Consolidating XAML Namespaces

October 9, 2008

I’m working on a project that has numerous namespaces. Each time I need to use a class in XAML I have to add a new namespace declaration to the XAML file. This quickly becomes unwieldy when you start using multiple namespaces like this:


Then of course you have to figure out what namespace each item is in order to use in XAML.

An easy way around this is to consolidate all of the namespaces at the assembly level using the XmlnsDefinitionAttribute from the System.Windows.Markup namespace. In the AssemblyInfo.cs (or .vb) you add this attribute for each namespace you want to consolidate like this:



There is an optional parameter you can pass in that specifies which assemblies the namespaces live in. This allows you to consolidate namespaces across multiple assemblies.

Now back to our XAML, we can blow out all of these namespace declarations for a much simpler, cleaner approach:


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WPF Record Navigator (VCR) Control

October 5, 2008

I haven’t seen any examples of a record navigator in WPF so I decided to create one.

What it is:

  • Allows you to bind to a collection of elements and navigate through each one.

What it isn’t:

  • Currently it doesn’t have any hooks for styling.
  • The Current Index is read-only and can only be navigated using the buttons.

The implementation is pretty straight forward. It uses routed commands to handle all the navigation. The trick to making the implementation simple was to forward everything on to a ListBox. The template contains a ListBox named “PART_List” which has it’s visibility set to Collapsed. This allows me to bind the TextBlocks that display the Count and Current Position directly to the ListBox. Also for all of the navigation commands, the Command Executed handlers simply forward their calls to the corresponding methods on the ListBox. The ListBox also just binds it’s ItemsSource and IsSynchronizedWithCurrentItem directly to the corresponding Dependency Properties on the RecordNavigator.

I hope this control is useful to some of you. I’ll be further refining it to support styling and allow the user to jump to a specific index. Please give me any feedback you have. If there is any bugs or anything it should do that it doesn’t, please let me know.


You can download the code here: record-navigator. Make sure to change the extension from .doc to .zip.

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Changing the Data Template for the Currently Selected Item

September 28, 2008

Let’s say I have some sort of list control and I want to show or hide additional information for an item based on whether or not it is currently selected. The easiest way to do this is to create two separate DataTemplates and swap them when needed (For brevity this example just changes the color of the selected item, but this can easily be modified to show more complex information).

Typically when you create a data template for an ItemsControl you create it as a resource and set the “ItemTemplate” property like this:

<DataTemplate x:Key="ItemTemplate">
    <TextBlock Text="{Binding}" Foreground="Black"/>
<ListBox ItemTemplate="{StaticResource ItemTemplate}" />

Behind the scenes WPF is actually wrapping each one of our TextBlocks in a ListBoxItem control. In other words, our DataTemplate get’s set as the Content of the ListBoxItem (which inherits from ContentControl). This ListBoxItem is where the IsSelected property lives that we need to get a hold of in order to swap out our data template. What we need then is to setup a trigger for the ListBoxItem when the IsSelected property changes.

<DataTemplate x:Key="ItemTemplate">
    <TextBlock Text="{Binding}" Foreground="Black"/>
<DataTemplate x:Key="SelectedTemplate">
    <TextBlock Text="{Binding}" Foreground="White"/>
<Style TargetType="{x:Type ListBoxItem}" x:Key="ContainerStyle">
    <Setter Property="ContentTemplate" Value="{StaticResource ItemTemplate}" />
        <Trigger Property="IsSelected" Value="True">
            <Setter Property="ContentTemplate" Value="{StaticResource SelectedTemplate}" />

Now the ListBox declaration looks like this:

<ListBox ItemContainerStyle=”{StaticResource ContainerStyle}” ItemsSource=”{Binding MyData}” />

One thing to take note of here is that I am no longer setting the ItemTemplate property on the ListBox. Instead It is being set through the ContentTemplate property of the ListBoxItem. The reason is that setting it directly on the ListBox overrides the ContentTemplate property of the ListBoxItem.

Download the full code here: data-templates-example-092808. Remember to change the file extension from .doc to .zip.

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