In UWP there is a control called the InkToolbar. This is a control which binds to an InkCanvas and is an easy way for users to change the type, size, and color of their inking. Ink Calendar has used this control from day one but now it is getting some attention.
The UWP version of OneNote has a pen gallery instead of the standard InkToolbar control. This enables users to set several pens and easily switch between them, without tediously changing each attribute every time. I wanted to bring the same experience to Ink Calendar because I found myself using a only few different pens while planning my time. One was a medium thickness gray pen for crossing out days. One was a thin blue pen for writing down appointments. And finally one was a highlighter for blocking out chunks of days.
There where four key elements to making my custom pen gallery in the InkToolbar.
Custom Pen Button
Saving the gallery
Editing the gallery
To make this control I had to create custom pens for the Ballpoint Pen, Highlighter, and Pencil. You cannot add more than one standard tool to the InkToolbar, you must make them InkToolbarCustomToolButtons. Each type of InkToolbarCustomToolButton requires its own InkToolbarCustomPen to define how the ink will display when that tool is active.
I made three custom pens: ballpoint pen, highlighter, and pencil. I could have chosen to make the highlighter tip shape round instead of rectangular like the standard InkToolbar highlighter, but I decided to keep it consistent to how it has been. I could still add a new pen like a highlighter but more of a marker with a round tip.
Once I had all the custom pens I needed I started working on the InkToolbarCustomToolButtons. These controls inherit from InkToolbarCustomPenButton which enables them to be added into an InkToolbar. These buttons started simple but I made them a little more complex than the standard.
Summer has been a busy time. I have been working on big changes to Ink Calendar. Mostly these changes have been in the way new calendars are generated. I moved a lot of the code around and have been working on getting it functioning the way it should.
The reason I’m making these big changes to Ink Calendar are to enable swiping between views. I’ve been breaking all the different UI elements into their own User Controls and abstracting the code which generates a view for the given date range.
So far it has been very successful but I still need to do a lot of work to optimize the experience. I don’t want to push an update which slows down the app while delivering no new functionality.
In addition to these architecture changes I’m working on little fit and finish elements like scaling the print out to fit, more keyboard shortcuts, and other suggestions from users.
Thanks for using Ink Calendar and if you have any questions or suggestions please let me know.
Two areas of focus for 1.15 have been organizing the app settings and improving the ‘Appointments on this day’ dialog. Organizing the settings and changing how it is displayed gives space to add more features and give users the ability to customize their experience.
The changes to the ‘Appointments on this day’ dialog are focused on adding more appointments without a pen. This makes Ink Calendar span the usage scenarios more gracefully from pen & touch to keyboard & mouse.
As always there are small improvements and bug fixes wherever I can find them.
After a long delay Ink Calendar 1.14.2 has been submitted and accepted to the store. This update brings lots of little changes to Ink Calendar which should improve the experience for all users. The change list is long with this update:
Tap to select a block of ink.
Current day is highlighted in the Year View.
The different view buttons are no longer in a menu when the window is wide enough.
Appointment time recognition has been improved.
Improved the look of the appointments on Month and Week view.
Free or tentative appointments are now transparent with colored text.
More space on mobile landscape orientation.
Let me know what you think!
On another note, I am working on updating my art for the Microsoft Store page. If you are an artist and use Ink Calendar please reach out I’d love to feature your art!
In the new update 1.14 Ink Calendar will use the language settings you have set in Windows 10. The month names, days of the week, and day abbreviations will all be translated automatically by Windows.
Next up I will be translating the text in the app itself. All the button text will soon be translated with the help of anyone I know who speaks that language! If you’d like to help translate then email firstname.lastname@example.org
This week I was busy and insipired by the reception of Ink Calendar by this Reddit post I decided to push out a quick update. In update 1.12.2 I address a few bugs and a couple new features. Nothing huge, but little things which make the overall experience better.
Outline around the current day in Month View
Clear selected ink when adding an appointment
Acrylic background. (not supported on mobile, sorry ☹)
Midnight Week View crash
Week View background crash
Text wrapping in settings on mobile
Let me know what you think! Thanks again for using Ink Calendar,