The first release of TeamPulse used Microsoft's Rich Text control to enable rich formatting inside the Story, Persona and Acceptance Criteria descriptions. It offered a good variety of basic formatting options, but nothing like what is now offered by upgrading to the RadRichTextBox control. By using the RadRichTextBox, we effectively have a mini word processor built right into TeamPulse allowing you to create even richer descriptions.


Getting Started

What? You don't see the Text Tools contextual tab? Click your mouse inside any of the rich text fields in TeamPulse and you'll see the contextual tab appear in the application's ribbon. SP1 makes use of the new contextual tab within the RadRibbonBar to bring the Format tab into your line of sight and it's smart enough to only hide the tab when a non-rich text control receives focus. It's also smart enough to apply any actions taken in the Format tab to the currently selected rich text control when more than one is currently on the screen (this can happen within a Story with Acceptance Criteria).



Edit Story Screen with Format Tab Visible


New Formatting Options

The new rich text control offers many new formatting features:

  • Full Undo & Redo history accessible from the Format tab.
  • Strikethrough, subscript and superscript styles to go along with the traditional bold, underline and italic styles.
  • Selection highlighting in a wide range of colors.
  • Bulleted lists (like this one).
  • Numbered lists:
      1. That can be indented with the tab key.
      2. Or by using the Format tab indenting buttons.
  • Paragraph alignments: Left, Center, Right and Justified.
  • Paragraph properties dialog to alter alignment, indentation, and spacing options.
  • Format tab buttons to increase and decrease font size.
  • A Format tab button to clear all formatting applied to the current selection.
  • Hyperlinks to your favorite sites.
  • All your favorite Symbols, for example: § © ® ¾.
  • And of course, just like before you can change font color, family and size.



Closer View of the Format Tab



Paragraph Properties


Import, Export and Print

One feature lacking from the first release was the ability to import, export or print rich descriptions. With the RadRichTextBox control, this is all built in and accessible from the Format tab. You can import Word docx, HTML, XAML or Text files right into your description, export your description to a Word docx, HTML or Text file and print or print preview your description.

A few words of caution when importing:

  • Not all features of the docx and html formats are supported. For example, tables are not supported.
  • Importing will replace your description, not add to it. Thankfully, you can use the undo function to restore it.



The Import, Export and Print Ribbon Buttons


TeamPulse Links

One of the awesome features we have in our rich descriptions is the ability to create links to either new or existing entities (for now just Stories and Personas) directly within the rich descriptions. Moving to the RadRichTextBox required us to make some changes for SP1, but we think they are worth it. TeamPulse Links are now hyperlinks referencing deep links within your TeamPulse project. Why is this cool? If you already know the deep link address, you can add a regular hyperlink with that address and TeamPulse will treat it like a TeamPulse Link. This means you can also reference stories or personas from other TeamPulse projects by inserting the hyperlink into your rich text. Also, you don't have to load the story or persona to get the address - place your mouse cursor somewhere on the link and press the Hyperlink button on the Format tab - and the address will be shown to you without leaving your story!

Just like the first release, pressing CTRL+SPACE shows the Quick Link popup at your current cursor position and you can still use just your keyboard (using arrow keys to select Persona or Story, press Enter, type in the name of an existing story or a new story name, press Enter again - or Escape to close the popup). Or if you love your mouse, you can do it all (save typing in the name of a new entity) with your mouse via the TeamPulse Link button on the Format tab and the Add Link and Close buttons on the popup.



New Buttons for Quick Link Popup


The Last Word

One of the best things about using the RadRichTextBox control is that as the control matures and adds even more features, those features will be available in TeamPulse because we strive to always use the latest Telerik Silverlight controls.. It also allows us more time to focus on the other areas of TeamPulse and leaves the rich text to the team of experts that works on the RadRichTextBox.


Oh, and aside from the pictures, this blog was written entirely in TeamPulse and exported to Word before being posted on the internet!


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