
        formatMap.SetProperties("Indicator Margin", indicatorMargin);
        visibleWhitespace[EditorFormatDefinition.ForegroundColorId] = Colors.Red;
        formatMap.SetProperties("Visible Whitespace", visibleWhitespace);
        selectedText[EditorFormatDefinition.BackgroundBrushId] = Brushes.LightPink;
        formatMap.SetProperties("Selected Text", selectedText);
        inactiveSelectedText[EditorFormatDefinition.BackgroundBrushId] = Brushes.DeepPink;
        formatMap.SetProperties("Inactive Selected Text", inactiveSelectedText);

To build and test the code

  1. Build the solution.

    When you run this project in the debugger, a second instance of Visual Studio is instantiated.

  2. Create a text file and type some text.

    • The insertion caret should be magenta and the overwrite caret should be turquoise.

    • The indicator margin (to the left of the text view) should be light green.

  3. Select the text you just typed. The color of the selected text should be light pink.

  4. While the text is selected, click anywhere outside the text window. The color of the selected text should be dark pink.

  5. Turn on visible whitespace. (On the Edit menu, point to Advanced and then click View White Space). Type some tabs in the text. Red arrows that represent the tabs should be displayed.