Making a WPF app using a SDK-style project with MSBuildSdkExtras

Ever since the first stable release of the .NET Core SDK, we’ve enjoyed a better C# project format, often called “SDK-style” because you specify a SDK to use in the project file. It’s still a .csproj XML file, it’s still based on MSBuild, but it’s much more lightweight and much easier to edit by hand. Personally, I love it and use it everywhere I can. However, out of the box, it’s only usable for some project types: ASP.

[WPF] Prevent the user from pasting an image in a RichTextBox

WPF’s RichTextBox control is quite powerful, and very handy if you need to accept rich text input. However, one of its features can become an issue: the user can paste an image. Depending on what you intend to do with the text entered by the user, you might not want that. When I googled for a way to prevent that, the only solutions I found suggested to intercept the Ctrl-V keystroke, and swallow the event if the clipboard contains an image.

[WPF] Declare global hotkeys in XAML with NHotkey

A common requirement for desktop applications is to handle system-wide hotkeys, in order to intercept keyboard shortcuts even when they don’t have focus. Unfortunately, there is no built-in feature in the .NET framework to do it. Of course, this is not a new issue, and there are quite a few open-source libraries that address it (e.g. VirtualInput). Most of them rely on a global system hook, which allow them to intercept all keystrokes, even the ones you’re not interested in.

[WPF] Using Linq to shape data in a CollectionView

WPF provides a simple mechanism for shaping collections of data, via the ICollectionView interface and its Filter, SortDescriptions and GroupDescriptions properties: // Collection to which the view is bound public ObservableCollection People { get; private set; } ... // Default view of the People collection ICollectionView view = CollectionViewSource.GetDefaultView(People); // Show only adults view.Filter = o => ((Person)o).Age >= 18; // Sort by last name and first name view.SortDescriptions.Add(new SortDescription("LastName", ListSortDirection.

[WPF] Creating parameterized styles with attached properties

Today I’d like to share a trick that I used quite often in the past few months. Let’s assume that in order to improve the look of your application, you created custom styles for the standard controls: OK, I’m not a designer… but it will serve the purpose well enough to illustrate my point ;). These styles are very simple, they’re just the default styles of CheckBox and RadioButton in which I only changed the templates to replace the BulletChromes with these awesome blue tick marks.

[WPF 4.5] Subscribing to an event using a markup extension

It’s been a while since I last wrote about markup extensions… The release of Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview, which introduces a number of new features to WPF, just gave me a reason to play with them again. The feature I’m going to discuss here is perhaps not the most impressive, but it fills in a gap of the previous versions: the support of markup extensions for events. Until now, it was possible to use a markup extension in XAML to assign a value to a property, but we couldn’t do the same to subscribe to an event.

[WPF] Display an animated GIF image

Note: The code in this article is out of date; the current code is hosted on GitHub. WPF is a great technology, but sometimes it seems to be missing some really basic features… A frequently mentioned example is the lack of support for animated GIF images. Actually, the GIF format itself is supported by the imaging API, but the Image control only shows the first frame of the animation. Many solutions to this problem have been proposed on technical forums and blogs, usually variations of the following approaches:

[WPF] How to bind to data when the DataContext is not inherited

The DataContext property in WPF is extremely handy, because it is automatically inherited by all children of the element where you assign it; therefore you don’t need to set it again on each element you want to bind. However, in some cases the DataContext is not accessible: it happens for elements that are not part of the visual or logical tree. It can be very difficult then to bind a property on those elements…

[WPF] A simpler Grid using XAML attribute syntax

The Grid control is one of the most frequently used containers in WPF. It allows to layout elements easily in rows and columns. Unfortunately the code to declare it, while simple to write, is made quite awkward by the use of the property element syntax: <Grid> <Grid.RowDefinitions> <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/> <RowDefinition Height="5"/> <RowDefinition Height="*"/> </Grid.RowDefinitions> <Grid.ColumnDefinitions> <ColumnDefinition Width="60" /> <ColumnDefinition Width="*" /> </Grid.ColumnDefinitions> <Label Content="Name" Grid.Row="0" Grid.Column="0" /> <TextBox Text="Hello world" Grid.

[VS2010] Binding support in InputBindings

THE feature that was missing from WPF ! Visual Studio 2010 beta 2 has been released last week, and it brings to WPF a long awaited feature : support for bindings in InputBindings. As a reminder, the issue in previous releases was that the Command property of the InputBinding class wasn’t a DependencyProperty, so it wasn’t possible to bind it. Furthermore, InputBindings didn’t inherit the parent DataContext, which made it difficult to provide alternative implementations…