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The DockedFormEditor is a package for Lazarus IDE that docked a form next to source editor unit. This package is shipped with Lazarus version 2.1 upwards.
Why is it usefull?
If you don't like to search a form related to a unit, you can switch in the source editor pages. There you find the form docked as tab. Usefull is a combination of packages AnchorDockingDsgn with DockedFormEditor, if you don't like the default "separate windows" look of the Lazarus IDE and prefer a single window.
DockedFormEditor is the replacement and initially forked form Sparta_DockedFormEditor. If you used this package in the past, please switch to DockedFormEditor as all Sparta packages are now defined as deprecated and will be removed in a future version of Lazarus.
Uninstall any other docking managers (e.g., easydockmgrdsgn). Install this package (and maybe AnchorDockingDsgn) per MainMenu -> Package -> Install/Uninstall Packages... -> check the package dockedformeditor. Now recompile Lazarus IDE.
After installation there are the design tabs docked next to source editor unit:
In the tab Code is the source editor, where you can implement the logic of your app.
In the tab Form is the default form designer. Without this package it is a separate window.
In the tab Anchors is a optional anchor designer. It's follows the WYSIWYG concept and your form react at runtime same as in designtime. It can be used simultaneously with default Anchor Editor:
- You can snap a control border or point with the grips and anchor it to a next or parent control.
- Sizing or positioning without anchoring are possible with mouse.
- With <Ctrl> + mouse you can change the border around a control.
- Constaints of a control are noted.
- Per popup menu a control can simply fixed on paranet or this fixing can be removed.
- All properties affected per Anchor Designer are shown in hint of control.
There are some options, found after package installation, under MainMenu -> Tools -> Options ... -> Docked Form Editor. Next to some color definitions you find:
- Tab position: defines the position of the tabs Code, Form, Anchors
- Force Refreshing At Sizing: if the resizing eats to much time, this option can be deactivated
- Capture Distance: this is the minimal distance in pixel to catch a control with mouse
- Automatically treat Alings properties: the Anchor Designer can only work with Anchors, so Aligns are translated to Anchors when this option is activated
- Automaticall treat BorderSpacing properties: allow Anchor designer to change all Borderings (Around, Left, Top, Right, Bottom) to fit in, if option is activated
- Tested on Windows7, 10, Linux Mint Cinnamon with GTK2, QT4, QT5.
- For now only one source editor window is allowed. Multiple windows are in work.
- Undo mechanism for Anchor Editor is not implemented but in work.