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Updated: 10-19-10 09:19 PM
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Updated:10-19-10 09:19 PM

WoW UI Designer  Popular! (More than 5000 hits)

Version: v1.1.110
by: Nulkris, mercdev

WoW UI Designer Release Notes

These notes refer to wowuides.exe version 1.1.x, the public beta release.


This is the WoW UI Designer initially mentioned here. It started off as an idea I had to be able to load in any addon frame and edit it like you would a form in Borland C++ Builder (my development environment of choice until recently). From that it developed into a full IDE, with the ability to edit lua scripts, and xml files in both code and designer views. Hopefully in the months ahead, it will develop into the only choice for WoW interface developers even if the visual designer is not powerful enough for them.


* Native Win32 application developed in C# 2005 requiring .Net v2.0. Compatible with Windows XP Home(Untested) and Professional(Tested), Windows 2003 Server (Untested), and Windows 2000 Professional (Tested) with the latest service packs;
* Multiple docking form interface in the style of Microsoft's development environments, provides flexibility for the user and developer;
* Tight integration with Blizzard's World of Warcraft game, providing editors for their open User Interface standard that use XML and Lua 5.0 standards;
* Flexible renderer to display any LayoutFrame element defined in an XML file validated against Blizzard's UI.XSD schema;
*Embedded ActiproSoftware editor provides syntax highlighting for XML and LUA files, and the ability to display calltips in the future;
* Visual designer to create new forms and edit them. Uses skin files to define what components can be placed, what properties they have, and how to convert between the XML and Windows.Forms;
* This release WILL NOT handle your existing UI files within the editor, it can only handle files that it itself created.
* Lots of other stuff yet to do!

Note: You will need to uninstall previous installations before installing 1.1.107 as the new installer is not backwards compatible.

1.1.107: Beta Release 18 (02Sep08)
* Lua parser now handles % operator and hexadecimal numbers properly.
+ Added startup options for loading XML files.
* Added messages when files cannot be saved.
+ Added new functions to lua highlighting.
+ Handles DXT4/5 BLP2 files.

1.1.106: Beta Release 17 (11Oct07)
* Should now work on 64-bit versions of Windows XP.
* Templates loaded from addons now go into the Addons list.
+ Changed start up behaviour, the environment is now not created at start up by default, reducing load time significantly.
> New command line argument /lf loads the framexml on start up.
> New command line argument /la loads the framexml and addons on start up.
> New menu command Tools | Load FrameXML loads the framexml as required.
> New menu command Project | Load Environment loads the framexml, the addon and its dependencies.
> Loading a UI designer form will load the framexml first if it is not already loaded.

1.0.300.102: Beta Release 16 (3Oct07)
* Fixed bugs related to closing projects.
* Updated to latest version of the docking manager.
+ Can handle multiple inheritance without errors, although the result isn't correct.
+ Improved UI for closing of unsaved files.
* Updated lua syntax highlighting for 2.2.2 keywords.

1.0.300.10: Beta Release 15 (14Dec06)
+ Now hosts Lua 5.1.1 instead of 5.0.3 to be compliant with the new client. Internal structure parser should also handle the new constructs.
+ Handles new method of MPQ searching (also searches locale directory inside of \Data). Thanks Blizzard for changing this every damn patch.

1.0.300.9: Beta Release 14 (31Aug06)
+ Added Color and BorderColor elements to Backdrop objects, also has a visual display.
* Updated lua syntax highlighting for 1.12 keywords.
+ Added code snippets to the editor, some basic lua and xml snippets provided.
* Fixed a bug where key shortcuts would go to the wrong editor instance.

1.0.300.8: Beta Release 13 (18Jul06)
* Altered skin format slightly to support templates. Existing skins should just remove any comments around <FrameSkin> elements to work again.
+ Added missing Frame types to Basic skin (Model & derivatives, MessageFrame, ScrollingMessageFrame, SimpleHTML, ColorSelect).
* Redid Font rendering to support color changing escape sequences (i.e. |cffff0000Red|r), spacing and sizing still not exactly like WoWs.
+ Added ability to enter meta data fields in the project form.
* Fixed bug with loadWith dependencies not loading in before addon, and addons dependant on Blizzard addons not loading.

