Archive for the ‘WPF’ Category

NetDrives 1.0.2 Released

December 7th, 2009

I just released a minor update for NetDrives, which fixes an issue that caused settings not to be persisted correctly. NetDrives is a Windows utility that helps you manage your network shares and mapped network drives.




Download and further infos:

Author: Categories: NetDrives, Open Source, WPF Tags:

WPF Disciples Resource Page Updated

October 15th, 2009

Marlon updated the WPF Disciples resources page, which now lists a great selection of the group members’ contributions (including lots of MVVM goodness). Here’s the list:


WPF Disciples Logo

Author: Categories: WPF Tags:

Making WPF Popups Work in Windowless Applications

September 23rd, 2009

I’ve first encountered this issue with my WPF NotifyIcon, and now again while writing a plug-in for Windows Live Writer: If you try to display a WPF popup without any Windows open (the Popup is the only UI component there is), certain controls such as TextBox, ListView, or ListBox don’t receive proper mouse and/or keyboard input, and cannot be selected.

The reason for this issue is buried in the WPF framework, and how it interacts with Windows. Fellow WPF Disciple Andrew Smith pointed me in the right direction:


…because a Popup’s HWND has the WS_EX_NOACTIVATE so the WPF framework will not attempt to actually focus the associated hwnd (because its usually used with a window and you don’t want to deactivate the window when you focus something in the popup).


Accordingly, you’ll have to fiddle with Windows Interop to make things work. Here’s the snippet:


public static class WinApi
  /// <summary>
  /// Gives focus to a given window.
  /// </summary>
  public static extern bool SetForegroundWindow(IntPtr hWnd);

  public static void ActivatePopup(Popup popup)
    //try to get a handle on the popup itself (via its child)
    HwndSource source = (HwndSource)PresentationSource.FromVisual(popup.Child);
    IntPtr handle = source.Handle;

    //activate the popup
Author: Categories: WPF, WPF Controls Tags:

Snippet Time: Helper Libraries for C# / WPF

September 14th, 2009

I just made a few minor updates to two libraries which assemble as set of helper classes for C# and WPF and thought: Why not share them? The libraries aren’t really intended to be used directly in your code, but you might find one or another helper method or snippet that might make a nice addition to your own toolbox 🙂


Hardcodet.Commons (C#, .NET 3.5)

Common helper classes and snippets (simple base classes, file management, weak events, extension methods etc.)


Hardcodet.Wpf.Commons (C#, .NET 3.5)

Stuff I commonly use in WPF projects, such as checking for design time, base classes for commands and converters, data binding helpers and other stuff.


I’ll keep these libraries up-to-date, version history will be posted here.



2009.09.14  Initial blog release

Author: Categories: C#, Open Source, WPF Tags: , ,

Linked Images in WPF Projects – Bad Idea?

August 10th, 2009

I discovered today that images that are included in a VS project as links are compiled differently than images that are stored as part of the project. This one might cost you quite some time, so here’s a few observations on the issue…

Look at this simple project that contains two image files. One file is part of the project (physically stored in the Images folder), the other one added as a link. Both files have the same build action (Resource):



Now, if you declare these two images the same way, everything appears to be fine in the designer (both Visual Studio and Blend):

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication2.Window1"
    Title="Window1" Height="150" Width="150">
    <StackPanel VerticalAlignment="Center">
      <Image Source="/Images/Add-Item.png" Stretch="None" />
      <Image Source="/Images/Remove-Item.png" Stretch="None"/>




However, as soon as you compile and start your application, the linked image does not appear – obviously, the runtime could not resolve it at runtime:




I was quite surprised about this until I reverted to Reflector, which reveals that the linked image was embedded differently than the other one. Here’s the resource entries of the compiled WPF application:



As you can see, the linked image (Remove-Item.png) was included without the folder name, in lower case. Accordingly, I had to adjust the image source in XAML as follows:

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication2.Window1"
    Title="Window1" Height="150" Width="150">
    <StackPanel VerticalAlignment="Center">
      <Image Source="/Images/Add-Item.png" Stretch="None" />
      <Image Source="/remove-item.png" Stretch="None"/>


This one works at runtime. BUT it breaks the designer. I’m not too happy about that one – whether a file is linked to or not should not affect the outcome of the compiled build all. I’m not too sure whether this was a conscious decision or a bug, but it sure is a major pain.

