TX Text Control Blog

Sneak Peek X15: UI Automation Interface for TX Text Control .NET for WPF

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on May 25, 2017 and tagged with release, wpf.


UI automation is a programmatic interface to external applications that needs programmatic access to the application. TX Text Control provides a very powerful API to developers who integrate the libraries into their applications. But this interface is not open to other applications from outside the application. Primarily, UI automation is used for the Windows accessibility features such as screen readers and third-party applications like speech recognition software packages.

The UI automation framework provides a streamlined way to discover UI components in an application. With version X15 of TX Text Control .NET for WPF, the UI automation framework interface is implemented and provides the following advantages:

  • Enabled accessibility features
    Accessibility is getting more important and applications must be compliant with government regulations.
  • Automated UI testing
    Applications that support the UI automation interface can be tested automatically. This can be very helpful for costly and time consuming regression testing.

UI automation provides a common interface to communicate with applications that implement this interface. The automation object is provided using the System.Windows.Automation.AutomationElement class connected with an UIElement. There are several control patterns that expose functionality which can be used from outside.

TX Text Control supports 3 patterns:

  • ValuePattern
    Represents a control that has an intrinsic value that does not span a range and can be represented as a string. This string may or may not be editable depending on the control and its settings.
  • TextPattern
    Represents controls that contain text.
  • SynchronizedInputPattern
    Represents objects that support synchronized input events.

How to use the UI automation interface?

The following method starts an external application and returns the parent AutomationElement:

This method returns the first AutomationElement in the UI tree that supports the TextPattern (TX Text Control in this case):

The following code snippet uses the above methods to start a test application and to retrieve the TX Text Control AutomationElement. If the element supports the ValuePattern, a text is set.

The next code snippet selects the complete text in a DocumentRange:

Stay tuned for more features of TX Text Control X15.

Impressions from DevIntersection Spring in Orlando, FL

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on May 23, 2017 and tagged with reportingcloud, release, conference, mail merge.


The last day of the DevIntersection conference is behind us and we look back to fantastic days at this event. At our booth, we presented the feature roadmap of TX Text Control X15 (25.0). We gave demos of all our products at our demo counters, talked to many users and met many interesting people in our industry.

In the next blog entries, I will introduce the upcoming features we presented at the conference including:

  • Windows UI automation (for testing frameworks)
  • Objects in headers and footers that overlap the main text (watermarks)
  • ChartLayout RibbonTab
  • Selecting objects behind text
  • Keeping table rows together

There are many more features coming in version X15, but the above feature set reflects the current development status and our beta versions we presented at this conference and upcoming conferences in the next weeks (NDC Oslo and DWX Developer Week in Nuremberg).

We handed out 500+ Text Control yo-yos and, as always, raffled off an XBox One to a lucky winner of our drawing.

Find below some impressions of the conference and our booth area:

Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017Text Control at DevIntersection Spring 2017

See you in Vegas for DevIntersection Fall!

Impressions from Magdeburger Developer Days 2017

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on May 15, 2017 and tagged with reportingcloud, release, conference, mail merge.


Last week, we exhibited at the Magdeburger Developer Days 2017 conference as a main sponsor. It was a very successful event for us and all attendees. Well organized, top speakers and a very modern location.

At our booth, Christopher, Thorsten and André talked about our latest products and services and gave demos of our reporting components for .NET developers. We sponsored the beer at the party after the first conference day which was a great success.

On the second day, we raffled off an XBox One. Thanks to the organization team and all attendees who stopped by our booth - we had a lot of fun.

Find below some impressions of our booth area :

Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017Text Control at Magdeburger Developer Days 2017

See you next year!

Text Control provides a complete reporting tool set to fulfill document work-flow requirements

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on May 9, 2017 and tagged with reporting, mail merge, reporting workflow, documentviewer.