1.0.300.7: Beta Release 12
+ Added lots of options for the text editor, check them out!
+ Reintroduced autocomplete list for the XML editor, there are typing triggers for bringing up select lists, and you can use CTRL-SPACE to bring up the list when inside elements.
+ Reintroduced smart indenting for lua and xml.
* Fixed bug when opening a file that does not exist, it will now use the correct language syntax based on file extension.

1.0.300.6: Beta Release 11 / 2
* Made it so changing the background color of the "Text" font style will change the background of the entire text area.
+ Added clampedToScreen property to Frame class and Frame skin object.
+ Added ButtonText, NormalFont/Color, HighlightFont/Color, and DisabledFont/Color properties to Button class. Depreciated NormalText, HighlightText, and DisabledText, and added conversion from old style to new style Button properties.
+ Added fade and displayDuration properties to MessageFrame class.
* Updated lua syntax highlighting for 1.11 keywords.
* Improved MPQ file searching for PTR and live.

1.0.300.4: Beta Release 10
* Fixed a bug with the texture browser not showing.
* Redid some of the multi-document find functionality.
* Updated structure view so that it provides some help whilst editing XML files.
+ Added file modified detection to allow easy reloading/deleting of files modified outside the editor.
* Updated context menu of editor to add more functions.
* Options dialog now working, editor customization available again!

1.0.300.3: Beta Release 9
+ Added a symbol library. When the application first starts, it will parse each lua file for symbols, and whilst editing you can CONTROL-LEFT CLICK on a symbol to go to where it is defined.
+ Added an update application feature.
* Fixed path comparision when trailing '\' were different.

1.0.300.2: Beta Release 8
+ Added a help window that links directly to WoWWiki. Press F1 on a known function and it will bring up the wiki for that function.
* Reintroduced tooltips for known functions within the editor. Hovering the mouse over the function name will bring up a short summary.
* Updated highlighting definitions for new 1.10 functions.
* Updated apidoc definitions for new 1.10 functions (still very incomplete).
* Filled in more functionality in the Project Explorer, most of the context menus will work now.
+ Added code folding for block comments.
+ Added special region tokens for folding arbrarily defined regions of a file, use --#region [Description] to start, --#endregion to end (note: no space between -- & #)

1.0.300.1: Beta Release 7
+ Added outlining and bookmarking functionality to the text editor.
* Improved drawing speed within the renderer.
+ Added null functions for seterrorhandler() and GetItemQualityColor() so they don't bring up errors when loading the default 1.10 files.

