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Programming Guide

This section contains conceptual programming topics that describe how to use the Direct2D API.


Direct2D API Overview

Provides an overview of the Direct2D object model.

Direct2D and High-DPI

Describes how Direct2D accommodates high-DPI display.

Direct2D Error Handling Policies

Describes the error handling policies in Direct2D.

Devices and Device Contexts

Improving the performance of Direct2D apps

Describes techniques for improving Direct2D performance.

Layers Overview

Describes the basics of Direct2D layers.

Printing and Command Lists

The Direct2D print control is a new component in the Direct2D module in Windows 8. This component lets Direct2D apps reuse their Direct2D drawing calls (in terms of state changes and rending primitives) to deliver printing results that are similar to what you see on the screen.

Multithreaded Direct2D Apps

Describes best practices for creating multithreaded Direct2D apps.

Profiling DirectX Applications

Shows you how to measure some of the most important performance time measurements for a DirectX app using the XPerf and GPUView tools that ship as part of the Windows Performance Toolkit.

Block compression

Describes how block compression works and how to use it in WIC and Direct2D.


An overview of Direct2D effects.


Describes how to use Direct2D brushes, objects you use to paint fills and outlines.


Describes how to use Direct2D geometries to represent, manipulate, and analyze shapes.


Describes how Direct2D interoperates with other systems.


Describes the basics of tranforms and how to apply various transforms to objects.

How-to Topics

Provides examples that show how to accomplish a variety of tasks with Direct2D.

Text Rendering with Direct2D and DirectWrite

Unlike other APIs, such as GDI, GDI+ or WPF, Direct2D interoperates with another API, DirectWrite, to manipulate and render text. This topic describes the benefits and interoperation of these separate components.

Opacity Masks Overview

Describes how to use bitmaps and brushes to define opacity masks.

Resources Overview

Describes Direct2D resources and how they can be shared.

Supported Pixel Formats and Alpha Modes

Describes the pixel formats and alpha modes supported by each render target type.

Using Direct2D for Server-Side Rendering

Describes using Direct2D for server-side rendering.

Render Targets Overview

Describes the different types of Direct2D render targets and how to use them.

Compatible A8 Render Targets Overview

Describes the basics of compatible A8 render targets and provide examples showing how to use them.




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