Reader Level:
Universal Windows Platform

Windows Store Style Paint Application

By Farhan Ghumra on Jul 24 2012
In this Metro style application you will learn to draw basic shapes like line, rectangle, circle, ellipse, free hand shapes, eraser, and clear screen.
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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 saving the recognized text as text file and only ink strokes can be saved as image. It is in the initial version so there are some limitations like saving whole drawing as image, resizing and moving of the drawn components etc.


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 components in the PointerPressed event the current coordinates are saved and then after the PointerMoved event, the second coordinates are saved. These coordinates can be used directly to draw lines but for another shape, I am getting the height and width by the difference of the coordinates. The free-hand drawing tool just adds the points from 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 those missing features.

For handwriting recognition, I have used the Windows.UI.Input.Inking namesapce. 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 writes something onto the canvas, all the points covered in that path are saved as InkManager objects. The InkManager class provides an async method called RecognizeAsync(). The results of the recognition is a collection of InkRecognitionResult objects. To get the text componets, 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.
        btnSaveRecognizedText.Visibility = Windows.UI.Xaml.
Grid.RowProperty, 3);
Grid.RowSpanProperty, 1);
        MyInkManager.Mode =
        x =
await MyInkManager.RecognizeAsync(InkRecognitionTarget.Recent);
foreach (InkRecognitionResult i in x)
            RecognizedText = i.GetTextCandidates();
            FinalRecognizedText +=
" " + RecognizedText[0];
            txtRecognizedText.Text += FinalRecognizedText;
        FinalRecognizedText =
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 handwriting recognition is performed in a XAML/C# Metro style app. I request other developers to enhance my application with their comments and suggestions.