1.0.300.0: Beta Release 6
* Large rewrite with new editor control and image editor. Beta Release 5
* Hopefully made the auto-indent a little more intelligent.
+ Added a Go To command for going to a line number.
+ Added initial support for XML autocomplete.
* Fixed up defaultCopy skin mechanism to set parent propertly.
+ Added Uppercase/Lowercase to context menu of edit control.
* Fixed up all forms to have consistant appearance with different themes. Beta Release 4
* Some more text editor enhancements, including auto-indenting/unindenting, and brace highlighting.
+ Now has full support for reading data files directly from the MPQ files.
* Options has 2 separate directory entries, one for the install directory (containing the MPQ files), and another work directory.
+ Added a zip library and a utility to zip up your addon project files.
+ Added a utility to copy addon project files from the work directory to the WoW install directory. Beta Release 3
+ Added a hide context menu command to the Frame explorers to hide sub-frames from the render.
* Xml files that do not validate are included in the File List with an error marker.
* Fixed BLP reader to read uncompressed texture files.
+ Options to add file extensions pointing to the application.
+ Project editor form now allows you to set localized properties, and handles 1.9 LoadWith property.
* Fixed a bug that didn't allow more than one instance of the application to run. Beta Release 2
* Found what was causing extra error markers in the XML syntax highlighting and fixed with a new lexer dll.
+ Added line numbers and code folding to the editor, with options to turn them on and off, rearranged the options dialog to suite.
* Can now open text files with the Open File... command.
* Fixed up a few frame definitions so that they can be used as base frames in skins.
+ Added a new component to the Default skin, Multiline Edit Box with full scroll capabilities. Beta Release 1
* Changed manifest file to work on IA-64 Windows versions.
+ Added a context menu to the file list to easily allow a project to be opened.
* Put in a work around so that addons with circular dependencies will still load.
+ Added an option to disable real-time error marking on the edit control.
* Changed the way window locations are stored between sessions, now stored in the registry and not version dependant. Beta Release
* New version number for first public release. Beta Release Candidate 3 (Internal)
* Changed the update strategy of the structure form to update only when the lua file is valid, this is a bit less distracting when typing.
* Now clears error markers from the whole file to eradicate left behind tails.
* Played with the message view to make it a bit less flashy when typing Lua.
+ Added the ability to set the GetLocale() return value (see the Options dialog), be careful as it isn't checked.
* Made addon loading take into account dependencies. Beta Release Candidate 2a
* Release to test the program against the release version of the tools and framework. Beta Release Candidate 2
+ Added a new skin called "Basic", this exposes most of the frame types and a majority of their properties.
* Changed the skin format and handling a little to make it more straightforward.
* Made it so placing any xml file in the skins directory will install it as a skin.
+ Added functionality to the Slider and StatusBar frame types to draw the bar and thumb texture.
+ Added custom type converter to backdrop that allows you to select from a list of predefined backdrops.
+ Added custom type converter to textures and fontstrings that allows you to clear and set them properly.
* Fixed a hang bug with the editor error marking. Beta Release Candidate 1a
* Quick fix for Euro machines when loading Color tags. Beta Release Candidate 1
* Fixed up a bug in the XML loader not correctly inheriting sub-frames, also ScrollFrames fixed up.
* When positioning frames, the renderer will now look for named parents.
+ Added some icons to the File List tree view to represent frame types.
+ Added icons to the format menu.
+ Added a texture viewer editor to xml properties that use textures.
* Changed the color type to use the standard colour editor.
+ Added filtering to the message view, and column-click sorting.
* Error marker now showing up when lua parser finds a syntax error.
* Changed Delete key handling for the editor control. Alpha 9 Release
* Fixed freezing when lua parser couldn't find a token before the end of the file.
+ Added a window menu to display the list of windows in the document view.
+ Added a format menu to the UI designer view with some component alignment commands.
* When pasting components back onto a form, the new components are centred within the parent, instead of over the top of the old components.
+ Added a Renderer menu when the Renderer is displayed.
+ Project Explorer now contains a tree listing of all the frames defined in the project, this is updated when any file is saved.
+ New command with the Renderer allows you to rewrite the XML file that contains the frame you are viewing, changing properties will change those values in the output.
* Mass code changes to better support outputting XML that is close to what is read in, taking into account inheritance. Alpha 8 Release
+ Now handles reading in lua files for the interpreter, should handle Euro globalstrings.lua correctly now.
* Fixed a bug where an invalid XML file in a project would cause the whole project not to load.
* Updated version numbers on DLLs so that the installer will overwrite old ones if they are present. Alpha 7 Release
+ Comes in an install package now.
* Script support in the designer should be a little better now, can access scripts of sub-frames. Alpha 6 Release
* Ensure line endings are all CRLF, and specify UTF-8 encoding when saving.
+ Structure view now tries to show tables that are defined in the source.
* Structure view now updates on error, and will only show contents prior to the error.
+ Message window will now show a Lua syntax error if available, as you are typing.
* Structure view should remember what is opened as things appear and disappear when typing.
* Docking state file is now stored in the same directory as the executable.
* Structure view will clear when buffer is closed. Alpha 5 Release
+ About box.
+ Tooltips for known WoW functions displayed in editor, added apidoc.xsd containing the schema for the docfile. Some functions defined in api/*.xml
+ Added a toolbar with basic functions.
+ Expand scripts defined in an XML file within the project explorer.
+ Added support for include tag for XML files, this is now used alot in 1.8.
+ Now includes its own Lua parser.
+ Added a structure window for editing Lua Files, shows functions and variables defined within the file.
+ Options to not verify XML files against the schema, can turn off verification for Blizzard files only.
+ Now has a proper application icon!
+ Added a tutorial Alpha 4 Patch
+ Added keywords for WoW API so that they are syntax highlighed (Thanks Beladona for the list)
+ Added skin file page to options.
+ Added editor customisation page to options.
+ Added per character saved variable support (1.8 feature).
+ Added support for changing the file load order in the project explorer, can use context menu or drag files around.
* Fixed copy/paste for UI visual editor.
* Fixed globalisation issues.
* Find form has some improved functionality.
* Debug file written to same directory as wowuides.exe.
* Hopefully fixed hard crashes with lua interpretor and text labels with odd characters.
- Removed need for wow.exe to be in WoW override folder.

