Reusable Graphical Components

Storyboard Designer allows developers to create re-usable design components that can be shared among multiple projects. Components combine model elements, such as groups and controls, together with graphical assets such as fonts and images plus interaction rules such as events and animations. The ease with which these re-usable elements can be created based on custom graphical design elements makes them significantly different than traditional widgets that offer a fixed behavior and are difficult to create.

A component is created by selecting a Storyboard Designer group or control model element in the Storyboard editor or the Application View and right clicking and selecting Create New Component. A dialog will prompt for a component name, description, and additional animations and resources to include in the component. Components are saved by default in the project's templates and use the file extension sbc which stands for Storyboard Component.

Components located in the templates directory are automatically loaded into the Components View. To use a component simply drag the component into the Storyboard Editor into a visual design context. The first time that a component is used, all of the resources associated with the component (images, fonts, scripts and animations) will be extracted into the local project. Subsequent uses of the component will not overwrite the initial resources. If there is a name conflict with resources that are already in the project, then the default behavior is to use the existing project resources and not to overwrite the project resource with the template resource.

When a component is used within an application, a link is established between the component definition and each instance where that component is used within the application. This association allows components to be changed and for those changes to be applied as updates to any existing instance of the component.

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