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Xamarin / Guides



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Customize a document view controller in Xamarin

This document refers to the PTDocumentController
For the legacy PTDocumentViewController class, please see this guide .

This article explains how to customize the document viewer classes PTDocumentController and PTTabbedDocumentViewController.

Because the document viewer classes are part of the open source Tools UI framework, it is possible to achieve virtually any required modification. That said, it is usually faster and more convenient to configure the viewers via APIs, which this guide describes.





The above image (items 1–5) indicates areas that are controllable via the PTDocumentController's API. Information on customizing these is available directly below.


The above image (items 7–12) indicates a number of default buttons that create and present new controls. Information on where to look to customize these presented controls can be found in the component controls table.

On iPad and other regular horizontal size class devices, a number of default UI controls are accessible from the navigation bar, whereas on iPhones and compact size classes some of those controls appear in the toolbar at the bottom of the view.

Image NumberButtonFunctionalityLocation on iPadLocation on iPhone
7searchButtonItemPTTextSearchViewController navigationItem.rightBarButtonItemsnavigationItem.rightBarButtonItems
10navigationListsButtonItemPTNavigationListsViewController navigationItem.leftBarButtonItemstoolbar
11thumbnailsButtonItemPTThumbnailsViewController navigationItem.leftBarButtonItemstoolbar
12readerModeButtonItemPTReflowViewController navigationItem.rightBarButtonItemstoolbar

1: Toolbar switcher

Hide the toolbar switcher

The toolbar switcher can be hidden:

documentController.ToolGroupIndicatorView.Hidden = true;

Remove toolbars from the switcher

Toolbars can be removed by removing them from the toolGroupManager's groups array. The following code removes the "Draw" and "Pens" toolbars:

var mutableGroups = documentController.ToolGroupManager.Groups;
var groupsToRemove = new List<PTToolGroup> { documentController.ToolGroupManager.DrawItemGroup, documentController.ToolGroupManager.PensItemGroup};
documentController.ToolGroupManager.Groups = mutableGroups.Except(groupsToRemove).ToArray();

2: Navigation bar items

The buttons which are contained in the leftBarButtonItems and rightBarButtonItems arrays, are completely customizable. It is possible to

Add buttons

You can modify the navigation bar items. Here is an example of adding a new button (for the current size class):

var myItem = new UIBarButtonItem(UIImage.GetSystemImage("square.and.pencil"), UIBarButtonItemStyle.Plain, (sender, e) =>
    Console.WriteLine("button pressed:" + sender);

var currentItems = documentController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems;
var itemsArray = new List<UIBarButtonItem>(currentItems);

documentController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems = itemsArray.ToArray();

Tools can also be added:

var freeHand = documentController.ToolGroupManager.CreateItemForToolClass(new ObjCRuntime.Class(typeof(PTFreeHandCreate)));

var currentItems = documentController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems;
var itemsArray = new List<UIBarButtonItem>(currentItems);

documentController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems = itemsArray.ToArray();

Note that in the example above, de-selecting the tool button item needs to be implemented by the app, by listening to the Tool Did Change notification.

Remove buttons

To remove any of the default buttons see the instructions here: Hide default buttons

Move buttons

The default buttons are all accessible via properties, making it easy to rearrange or move them. The following code swaps the position of the search button and navigation lists button:

var rightItems = documentViewController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems;
var rightItemsList = new List<UIBarButtonItem>(rightItems);

var bottomRightItems = documentViewController.ThumbnailSliderController.TrailingToolbarItems;
var bottomRightItemsList = new List<UIBarButtonItem>(bottomRightItems);

documentViewController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems = rightItemsList.ToArray();
documentViewController.ThumbnailSliderController.TrailingToolbarItems = bottomRightItemsList.ToArray();

Change icons

The icons of existing buttons may be changed by creating new UIBarButtonItems that have the same target and action as an existing item, and replacing the existing item with the new item:

// new search UIBarButtonItem
var newSearchItem = new UIBarButtonItem(UIBarButtonSystemItem.Search, documentController.SearchButtonItem.Target, documentController.SearchButtonItem.Action);
index = rightItemsList.IndexOf(documentController.SearchButtonItem);
rightItemsList.Insert(index, newSearchItem);

// update the icons
documentController.NavigationItem.RightBarButtonItems = rightItemsList.ToArray();

3: Annotation toolbar

The currently-visible annotation toolbar is selected with the toolbar switcher.

