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Articles / Desktop Programming / XAML
Posted 11 Jul 2012


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Metro Paint

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4.77/5 (26 votes)
6 Nov 2013CPOL3 min read
A Metro style app for basic drawing feature.


This Metro style application is for drawing basic shapes like line, rectangle, circle, ellipse, free hand shapes, eraser, and clear screen. It also provides a feature to choose stroke thickness, border color, fill color, and handwriting recognition. It allows to save the recognized text as a text file and only ink strokes can be saved as image. It is in the initial version so there are some limitations like saving a whole drawing as image, resizing and moving of the drawn components, etc. 

Image 1

Using the Code

Basically, this app uses the Windows.UI.Xaml.Shapes namespace and pointer events as there are no mouse events. Here all the drawing features are done with the PointerMoved, PointerReleased, and PointerPressed events. All the drawing is done onto the canvas.

For selection of drawing tools I have used switch case. The tools are basically buttons and the icons used are just "Segoe UI Symbol" fonts. I have used a character map for getting the desired icons.

For drawing the components in the PointerPressed event the current co-ordinates are saved and then after the PointerMoved event, the second co-ordinates are saved. These co-ordinates can be directly used for line drawing but for another shape, I am getting the height and width by difference of the co-ordinates. The free hand drawing tool just adds the points coming in the path during the PointerPressed event. The metro app can't be closed programmatically so the close button will suspend the app and after some time the Task Manager will kill the app to free the resources.

The color combo box is filled programmatically. The code snippet is given below: 

var colors = typeof(Colors).GetTypeInfo().DeclaredProperties;
foreach (var item in colors)

Since in WinRT there is no rendering method, it is not possible to save the drawn object as an image. Moreover, AdornerDecorator is also not available so component resizing and moving are not possible. I hope Microsoft will update WinRT with the missing features.

For handwriting recognition, I have used the Windows.UI.Input.Inking namespace. The basic concept is to use the InkManager class. It provides properties and methods to manage the input, manipulation, and processing (including handwriting recognition) of one or more InkStroke objects. When a user write something onto canvas, all the points covered in that path is saved as InkManager objects. The InkManager class provide an async method called RecognizeAsync(). The results of the recognition is a collection of InkRecognitionResult objects. To get the text components, I have used the GetTextCandidates() method of the InkRecognitionResult class and it retrieves the collection of strings identified as potential matches for handwriting recognition. The code snippet is given below: 

private async void btnRecognize_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
        txtRecognizedText.Visibility = Windows.UI.Xaml.Visibility.Visible;
        btnSaveRecognizedText.Visibility = Windows.UI.Xaml.Visibility.Visible;
        canvas.SetValue(Grid.RowProperty, 3);
        canvas.SetValue(Grid.RowSpanProperty, 1);
        MyInkManager.Mode = InkManipulationMode.Inking;
        x = await MyInkManager.RecognizeAsync(InkRecognitionTarget.Recent);
        foreach (InkRecognitionResult i in x)
            RecognizedText = i.GetTextCandidates();
            FinalRecognizedText += " " + RecognizedText[0];
            txtRecognizedText.Text += FinalRecognizedText;
        FinalRecognizedText = string.Empty;

    catch (Exception)
        if (canvas.Children.Count == 0)
            var MsgDlg = new MessageDialog("Your screen has no handwriting. " + 
              "Please write something with pencil tool then click recognize.", 
              "Error while recognizing");
            var MsgDlg = new MessageDialog("Please clear the screen then write " + 
              "something with pencil tool", "Error while recognizing");

Points of Interest

This application demonstrates how a user can draw shapes and how hand writing recognition is performed in a XAML/C# Metro style app. I request other developers to enhance my application with their comments and suggestions. I am very thankful to CodeProject, StackOverflow, and MSDN Forum for solving my problems. 

Copy-Paste apps from here in Windows store 

One day I was searching for a better paint app, and I found these two apps which are fully copy pasted from this article. I suggest Microsoft to not accept these kinds of spam apps. 


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

Written By
Technical Lead eInfochips (An Arrow Company)
India India
Leading a passionate team to build metadata driven generic IoT Platform using for the operating companies (OpCos) of a Fortune 500 American conglomerate manufacturer of industrial products having annual revenue over $7 billion. Willing to join product-based and SaaS companies having production workloads and serving end customers happily.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralNice article Pin
Simon Jackson17-Dec-12 3:30
Simon Jackson17-Dec-12 3:30 
GeneralRe: Nice article Pin
Farhan Ghumra17-Dec-12 18:58
professionalFarhan Ghumra17-Dec-12 18:58 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Ștefan-Mihai MOGA14-Dec-12 5:45
professionalȘtefan-Mihai MOGA14-Dec-12 5:45 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pin
Farhan Ghumra14-Dec-12 6:39
professionalFarhan Ghumra14-Dec-12 6:39 
QuestionGood attempt Pin
nicks70728-Oct-12 18:52
professionalnicks70728-Oct-12 18:52 
AnswerRe: Good attempt Pin
Farhan Ghumra29-Oct-12 19:10
professionalFarhan Ghumra29-Oct-12 19:10 
GeneralRe: Good attempt Pin
Stephen Larravide7-Nov-12 13:56
Stephen Larravide7-Nov-12 13:56 
QuestionEraser erases out of canvas Pin
Vivek Deshmukh9-Oct-12 0:36
Vivek Deshmukh9-Oct-12 0:36 
Hi Farhan,

I have downloaded this app and is very usefull for me in my project. Thanks a ton.

While working on this when i was trying to erase things eraser erases outside the canvas border also.

Can you please check and confirm please ?

Thanks in Advance.
GeneralRe: Eraser erases out of canvas Pin
yugandhar115-Nov-13 1:30
yugandhar115-Nov-13 1:30 
QuestionNo points. Pin
Member 941255624-Sep-12 12:42
Member 941255624-Sep-12 12:42 
QuestionShapes are not being saved. Pin
muralimahendra27-Jul-12 1:43
muralimahendra27-Jul-12 1:43 
AnswerRe: Shapes are not being saved. Pin
Farhan Ghumra27-Jul-12 1:47
professionalFarhan Ghumra27-Jul-12 1:47 
QuestionProject doesn't build Pin
Member 927977019-Jul-12 12:33
Member 927977019-Jul-12 12:33 
AnswerRe: Project doesn't build Pin
Farhan Ghumra19-Jul-12 19:02
professionalFarhan Ghumra19-Jul-12 19:02 

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