Make Beautiful Looking C# programs with built in or third party futures. but how?

fatihbarut
fatihbarut used Ask the Experts™
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Hi guys
I have old C# project. I am changing it via C# 2010 however I couldn't change its old repelling XP style toneless skin.
How can I change it?
Thank you
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Commented:
have a look at
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ykzx33wh.aspx

you may also have a look at http://www.codeproject.com/KB/vb/splforms.aspx
where the main ideas are

Step1: Create a .jpg file that will be used to set the forms background
Step2:  Create a Windows Application project and set properties to use the .jpg as the
            background of the form...
Step3: Using GraphicsPath Object change the forms shape

Author

Commented:
I got the main idea you referred, however, I  don't think I have time and (enthusiasm) to make jpgs for background. I rather need urgent packaged solution.
I don't know which platform you're running your app but maybe this can help you:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.windows.forms.application.enablevisualstyles.aspx

BR
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To make it even clearer I am referring to the following line of code to be added to your main method (before your main form is created):

Application.EnableVisualStyles();

Author

Commented:
Thanks
I got the main idea from this link and this worth 100 point at least
Now what about thirdparty skin modifiears?

I love alphaskins for Delphi, I hope there is similar one for C#

Author

Commented:
by the way
:tcremel
I used your idea as well, I got screenshot of my delphi applications skin then applied it to C# one, it looks good.
Thanks and at least 100 point for you.
Top Expert 2015
Commented:
Since you are taking about the "futures", you might give a look at WPF applications instead of Windows application. It would probably not be worth the time to convert to already written application, but if you want beautiful looking applications, WPF has been designed to make things easier to work with fancy backgrounds and nice looking forms.

Note that as anything in computing however, if you gain on the appearance, you will lose somewhere else. Windows applications do not look as good as good WPF applications (unless you write a lot of painful code just to improve the look of the display), but they offer a larger palette of events that enables you to create applications that are easier to use.

Personnally, as an old hand, I think that an easy to use application is better than a good looking one, but younger programmers very often will put the look over the usability.

Author

Commented:
it is not about being young.
It is about aesthetical concerns.
I ll look the program I wrote may be for years, every day.
(I wrote the program for my job)
Besides my favorite language is Delphi XE2, and it has built in skin future and gorgeous alfacontrol skin third party components. I am used to have beautiful skins in my programs.

I have looked WPF before but I couldn't solve it.

Any special techniques?
Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Believe me, I was a photographer before being a programmer, and my hobby is woodworking. I also consider that aesthetics are very important.

But in programming I always give the priority to usability over aesthetics. I will create the best looking program that I can, but I will never compromise usability for aesthetic reasons. When a customer pays me by the hour to create a program for him, he wants to have the best possible program for the least amount of money. Fussing over aesthetics in environments that were not designed for it (Windows Form Designer) is usually not something the customer wants to pay for.

I meet hundred of programmers every year in my training sessions, and I have found out that older programmers tend to think as I do, while younger programmers often spend too much time over aesthetics at the expense of usability.

When you have to decide between Windows Applications and WPF applications, this is a choice that you automatically make because of the constraints that are different between the 2 environments.

WPF was designed both for the graphic artist and the programmer while Windows Forms were designed only for the programmer. That is why WPF has an edge as far as aesthetics are concerned, and why it might not be easy to grasp as first sight for a programmer that has to use different techniques than the ones that have been in use for many years.

In a Windows application, adding background images or textures is one way to make things look better. A few "special techniques" about those are actually discussed in the thread titled Faster C# Programs, Tricks to Reduce Loading Time and Effective Use of Resources?

Author

Commented:
(you know the message you referred, with the title  "Faster C# programs..." is also mine don't you :)

I am sorry dude, I can't give up my needs for beauty.

Besides, while I was ( I am) using Delphi, with the help of alphacontrols aesthetic was not my concern, was just my result with the help of professional hands.

I am really sorry that I can't see a similar component set for C#. Alpha was awesome. With one click, it may shine your world.

Therefore be sure, I am not wasting my time with aesthetic and also be sure
 before finishing the algorithm of my project I don't care what it looks like. However as soon as I finish it I want him to look as much as beautiful.
this is my way...

ok, any more help will be appreciated.
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Commented:

Author

Commented:
Thanks for all helps.

I used the jpg one. It caused some performance problems but still a solution.

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