Getting results with WPF Excel

WPF Excel enables flexibility when working with data and spreadsheets - a must for organizations with end users that are accustomed to using the Microsoft application. Adaptability is important to the best performance of data display tools, especially as the number of different device types that will be utilizing applications continues to proliferate.

Excel is likely the first thing to come to mind when an end user is asked to name a spreadsheet application - it may even be difficult to dredge up another example. It's important to not waste time and decrease productivity by offering end users another spreadsheet program that represents a radical departure from Excel. However, the ubiquity of Excel also shouldn't restrict companies and developers from creating applications that are much more customizable, streamlined and supportive of their specific business and user requirements.

In effect, organizations want to develop a better functioning and more versatile version of Excel without losing any of its predecessor's feature set or usability. WPF Excel allows users to continue working with Excel spreadsheet files without having to install Excel on their computers.

Exporting WPF to Excel
WPF Excel enables seamless exportation of data for use in Excel templates. One typical request for developers is to make data in a collection item, such as gridview, listbox or listview, available for use even when the application is not running, according to CodeProject. The datagrid control, which is part of the WPF Toolkit, can be utilized for easily exports of data to Excel, as well as PDF, RTF and Word formats.

Working with WPF Controls in Excel
WPF controls can be utilized in Visual Studio for Excel development. Using XAML, it offers easy ways to integrate UI, media and documents into Office applications, according to the Microsoft Developer Network. UI elements that can host WPF controls include documents, worksheets and actions panes at a document level of customization, as well as custom task panes and form regions as add-ins at the application level.

However, according to the source, WPF controls must be added to Office UI elements through WPF user control item. It then serves as the design interface for WPF controls. Here's an example of a way to add WPF controls to a custom task pane, actions pane or form region, from the Developer Network:

  1. Open the project.
  2. Add a WPF user control item to the project.
  3. Add WPF controls to the user control design surface from the toolbox.
  4. Build the project.
  5. Add the custom task pane, actions pane or form region to the project utilizing user control items.
  6. Drag and drop the user control to the designer from the WPF user controls tab in the toolbox.
  7. At this time, the Visual Studio will automatically generate an ElementHost object, which hosts the WPF user control. This is an integration layer that joins the WinForms and WPF controls.
  8. Now that you've generated the object, it's time to rebuild the project.

There are many features of WPF Excel that vastly improve the integration of programmed spreadsheet applications and Excel, including usability components such as reading and writing of data at the individual cell level and interface benefits such as image support.


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