Update: Microsoft confirmed this to be a bug, which should be fixed in the upcoming version of the framework / VS2010. So for now, linking is out of the picture for me.

Author: Categories: WPF Controls Tags:

Finding Elements in the WPF Tree – Both Ways

June 25th, 2009

A while ago I posted a helper method to traverse a (visual or logical) tree in order to find an element’s parent of a given type. The corresponding blog entry is here.

This time, I needed to search the other way: I wanted to find all descendants (direct or indirect childs) of a given element that match a given type. As a result, I came up with a complementary extension method that does the job for me:

//get all TextBox controls within the grid:
Grid container;
IEnumerable<TextBox> editors = container.FindChildren<TextBox>();


Usage Sample

As a sample, let’s use a window dialog which contains several images:

  • Images that were pasted into a RichTextBox control.
  • Images that are part of the UI, nested within the control hierarchy of a ribbon.



In order to find all these Image elements you can see on the screenshot, this will do:

//start a the root (the window itself)
Window window = this;
foreach (Image img in window.FindChildren<Image>())
  Console.WriteLine("Image source: " + img.Source);



…the above snippet produces the following output:

Image source: pack://payload:,,wpf1,/Xaml/Image1.png

Image source: pack://payload:,,wpf1,/Xaml/Image2.png

Image source: pack://application:,,,/Shared/Images/Ribbon/Paste_32x32.png

Image source: System.Windows.Media.Imaging.FormatConvertedBitmap

Image source: System.Windows.Media.Imaging.FormatConvertedBitmap

Image source: pack://application:,,,/Shared/Images/Ribbon/EditUndo.png

Image source: pack://application:,,,/Shared/Images/Ribbon/EditRedo.png

Image source: pack://application:,,,/Shared/Images/Ribbon/Bold.png

Image source: System.Windows.Media.Imaging.BitmapFrameEncode



Accordingly, in order to analyze only the contents of the rich text editor, just start on a lower level of the tree:

//only examine the contents of the editor
RichTextBox editor = this.txtContent;
foreach (Image img in editor.FindChildren<Image>())
  Console.WriteLine("Image source: " + img.Source);



(Download link at the end of the posting)

/// <summary> /// Analyzes both visual and logical tree in order to find all elements /// of a given type that are descendants of the <paramref name="source"/> /// item. /// </summary> /// <typeparam name="T">The type of the queried items.</typeparam> /// <param name="source">The root element that marks the source of the /// search. If the source is already of the requested type, it will not /// be included in the result.</param> /// <returns>All descendants of <paramref name="source"/> that match the /// requested type.</returns> public static IEnumerable<T> FindChildren<T>(this DependencyObject source) where T : DependencyObject { if (source != null) { var childs = GetChildObjects(source); foreach (DependencyObject child in childs) { //analyze if children match the requested type if (child != null && child is T) { yield return (T) child; } //recurse tree foreach (T descendant in FindChildren<T>(child)) { yield return descendant; } } } } /// <summary> /// This method is an alternative to WPF's /// <see cref="VisualTreeHelper.GetChild"/> method, which also /// supports content elements. Do note, that for content elements, /// this method falls back to the logical tree of the element. /// </summary> /// <param name="parent">The item to be processed.</param> /// <returns>The submitted item's child elements, if available.</returns> public static IEnumerable<DependencyObject> GetChildObjects( this DependencyObject parent) { if (parent == null) yield break;

if (parent is ContentElement || parent is FrameworkElement) { //use the logical tree for content / framework elements foreach (object obj in LogicalTreeHelper.GetChildren(parent)) { var depObj = obj as DependencyObject; if (depObj != null) yield return (DependencyObject) obj; } } else { //use the visual tree per default int count = VisualTreeHelper.GetChildrenCount(parent); for (int i = 0; i < count; i++) { yield return VisualTreeHelper.GetChild(parent, i); } } }


For your convenience, I’ve put together a simple helper class that contains the helper methods to search for both children and parent elements in the tree:


Happy coding 🙂

Author: Categories: WPF Tags: