The Windows Phone 7 Panorama control is widely used in applications and to many has come to symbolise the Metro Design Language. Search for panorama images and you will find numerous promo-shots of Windows Phone 7 applications which display the panoramic contents of the application hub, with an image of a phone above it illustrating how the panorama slides through your viewport.
The image below shows a promo-shot for XAMLFinance, an application I have been working on:
Creating images like the one above takes a bit of work, fortunately you can turn off the parallax scrolling effect of the control allowing for easier image stitching, however the process is still quite manual.
For a bit of fun I thought it would be nice to template the Panorama control itself in order to display the full panorama contents on the emulator within a single screen, so that I can create my promo-shot with a single screengrab.
Unfortunately, the Panorama control is a little too tightly coupled to its template to allow this kind of radical re-design, so the next best options is to create a new page that hosts my PanoramaItems within an ItemsControl and style that.
So, we'll start with a page which hosts our items within an ItemsControl:
We need to shrink each of those PanoramaItem instances so that they all fit on a single screen. We can easily shrink them with a ScaleTransform, however Silverlight only supports render transforms, what we really need here is a transform that affects layout also (for a brief overview of the difference see this blog post). Fortunately the Silverlight Toolkit has a LayoutTransformer class which emulates this behaviour, and whilst it is not available in the WP7 release, copying the code across I found it to be entirely compatible with the Silverlight WP7 version.
We can shrink our PanoramaItems as follows:
Now we need to styles and template the ItemsControl so that it looks like a Panorama. This is done as follows:
The end result is that we can see the entire panorama contents in a screen-shot ready state:
The big advantage of this approach is that any changes to the application can be reflected in the promo-shot very swiftly. It is also quite good fun having a fully functioning version of your panoramic hub in miniature!
I am CTO at Scott Logic and am a prolific technical author, blogger and speaker on a range of technologies.
I'm board member of FINOS, which is encouraging open source collaboration in the financial sector. I'm also very active on GitHub, contributing to a number of different projects.