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A WatermarkTextBox in 3 lines of XAML

, 25 Jul 2008
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Another example of how XAML can solve issues that most developers automatically assume will require "coding".

Introduction

Published examples demonstrating how to create a WatermarkTextBox in WPF, including the 'InfoTextBox' control in Kevin Moore's popular "Bag-O-Tricks" sample library always seem to involve a significant amount of code-behind, when a fully-functional version can be built with just three lines of XAML, leveraging WPF's built in BooleanToVisibilityConverter.

WaterMarkTextBoxDemo - Click to enlarge image

The complete project includes two variations on this functionality.

ScreenShot.jpg

This example stems from a discussion in a recent .NET User's Group meeting, in which several experienced WPF developers complained about the removal of the WatermarkTextBox control in the latest version of Silverlight. They all jumped to the conclusion (which I think is very common among developers) that supporting similar functionality would require "coding" a custom control of some kind.

Although this is a trivial example, I think the related question of when to use XAML vs. code (and, as possibly illustrated in my second example, knowing when you've begun to cross over into "hacking via markup"), will be one of several interesting XAML-related best practice debates on many real-world multi-developer projects -- especially when faced with a confusing mixture of seemingly random implementation choices around the third dev. cycle on a large code base.

Update: Microsoft has announced that it will add a "WaterMark" property to the TextBox in a future version of Silverlight, and has made the original WatermarkTextBox code available for download.

Other Projects by Andy L.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

AndyL2

United States United States
I started out writing applications in C for a software development shop in Japan, did alot of work in C++/MFC, and some DirectX, at two Silicon Valley startups, and have been working with C# and Windows Forms ever since the release of .Net 1.0. Although I took a couple intro. to CS courses at CAL (Berkeley), my degree was actually in Asian Studies, and I learned to program "in the trenches". I was also the .Net evangelist at my most recent company, authoring internal white papers on .Net, sending out a weekly ".Net FYI" e-mail, conducting .Net training, and sweating the truth out of job candidates who claimed to have .Net experience (You'd be amazed at the number of Silicon Valley engineers who list "three years of C#" on their resumes, who are unable to explain how to hook up a simple event handler, or identify basic terms like "reflection", "attributes" -- or "Richter" and "Löwy").

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionComboBox Pinprofessionalavinaxsht8-Jan-14 2:23 
QuestionAmazing artical PinmemberPriyank Thakkar21-Nov-13 4:39 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberiman khalil27-Aug-12 5:57 
QuestionExcellent post Pinmemberpatelsachin13-Dec-11 3:13 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pinmember__Lj__28-Sep-10 4:12 
GeneralHere's another no-code version, supports images too! Pinmemberawcullen214-Oct-08 4:36 
GeneralSimply great Pinmemberparxs24-Jun-08 5:09 
GeneralEasy solution, but think about efficiency PinmemberDusan Kocurek17-Jun-08 8:45 
GeneralRe: Easy solution, but think about efficiency PinmvpJosh Smith26-Jul-08 9:43 
GeneralPerfect Timing Pinmemberjackmos17-Jun-08 3:54 
This is exactly what I need for a project and I was wrestling with how to do it. Your solution is so simple and elegant. 5 stars.
GeneralGood one PinmemberUro15-Jun-08 22:48 

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