Thanks for all the ratings!

1.1.110: Beta Release 20 (20Nov10)
* Updated MPQ file reading for WoW client v4.

1.1.109: Beta Release 19 (22Oct08)
* Updated Button rendering for WoW client v3.

1.1.107: Beta Release 18 (02Sep08)
* Lua parser now handles % operator and hexadecimal numbers properly.
+ Added startup options for loading XML files.
* Added messages when files cannot be saved.
+ Added new functions to lua highlighting.
+ Handles DXT4/5 BLP2 files.
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10-21-08 10:17 PM

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Unread 12-12-06, 04:35 AM  
A Kobold Labourer

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I guess it's back to editing the xml manually for me. Very glad I actually created the new ui elements I needed way back so at least I don't have to mess with their locations manually.

I assume noone knows of a similar product that I could try instead? So annoying that it does exactly what I need, but just refuses to start anymore.
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Unread 12-14-06, 04:29 AM  
A Cobalt Mageweaver
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Sorry guys, thought that it would be found in the beta download I had made for TBC last month but guess not. I have just uploaded a version that will start using 2.0.1, it doesn't support everything but you should be able to edit your forms using the standard skins.
Nulkris - A80 Rogue - Proudmoore
(Also Drukris, Hamkris on Proudmoore; Hulkris on Jubei'Thos & Khaz Modan)
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Unread 12-15-06, 04:15 PM  
A Kobold Labourer

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It starts it starts! Happy happy joy joy. Thanks
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Unread 12-17-06, 02:45 PM  
A Kobold Labourer

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Renderer and MobInfo2


Just now I loaded my own AddOn MobInfo2 as a project into WoW UI Designer and opened the main options frame in the Renderer. The result looks discouraging to say the least. The entire options frame (frmMIConfig) looks like total chaos, but even the sub frames for the separate option TABs look quite wrong.

Is this application only compatible to AddOns actually created within the "UI Designer" ? It does look like that. Despite most texts being either wrong or missing several of the controls actually appear at the wrong positions within the frames.

I made the above observations using the latest UI Designer version 1.0.300.10 (in conjunction with WoW 2.0).

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Unread 12-18-06, 05:04 AM  
A Kobold Labourer

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I quote the one bold line from the description (sorry, thought it was worth a little rtfm type jab )

* This release WILL NOT handle your existing UI files within the editor, it can only handle files that it itself created.
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Unread 12-18-06, 06:33 AM  
A Kobold Labourer

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Hi Mascot,

Thanks for the info

Yet I was mainly referring to the "Renderer". It sortof implies that it should work for most (all?) frames no matter how they were created. And actually when I apply it to my "MobInfo" frames I do see ... something. Tehre even is a certain resemblance to what the frames really look like. Nevertheless the "Renderer" result is disappointingly wrong in many ways:
* many elements appear on top of each other
* elements appear at the wrong location
* the scrollable list is totally wrong

Heres another issue I noticed: some error messages from the XML checker are so long that it is impossible to see the entire message. Not even the one line yellow tooltip can hold the entire message. I would suggest changing the yellow mouseover tooltip to multiline so it can show all text.

Oh and when just scrolling with the cursor through an XML file I found that the cursor movement speed is rather slow. Like when you hold down the "down" arrow key it look like a lot of processing happens between moving from line to line, which slows down movement speed.

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Unread 12-18-06, 08:05 AM  
A Kobold Labourer

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Ah I see the sentence you're thinking of now.

I can't decide whether it's supposed to be interpreted as you have (and I agree it can be), or if it's meant to be interpreted more along the lines of "can handle all the regular UI elements when you design".