Hide (and show) the annotation toolbar

The toolbar can be programmatically hidden by setting the mode to view group, which is a special group and the only group where the toolbar is hidden:

documentController.ToolGroupManager.SelectedGroup = documentController.ToolGroupManager.ViewItemGroup;

The toolbar can be shown again by changing the group to any group other than view:

documentController.ToolGroupManager.SelectedGroup = documentController.ToolGroupManager.DrawItemGroup;

Remove buttons from a toolbar

The example below shows how to remove the text highlight and text underline button from a toolbar.

Disabling a tool type entirely

If you want to disable a tool entirely, from all toolbars and the long press menu, please use the annotations permissions system.

var annotateGroup = documentController.ToolGroupManager.AnnotateItemGroup;

// tool buttons that exist currently
var defaultAnnotateGroupTools = annotateGroup.BarButtonItems;

// new set of tools to replace current ones
var newAnnotateGroupTools = new List<UIBarButtonItem>();

// add all currently existing tools except for the ones we don't want            
foreach (UIBarButtonItem defaultToolItem in defaultAnnotateGroupTools)
    if (defaultToolItem.IsKindOfClass(new ObjCRuntime.Class(typeof(PTToolBarButtonItem)))) {
        var toolBarButton = (PTToolBarButtonItem)defaultToolItem;
        if ( toolBarButton.ToolClass.Equals(new ObjCRuntime.Class(typeof(PTTextHighlightCreate))) ||
                toolBarButton.ToolClass.Equals(new ObjCRuntime.Class(typeof(PTTextUnderlineCreate))) )
            // do not add this tool
// assign tools to new array
documentController.ToolGroupManager.AnnotateItemGroup.BarButtonItems = newAnnotateGroupTools.ToArray();

Add a tool button to a toolbar

// create a mutable array of the current items in the annotation toolbar group
var availableTools = new List<UIBarButtonItem>(documentController.ToolGroupManager.AnnotateItemGroup.BarButtonItems);

// create a new toolbar item for freehand annotations
var freeHandItem = documentController.ToolGroupManager.CreateItemForToolClass(new ObjCRuntime.Class(typeof(PTFreeHandCreate)));

// add the freehand annotation item to the front of the list
availableTools.Insert(0, freeHandItem);

// assign the array back to the annotation toolbar group.
documentController.ToolGroupManager.AnnotateItemGroup.BarButtonItems = availableTools.ToArray();

4: Page number indicator

The page indicator can be enabled/disabled via the pageIndicatorEnabled property.

5: PDFViewCtrl

The PTPDFViewCtrl is a UIView that displays the PDF. It is customizable via is properties/methods and delegate methods.

For an overview see the PTPDFViewCtrl Guide , or the detailed API documentation.

Note that all PDF "interaction" (annotations, form filling, text selection, link following, etc.) is supplementary to the PDFViewCtrl, and is implemented in the open source tools.framework .

6. Toolbar (iPhone only)

These are the buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen on iPhones and in Compact horizontal size classes. Buttons can be added, removed, or rearranged with convenient APIs.

Add buttons to toolbar

Remove buttons from toolbar

To remove any of the default buttons see the instructions here: Hide default buttons

7-12: Controls Presented by a PTDocumentController

To customize the controls that are presented by the PTDocumentController's default buttons, please see the corresponding guide or API:

Image numberControl

Hide default buttons

Default buttons can be removed ("hidden") using built-in properties.

For example to hide the search and more items buttons:

documentController.SearchButtonHidden = true;
documentController.MoreItemsButtonHidden = true;


The tabbed document view controller displays a collection of document controllers in tabs.

Tab Settings

Tabs can be disabled using the TabsEnabled property, and the maximum number of allowed tabs can be set using MaximumTabCount.

Access to child PTDocumentControllers

The current document controller can be accessed via SelectedViewController, and others via documentViewControllerAtIndex

To configure a document controller before it is displayed, conform to and implement the PTTabbedDocumentViewControllerDelegate method willAddDocumentViewController. Note that it is permissible to assign the internal PTDocumentViewController's delegate to an external object.

tabbedDocumentViewController.WillAddDocumentViewController += (sender, e) =>
    // do something with e.DocumentViewController


TabsEnabledEnables/disables tabs.
MaximumTabCountControls the maximum number of concurrent tabs.
SelectedViewControllerThe current PTDocumentViewController.
documentViewControllerAtIndexThe PTDocumentViewController at the given index.
willAddDocumentViewControllerAccess to a PTDocumentViewController that is about to be displayed.

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