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Simplify MessageBox handling with WPF

January 18th, 2008

This is really trivial, but I’ve always used a similar helper class for my WinForms apps, and it was something I immediately missed when starting my first WPF project. So I thought I should share it with you – a simple helper class to display message boxes without having to worry about a lot of parameters just to show a message with a title and an icon.

This is basically just a façade to the standards MessageBox class, but more convenient. As an example, if you want to show a message box with a warning icon, you currently have to submit quite a few parameters:

string msg = "This is a warning.";
string title = "My Application";
MessageBox.Show(msg, title, MessageBoxButton.OK, MessageBoxImage.Warning);


With the Dialogs helper class, you can get the same result quite painless:

Dialogs.ShowWarning("This is a warning.");

The class provides most common operations, including Yes/No message boxes, and if you need more overloads, adding them isn’t really a problem.

Dialogs Helper Class

One last note: As you can see in the class diagram, the class contains a hard coded ApplicationName field which is used for the dialog’s title: This is bad practice. I’d recommend to create a string in Resources.resx, remove the field, and update the four or five references to the field accordingly.

using System.Windows;

namespace Evolve.Wpf.Samples
{
  /// <summary>
  /// Provides convenience methods to display message boxes.
  /// </summary>
  public static class Dialogs
  {
    //TODO rather put a string in a resource file - it's just cleaner
    public static string ApplicationName = "Change ApplicationName in Dialogs.cs";


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays an error dialog with a given message.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    public static void ShowError(string message)
    {
      ShowMessage(message, MessageBoxImage.Error);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays an error dialog with a given message.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    public static void ShowInformation(string message)
    {
      ShowMessage(message, MessageBoxImage.Information);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays an error dialog with a given message.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    public static void ShowWarning(string message)
    {
      ShowMessage(message, MessageBoxImage.Warning);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays an error dialog with a given message and icon.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    /// <param name="icon">The icon to be displayed with the message.</param>
    public static void ShowMessage(string message, MessageBoxImage icon)
    {
      string appName = ApplicationName;
      MessageBox.Show(message, appName, MessageBoxButton.OK, icon);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays an OK / Cancel dialog and returns the user input.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    /// <param name="icon">The icon to be displayed.</param>
    /// <returns>User selection.</returns>
    public static MessageBoxResult ShowOkCancel(string message, MessageBoxImage icon)
    {
      string appName = ApplicationName;
      return MessageBox.Show(message, appName, MessageBoxButton.OKCancel, icon);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays a Yes/No dialog and returns the user input.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    /// <param name="icon">The icon to be displayed.</param>
    /// <returns>User selection.</returns>
    public static MessageBoxResult ShowYesNo(string message, MessageBoxImage icon)
    {
      string appName = ApplicationName;
      return MessageBox.Show(message, appName, MessageBoxButton.YesNo, icon);
    }


    /// <summary>
    /// Displays an Yes / No / Cancel dialog and returns the user input.
    /// </summary>
    /// <param name="message">The message to be displayed.</param>
    /// <param name="icon">The icon to be displayed.</param>
    /// <returns>User selection.</returns>
    public static MessageBoxResult ShowYesNoCancel(string message, MessageBoxImage icon)
    {
      string appName = ApplicationName;
      return MessageBox.Show(message, appName, MessageBoxButton.YesNoCancel, icon);
    }
  }
}

Author: Categories: WPF Tags: ,
  1. March 1st, 2008 at 18:39 | #1

    This is what I have been doing for years…Great minds think alike

  2. March 1st, 2008 at 18:42 | #2

    hehe, they sure do ;)
    cheers!

  3. marco
    October 22nd, 2008 at 15:46 | #3

    good idea, thank you for sharing it

  4. Hugh
    April 29th, 2010 at 18:53 | #4

    What does this actually have to do with WPF??

    Is it really a good idea to reference System.Windows.Forms from a WPF app?

  5. April 29th, 2010 at 21:29 | #5

    @Hugh
    This actually does have to do with WPF, and there is no reference to Winforms. Look at the using statement – this is all WPF.

  6. May 17th, 2011 at 06:10 | #6

    Years ago I’ve created similar wrapper for winforms by deriving from Component class. Having such a component I could define all message boxes using designer and then just call them from code without passing any parameters. Everything was defined in the designer (icon, buttons, message, caption, etc.)

    Now I would like to port that wrapper component to WPF but I have no idea how this can be done. It seems that there is no support for components that have no UI (that is: not derived from Control or Window class). Any ideas how to implement this with WPF?

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