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Posted 24 Dec 2010

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If Your Custom WPF Control Just Would Not Show Up

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27 Dec 2010Apache
If your custom WPF control just would not show up

Story in a nutshell – my custom control was not visible. Reason: we defined default style for the control in our own resource dictionary, which was merged into application resources. It worked fine until we wanted to redefine the style locally in one of the controls.

<!-- default style -->
<Style TargetType="{x:Type MyControl}">
   <Setter Property="Template">

   <!-- local style -->
   <Style TargetType={x:Type MyControl}">
       <Setter Property="Background" Value="Blue" />

If your default style is defined in generic.xaml, WPF will merge local style with default style. If your default style is defined elsewhere, local style will completely override the default style. In this case, if local style does not define a control template, your control will end up without a template and thus will not be rendered. That is, you can snoop it, smell it, get its coordinates, make sure IsVisible is true, but it won’t show up.

Possible fixes are (in order of cleanness):

  • Move default style to generic.xaml
  • Remove local style so default style is not overridden
  • Add control template definition to the local style
This article was originally posted at


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Apache License, Version 2.0

Written By
Technical Lead Thomson Reuters
United States United States
Ivan is a hands-on software architect/technical lead working for Thomson Reuters in the New York City area. At present I am mostly building complex multi-threaded WPF application for the financial sector, but I am also interested in cloud computing, web development, mobile development, etc.

Please visit my web site:

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