Change the Application Skin

This document describes how to customize a reporting application's look and feel (theme) created for the WinForms platform.

To provide centralized access over the theme settings for all DevExpress controls in a WinForms application, do the following:

  1. Switch to the Visual Studio Toolbox (by pressing CTRL+ALT+X) and drop the DefaultLookAndFeel component from the DX.18.2: Components Toolbox tab onto the application's main form.


  2. Specify the application's skin name at the application startup. See Skins for the list of available skins.

    namespace WindowsFormsApplication1 {
        public partial class Form1 : DevExpress.XtraEditors.XtraForm {
            public Form1() {
                defaultLookAndFeel1.LookAndFeel.SkinName = "Office 2016 Black";
  3. Call the static SkinManager.EnableFormSkins method at the application startup to apply the same skin to the XtraForm containing reporting components:

    using DevExpress.Skins;
    // ...
    static void Main() {
        // ...

The specified theme is applied to all DevExpress controls in the application that have their UserLookAndFeel.UseDefaultLookAndFeel property set to true (the default value).


The following image illustrates an XtraForm containing an End-User Report Designer with the Office 2016 Black skin applied:


The code below demonstrates how to use DevExpress Open/Save dialogs in the End-User Report Designer and Print Preview. These dialogs are skinned according to the selected look and feel.

using DevExpress.XtraEditors;
static void Main() {
    //Enable this option
    WindowsFormsSettings.UseDXDialogs =  DevExpress.Utils.DefaultBoolean.True;

    Application.Run(new Form1());


You can also convert a form to a skinnable form using the Form Assistant component.

Drop this component onto the form, click its smart tag and select the required form. When using a ribbon-based report viewer or editor, choose Convert to Ribbon Form to correctly display the ribbon toolbar.


The following image illustrates the result: