I've made GUI settings windows for a lot of files, but it's always been the same way I make a regular GUI content window. I want to dynamically produce one that will be parseable to show standard GUI elements (a possibly hierarchical set of panes containing widgets like checkboxes, dropdowns, lists, text fields, etc.).

I'm hoping for something like what this XML I just whipped up implies is possible:

    <settings-pane name="food">
        <options name="sandw">
            <options name="bread">
                <single-select name="type">
                    <option name="white"/>
                    <option name="wheat"/>
                <number name="count" min="2" max="10"/>
            <multiple-select name="fill" min="1" max="2">
                <option name="cheese"/>
                <option name="pb"/>
                <option name="jelly"/>
                <option name="groundBeef"/>

        <options name="drinks">
            <!-- etc. -->

    <settings-pane name="furniture">
        <!-- etc. -->

    <!-- etc. -->

Of course, I could use something like this, but I want to be sure that whatever I use is standardized, not only so that anyone can come in and use/inspect my files, but also so I know it's been tested and will work in unforeseen cases.

  • To be clear, I'm not looking for a file that will store the resultant settings (I already do that in .properties files and SQL databases). Nor am I looking for a GUI file like Android's GUI XML. I just want a file that will make the creation of settings windows as automated as possible.
    – Ky -
    Commented Feb 15, 2015 at 6:40

1 Answer 1


What you're probably looking for is a PropertyGrid. Winforms has one native. You can find one for WPF here. There are several available for HTML5.

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