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A Brief Overview of Essential Edit

 

Essential Edit is designed to be an extensible and easy to use syntax highlighting EditControl, equipped with a powerful set of features, which include Undo / Redo, Visual Studio.NET style collapsible editing, easy configuration, and more. This is a brief overview of its feature set explaining how Essential Edit could simplify your editing task.

Syntax Highlighting - Essential Edit offers fully configurable syntax highlighting for general text editing purposes. Syntax highlighting greatly improves the readability of any text and has found its way into many commercial applications. With Essential Edit you can add syntax highlighting to your Windows Forms applications with ease. All it takes is a configuration file and a few lines of code to plug in this settings file.

Configuration Files- Configuration files control how Essential Edit interprets and displays text. Using configuration files is an easy way to configure Essential Edit to handle custom syntax elements. Essential Edit provides syntax configuration files for several commonly used languages and scripts such as C#, VB.NET, C++, Java, SQL, VBScript, and JavaScript. You can often use these as it is if your needs are limited to editing and viewing one of these languages / scripts. If you have additional needs, you can easily use our syntax configuration model to create a configuration file that will make Essential Edit behave exactly the way you want it to.

Embedded Settings File Support - The configuration files can also be included as an embedded resource, thereby removing the need for an external plug-in file.

Undo/Redo Support - Undo / Redo is a very important usability feature of Essential Edit. The default edit control in Windows supports just one level of Undo / Redo whereas the Essential Edit supports multiple levels of Undo / Redo. This makes Essential Edit a better choice for all your editing needs even if you do not need the syntax highlighting. The ability to undo and redo changes in Essential Edit will greatly improve the usability of any application that has any form of text editing.

Formatting Settings - Essential Edit offers complete control over formatting. While the major syntax groups are defined using syntax configuration files, these defaults can be overridden by users using intuitive formatting dialogs that are provided. End users have complete control over the formatting of syntax elements in the same manner as Visual Studio.NET.

Line Number Margin - Essential Edit provides support for the display and resolution of line numbers. The built-in status bar provides another convenient way to track the line number, column number, and char number of the caret. 

File Drop Support: This feature when enabled supports drag-and-drop of a file onto the EditControl, which once again underscores the Essential Edit's ease of use.

Indentation Support: Essential Edit offers multiple types of indentation support. You may use Block, Smart, or None indentation types based on your requirements. 

Intelli-Mouse Support: Essential Edit has excellent support for viewport navigation, including Intelli-mouse scrolling. Commonly used keyboard navigation functions are fully supported by Essential Edit, e.g., Page Up/Down keys, arrow keys, and Ctrl + arrow keys. 

Non-Monospace Font Support- Essential Edit supports displaying text in various fonts, including non-monospace fonts. The font family and size can be easily changed by users through the built in Options dialog. 

User Margin: Users can display information for individual lines in the user margin of Essential Edit. The character count for each line may be displayed in the user margin. 

Color Waveline Support:  Emphasizing a portion of the text is straightforward with Essential Edit's support for wavelines. Essential Edit provides a set of functions to facilitate waveline management. 

Built In Settings for Common Languages- These setting files are good references for creating syntax coloring settings for your own language. 

Intelli-Sense Functions- Essential Edit provides functions for users to achieve features similar to Intelli-sense in Visual Studio.NET. Customized responses for different context items can be achieved easily by handling the relevant events. 

Search / Replace Dialog: Essential Edit comes with a pre-built Find / Replace dialog that is almost identical to the one that comes with Visual Studio.NET. You can also programmatically access all this functionality should you need to provide a different user interface. 

Indicator Margin: Essential Edit provides an indicator margin that can be customized for application needs. There are no limitations for the number of user indicators that can be displayed in the indicator margin. 

Collapse / Expand Display- In recent years there has been an explosion in the need for hierarchical edit formats such as XML and HTML. Hierarchical data fits naturally into a tree-like structure for display. Object oriented code that is structured into classes, methods, and properties is also very similar in structure. Visual Studio.NET took this into account and introduced a great editor that has collapse/expand support for C# and VB.NET. Essential Edit includes support for collapsing and expanding sections of the text as individual nodes. This feature can be used to add support for collapse/expand editing to any syntax group. This is a much sought after feature and can greatly improve the usability of your application. 

Advanced Tags- Essential Edit provides powerful two-level tags that allow wizard-code-style coloring. Setting a two-level tag is as easy as setting a normal tag and only the configuration file needs to be modified for this purpose. 

Splitting Views- Essential Edit provides a view-splitting function similar to that in the code editor of Visual Studio.NET. Splitting views is very helpful when you need to work with two different portions of the same file. 

Customizable Line BackColor- In addition to automatic syntax coloring, Essential Edit allows setting background color for individual lines. Customized line background coloring can provide special visual effects for some applications. 

HTML/RTF Format Serialization- With Essential Edit, you can convert a source code file into a colored HTML or RTF file by just loading the file and then saving it as an HTML or RTF file. This function is very convenient when embedding source code in either HTML or RTF documents. 

Unicode Support- Unicode has become the industry standard and Essential Edit fully supports displaying and serialization of Unicode characters. Moving Unicode text between Essential Edit and other word processing software programs is also straightforward through copy / paste functions. 

Dynamic Settings- Creating syntax coloring settings on the fly is also possible with Essential Edit. With dynamic settings, more challenging usage for syntax coloring could be accomplished. 

With these excellent features and well developed APIs, Essential Edit will definitely rank as a top notch product that goes a long way in optimizing user tasks and hence qualitatively improving the output of the editing job.

 

Article ID: Published Date: Last Revised Date: Platform: Control:
294 04/30/2011 07/10/2014 WinForms EditControl
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