I'm leaning towards the latter. If it could render files without the extra information it adds when you create within UI Designer, logic would seem to indicate it would also be able to edit them.
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Unread 12-22-06, 03:26 AM  
A Cobalt Mageweaver
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Hi Skeeve,

I did finally get around to looking at your frame under the renderer, but because the renderer is only rendering the xml you get the multi layered effect that you see. You can right click on descendant frames and select hide which will hide the frames such as the tabs and you can in effect get the single layer you want to look at. The UI designer never loads any Lua except that in the global scope (this is mainly used to convert variable names into localised text), so any code that would initialise the layout of the frame (such as for your scrollable list) is never executed.

For the other things, I will be changing the control that does the message list and the new control supports word wrapped rows, and we have updated to the latest version of the editor control that is quite a bit faster in all aspects.

Hopefully I can get another version out prior to the expansion release, but I do have some paying work to do ahead of it so we'll see.

Thanks for your interest

Nulkris - A80 Rogue - Proudmoore
(Also Drukris, Hamkris on Proudmoore; Hulkris on Jubei'Thos & Khaz Modan)
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Unread 12-24-06, 05:36 AM  
A Murloc Raider
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Exclamation run wow UI designer

i can't install this it says you need v. 2.0.50727
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Unread 12-28-06, 04:12 AM  
A Black Drake
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Hi Nulkris,

First just wanted to say great app, use it all the time

Couple things for you, with the latest version (1.0.300.10) whenever I try save anything I have done with the 'save all files' button or menu link I get the following error: -
"Unable to cast object of type 'wowuides.Svn.SvnBrowser' to type 'WeifenLuo.WinFormsUI.DockContent'." , I dont get the error if I just do a normal save though.

The other thing is could you look into finding a way for addons like FuBar (and its many plugins) to show in the addon list since most of them dont have a .xml file and as such it doesnt display in the main list. I am getting around it at the moment by simply adding a dummy xml file into the addon and adding it to the toc but with updates it breaks and I need to do it all over again


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Unread 12-31-06, 07:06 AM  
A Kobold Labourer
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This is an excellent coding environment, I especially like the text editor. There is one slightly annoying thing about it, however. Whenever I Alt-Tab between WoW and to the desktop, with UI Designer running, my deskop icons goes bonkers - it seems to be forcing the entire bunch of icons to be redrawn a dozen times or more. Is there any way to stop that happening?

Also, when can we expect a (search and) replace feature, sorely missed.

Many thanks, keep up the good work.
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Unread 01-02-07, 01:45 AM  
A Deviate Faerie Dragon

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Actually I think it's a shame that Blizzard haven't created an UI Designer themselves. It for sure can't be _that_ hard to create when you've developed World of Warcraft and implemented a very scaleable and flexible (G)UI.

So far I have never been able to get WoW UI Designer up and running, so I've been forced to create my UI:s to ordinary way; by typing XML manually.
I haven't got any errors to report at the moment, but from what I remember I just can't seem to get XML part (designer) in WoW UI Designer to work.

Perhaps because I'm using the EU version of WoW? I'll do further testing as soon as I get home from work.
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Unread 01-04-07, 03:54 AM  
A Defias Bandit
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Feature request

Hi, first of all: great (and i mean G R E A T !!!) job.
And now the request:
I mainly use WOWUIdesigner to make templates (i.e. "virtual" forms) I load programmatically when neede.
Now, I cant find a way to save the virtual="yes" attribute.
I even tried modifiyng the skin, but even if it shows in the property list, it doesnt get saved.

Can you add the virtual property to frames? Or point me to is location if I only am too dumb to spot it?

Regards Alar
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Unread 01-12-07, 11:48 AM  
A Murloc Raider

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HElp please

Hi first of all it looks like a great program and I cant wait to use it.

The only drawback is that when i click the link in the folder to open it its just makes a "du" sound like when its come up with an error but no error appears!this could be because i have the european version of WoW but i dont now!

can someone please help!
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Unread 01-12-07, 12:03 PM  
A Murloc Raider

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sorry guys i didnt read the forums and i know what to do now sorry again!
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