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Thickness animation in Silverlight (Margin, Padding, BorderThickness)

, 9 Jul 2010 Ms-PL
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How to easily animate Thickness in Silverlight (Margin, Padding, BorderThickness).


In Silverlight, there is no ThicknessAnimation as we can use in WPF. So like me, lots of developers would like to be able to animate the Margin, the Padding, or the BorderThickness of the Border.

Good news! I have a clean solution based on the Wrapper pattern.

How does it work?

Everything is done with the ThicknessWrapper class:

  • PropertyName is the name of the property to animate.
  • Side is the side to animate; you can specify multiple values since Side is a flag enumeration.
  • Target is the target object to animate.
  • Value is the size of the side of the Thickness to animate.

The code is not very complicated; every time one of these properties change, I update the margin of the Target.

private void UpdateMargin()
    if(Target != null)
        var thicknessProperty = Target.GetType().GetProperty(PropertyName);
        var currentThickness = (Thickness)thicknessProperty.GetValue(Target, null);
        var nextThickness = new Thickness(
            CalculateThickness(Side.Left,  currentThickness.Left),
            CalculateThickness(Side.Top,  currentThickness.Top),
            CalculateThickness(Side.Right, currentThickness.Right),
            CalculateThickness(Side.Bottom, currentThickness.Bottom)
        thicknessProperty.SetValue(Target, nextThickness, null);

private double CalculateThickness(ThicknessAnimation.Side sideToCalculate, 
               double currentValue)
    return (Side & sideToCalculate) == sideToCalculate ? Value : currentValue;

Now you just have to use the wrapper in your XAML code, and animate it. As an example, I play an animation on the BorderThickness and on the Margin of my border.

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White">
        <Storyboard x:Key="animation">
            <DoubleAnimation Storyboard.TargetName="rectTopMargin" 
               Storyboard.TargetProperty="Value" From="0" 
               To="100" Duration="00:00:1"></DoubleAnimation>
            <DoubleAnimation Storyboard.TargetName="rectStrokeThickness" 
               Storyboard.TargetProperty="Value" From="0" 
               To="20" Duration="00:00:1"></DoubleAnimation>

    <local:ThicknessWrapper x:Name="rectTopMargin" 
       Target="{Binding ElementName=rect}" Side="Top" 
    <local:ThicknessWrapper x:Name="rectStrokeThickness" 
       Target="{Binding ElementName=rect}" Side="Left, Right" 

        <Button Content="Click to animate" Click="Button_Click"></Button>
        <Border x:Name="rect" HorizontalAlignment="Left" 
            BorderBrush="Black" VerticalAlignment="Top" 
            Background="Green" Height="50" Width="50"></Border>


I have not found an easier solution! Smile | :)


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


About the Author

Nicolas Dorier
Software Developer Freelance
France France
I am a trainer and a curious developer.
CEO of AO-IS, we created a tool to make IaaS on Azure more easy IaaS Management Studio.
If you are interested for working with me, for fun coding stuff, for freelance stuff, or interested in using our cloud training infrastructure freely for a kickass presentation for the dev community ? this way Smile | :)

Comments and Discussions

QuestionDoesn't seem to work in WinRT PinmemberMember 1146972021-Feb-15 17:33 
AnswerRe: Doesn't seem to work in WinRT PinprofessionalNicolas Dorier22-Feb-15 1:12 
GeneralRe: Doesn't seem to work in WinRT PinmemberMember 114697207-Mar-15 13:45 
QuestionThis is awesome! PinmemberpiXy^23-May-12 5:30 
GeneralThank you Pinmembercheburger8-Apr-11 0:19 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberkcsass17-Mar-11 23:01 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberkevin.keighran5-Aug-10 14:31 
GeneralMy vote of 3 PinmentorKunalChowdhury14-Jul-10 2:44 
GeneralRe: My vote of 3 PinmemberNicolas Dorier14-Jul-10 3:57 
GeneralThicknessAnimation PinmemberKodeur13-Jul-10 6:53 
GeneralRe: ThicknessAnimation PinmemberNicolas Dorier13-Jul-10 7:05 

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