Hi Ben & Michael,
Yes, you can use the Background property of the TabControl to set the background of the content area. I created the project in blend when and changed the properties. I am attaching so that you can have a look at it, if you need to.
It might be a bit confusing which of the properties are taken from the TabItems and used by the TabControl. Since we are currently working on the help articles for the controls, I will try to summarize some of the more interesting points for the TabControl here. Hopefully it will be helpful if you are trying to use the TabControl now.
- As a rule of thumb, the TabControl is made as much WPF-like as possible (with some improvements).
- The BorderBrush, BorderThickness & Background properties affect the content area.
- The BackgroundVisibility property affects the background of the headers.
- Content, ContentTemplate and IsBreak are the only properties of the tabItem used by the TabControl, all other properties - margin, background, etc affect the TabItem itself.
- If you set a SelectedIndex and there are not enough items for it (Selected index = 4, only 3 items present) and then later you add more items (without changing the index), item with index 4 will be selected when it is added, the SelectedIndex will change accordingly.
- If you need to track the selection, it is best to use SelectedItem, since SelectedIndex might change without changing the selection (e.g. when items are added before the currently selected item).
- If you add an item with IsSelected = true, it becomes the selected item.
- If an item is a non-visual item, it will be set as a DataContext of the Content area (so that binding will work, as in this example: http://www.telerik.com/demos/silverlight/#Examples/TabControl/HeaderContent,
- The TabControl actually uses 4 templates, which are exposed as properties: TopTemplate, BottomTemplate, LeftTemplate and RightTemplate. The templates are switched when the TabStripPlacement property is changed.
- If you need to change the template of the TabControl, it is best to set the above-mentioned properties since they will be used during the next switch (== placement property change).
- Items would not automatically form a second row in the TabStrip, you need to set the IsBreak property of the TabItem to true.
- If the focus has been set to a child of the currently selected content, the focus will be moved to the first focusable control in the new content (this for example does not happen in the MS TabControl and it is why you cant use TextBoxes as content).
As for Blend - it has its shortcomings and advantages. A quick change will be done faster in VS, but a complete design without Blend will be a hard thing to do.
Until we get the help articles done the forums will be the forums will be the best place for information on the controls, so do not hesitate to ask about things even in the sense of "I wonder whether <this> can be done with your controls", "I wonder whether <this> can be done in Silverlight".
the Telerik team
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