Escaping curly braces in XAML code

Sometimes you want your user interface text contains a curly brace “{“. Unfortunately, the xaml parser will consider it as markup extension and will refuse to compile. For example, the below code will not compile and will give an error: The given key was not present in the dictionary.

TextBlock Text="{Username:"

In order to escape the curly brace, you need to add “{}” before your text brace as shown below:

TextBlock Text="{}{Username:"


How to detect if the user is shutting down or logging off in WPF application?

Withing WPF application, you can detect if the user is shutting down or logging off and thereby take some action like saving for example your project. In order to do so, you will need to register to the Application SessionEnding event.

Application.Current.SessionEnding +=new SessionEndingCancelEventHandler(Current_SessionEnding);

You can then use the SessionEndingCancelEventArgs.ReasonSessionEnding to know exactly the reason of the session ending, whether it was because of a shuttdown or logoff.

private void Current_SessionEnding(object sender, SessionEndingCancelEventArgs e)
  if (e.ReasonSessionEnding == ReasonSessionEnding.Logoff)
      MessageBox.Show("User Logged off the computer");
  else if (e.ReasonSessionEnding == ReasonSessionEnding.Shutdown)
      MessageBox.Show("User Shut down his machine");

How to Load XAML Files dynamically at runtime without compiling your WPF XAML code?

Sometimes, you need to add controls to your WPF window at runtime. This can be done easily within WPF application as it enables you to display uncompiled XAML code. The below example demonstrates this feature by loading a button at runtime from an XML file and wiring up a click event to it to display a message when clicked.

public Window1()

private void myButton_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
  MessageBox.Show("I have been clicked");

private void LoadRuntimeControls()
  //Load button from XML file
  FileStream fileStream = new FileStream(@"c:\RuntimeContent.xml", FileMode.Open);
  DependencyObject dependencyObject = XamlReader.Load(fileStream) as DependencyObject;
  this.Content = dependencyObject;

  //Find the button and wireup a click event
  Button myButton = LogicalTreeHelper.FindLogicalNode(dependencyObject, "btnOnTheFly") as Button;
  myButton.Click+=new RoutedEventHandler(myButton_Click);

Please note that loading XAML dynamically is not as efficient as compiling it. However, sometimes, it is necessary to load it dynamically at runtime.

How to refernce a Namespace in XAML code?

XAML has a special format for referncing namespaces. In order to refernce a  namespace that is not included in the default WPF namespace you will have to do it in the following format.


First, refernce the namespace in your code in the following format:


Second, use the your chosen prefix in declaring your objects in the following format:

< Prefix:YourObject …. / >


How to insert white spaces in your XAML property value?

XAML language is treated as XML, it ignores all white spaces. Therefore, if you need to add a value that contains white spaces at the end of it for some reason, it would be ignored. In order to overcome this problem you can use thexml:space=”preserve”  in your element declaration.

<Button x:Name="btn" xml:space="preserve">Click ME      </Button>

How to insert special characters content in XAML?

Suppose you want to have a button with that displays < Click Here >. Doing this the traditional way

<Button x:Name="btn"><Click Here></Button> 

will drive you to troubles becuase the XAML parser will think that you want to create an element called Click with an attribute called here. Therefore, you need to encode the special characters in your code.

Less than (<) &lt;

Greater than (>) &gt;

Quotation mark (“) &quot;

Ampersand (&) &amp;

Therefore, you will instead need to write your statement as follows:

<Button x:Name=”btn”> &lt;Click Here&gt; </Button>

Special Character Character Entity
Less than (<) &lt;
Greater than (>) &gt;
Ampersand (&) &amp;
Quotation mark (“) &quot

Want to set your XAML property value to an object?

Do you want to set your XAML property value to an object, the answer is Markup Extensions. Markup Extensions helps you set XAML property values to an object or may be dynamically at runtime.

For example, suppose you want to set the the Foreground property for a TextBlock control to the static property SystemColors.ActiveCaptionBrush. You can achieve this through the code behind through the following statement:

textBlock.Foreground = SystemColors.ActiveCaptionBrush;

Alternatively, you can do this through the XAML editor directly using the following statement:

< TextBlock x:Name="textBlock" Foreground="{x:Static SystemColors.ActiveCaptionBrush}" / >

Markup extensions is used through the syntax {MarkupExtensionClass Argument}. In this case, the
markup extension was a StaticExtension class, SystemColors.

MarkupExtension must be enclosed within braces { }