The typical reporting work-flow has 3 stages:

  • Designing reporting templates
  • Merging templates with data
  • Sharing created documents

All of these stages have different requirements and user groups. Template designers are typically trained to use a template design application. But what if any business unit would be able to modify templates only with MS Word skills?

The Text Control Reporting Framework provides sophisticated components for all of these stages. Not being dependent on an additional third-party tool such as MS Word to create templates is a very important key aspect when implementing reporting functionality into business applications.

All reporting processes should be completely integrated into the application to guarantee the best possible user experience. Only with fully integrated solutions, applications can be adapted to the user expectations and requirements. If MS Word is required to create templates, the Merging process must support all different MS Word versions. If the Designing process is realized with MS Word plug-ins, various MS Word versions need to be supported and such applications cannot be completely customized.

The typical reporting work-flow has 3 stages

Designing reporting templates

TX Text Control provides designers for all platforms including ASP.NET, Windows Forms and WPF. The functionality is consistent and compatible over the platforms. The MS Word compatible editor has the look and feel of MS Word, but can be customized and adapted to user requirements. MS Word templates can be reused and edited in TX Text Control.

TX Text Control comes with an out-of-the-box editor with a fully-featured Reporting tab that contains the most typical reporting features to load data sources, insert merge fields and repeating, nested merge blocks for master-detail views.

Templates can be stored in industry standard(ized) formats such as DOCX, DOC and RTF and are always compatible with other word processors such as MS Word.

Merging templates with data

After a template has been successfully designed, the reporting engine MailMerge is merging data into the template. For each data row of the master table in the data source, a document is created. Merge fields are populated with column values and repeating blocks are merged with data rows of related child tables in the data source.

A data source can be any IEnumerable object (business objects), JSON objects, DataSet and DataTable objects. TX Text Control follows the concept of pre-shaped data where data queries are executed before data is passed to the merge process. TX Text Control is using the data and its order and logic as is in order to create the resulting documents. The advantage of this concept is the separation of content and logic. Users of applications built with TX Text Control enjoy an easy-to-use interface and a simplified concept of inserting merge fields and merge blocks into templates. Complex logic is not part of the template, but part of a separate business layer in your application that creates the data object. This concept helps to simplify the template creation process and to allow non-technical business units to maintain templates instead of binding developer resources.

Sharing created documents

In many cases, resulting documents must be shared or presented in the application. All editors of TX Text Control can be used to view documents as well. For ASP.NET, additionally we provide a more light-weight DocumentViewer to render documents in cross-browser compatible applications.

The DocumentViewer is able to render pages in a true WYSIWYG manner, documents are searchable and selectable and it provides a print functionality to print all resulting documents client-side in the browser.

Test this all on your own and download a trial version of TX Text Control .NET Server for ASP.NET.

Happy coding!

Impressions from dotnet Cologne 2017

Björn Meyer

Blogged by Björn Meyer on May 8, 2017 and tagged with reportingcloud, release, conference, mail merge.


Last week, we sponsored the community conference dotnet Cologne 2017 and exhibited in the expo area. Christopher, Thorsten and André enjoyed talking to existing and new users of our reporting components for .NET.

We gave demos of our reporting libraries for ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF and the Web API REST reporting platform ReportingCloud. As always, it was a lot of fun and the number of enthusiastic developers at the conference proves the quality and position in the list of community events in Germany. Thanks to the dotnet Cologne team - it was a great success.

Find below some impressions of our booth area at dotnet Cologne 2017:

Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017Text Control at dotnet Cologne 2017

See you next year!

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About Text Control

Founded in 1991, Text Control is an award-winning Visual Studio Industry Partner and leading vendor of word processing and reporting components for Microsoft development technologies. The products help thousands of developers add comprehensive word processing functionality to their applications. Text Control is 100% self-owned and independent of all investor decisions. Customers benefit from these years of experience, large user-base, and at the same time, appreciate developing with a mature, reliable product.

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