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Lesson 31 - WPF - Menu and Dialog Controls

In the previous lesson, WPF - Data Displaying Controls, we went through WPF data displaying controls. In today's WPF tutorial, we're going to take a look at menus and dialogs.

Menu Controls

One of the other WPF controls are controls to create menus. Those controls are:

  • Menu
  • MenuItem

Menu

The Menu control, together with the MenuItem, is used to create a collapsible menu, the application menu right below the window title bar. This control can be in the form only once, and is created similarly as TreeView - by nesting MenuItem controls into each other.

Menus in C# .NET WPF

The element structure in XAML has the <Menu> tag at the beginning, and of course ends with the </Menu> tag. In between them, the individual menu options are defined using the <MenuItem> tag. Those then have a handler method assigned. In the header of each MenuItem there's a text in which we can use underscores to define the "hot key", which is a key shortcut. Individual options can then be selected by pressing the Alt key together with the "hot key" (the corresponding character on the keyboard). The header can even contain e.g. a picture, a check box, etc. (see the MenuPreview project).

Properties

  • Items - the item collection
  • ItemsSource - the data source (we can assign an existing collection)
  • Header - header of the option (text, method reference, Image, ...)

Events

  • Click - the assigned method is called when the option is clicked

Example

XAML
<Menu BorderBrush="Black" Background="Transparent"
    FontFamily="Tahoma" Foreground="WhiteSmoke" FontSize="14">
    <MenuItem Header="_File">
        <MenuItem Header="_New file..." Click="NewFile"
            Foreground="Black">
            <MenuItem.Icon>
                <Image Source="Img/new.png" Height="16" Width="16" />
            </MenuItem.Icon>
        </MenuItem>
    . . .
 </Menu>
C#

The Click event:

private void NewFile(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    MessageBox.Show("The New file option was selected");
}

Dialogs

The following dialogs are part of the predefined controls:

  • MessageBox
  • OpenFileDialog
  • SaveFileDialog

MessageBox

This dialog can be used as an information or decision to control the application. In the dialog window we can ask, for example, if the selected item is to be deleted, and to run the appropriate methods when clicking Yes or No.

MessageBox dialog in C# .NET WPF

Properties

No important properties.

Methods

  • Show() - Displays the dialog. This method returns the value of the selected option (of the MessageBoxResult type). Various methods can then be called based on the return value. The Show() method has the following parameters:
    • messageBoxText - Any information, notification, or request. This text is required.
    • caption - The title of the dialog.

The Show() method has several overloads, allowing us to specify other parameters, such as:

  • MessageBoxButton - displayed buttons
    • OK
    • OKCancel
    • YesNo
    • YesNoCancel
  • MessageBoxImage - displayed icon of the dialog
    • Asterisk
    • Error
    • Exclamation
    • Hand
    • Information
    • None
    • Question
    • Stop
    • Warning
  • MessageBoxResult - the return value
    • Cancel
    • No
    • None
    • OK
    • Yes
  • MessageBoxOptions - sets the appearance of the dialog window. The following values are quite interesting:
    • RightAlign - the text of the dialog is aligned to the right side
    • RtlReading - swaps positions of the dialog window controls. This means that the title is located on the right, the window close button and the entered text on the left, the selected icon on the right, and all the option buttons are reversed.

Example

Dialogs are opened only from C# code.

C#
private void Show(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
   MessageBoxResult status = MessageBox.Show("Sample text.", "Title",
      MessageBoxButton.YesNoCancel,
      MessageBoxImage.Information,
      MessageBoxResult.Cancel);

   switch (status)
   {
      case MessageBoxResult.None:
         // sample code
         break;
      case MessageBoxResult.OK:
         // sample code
         break;
      case MessageBoxResult.Cancel:
         // sample code
         break;
      case MessageBoxResult.Yes:
         // sample code
         break;
     case MessageBoxResult.No:
         // sample code
         break;
     default:
         break;
   }
}

OpenFileDialog

This dialog is the same as the Windows Explorer and is used to select a file.

Properties

The most important properties are:

  • FileName - returns the name of the selected file
  • Filter - filters the displayed files. The filter consists of the descriptive part and the corresponding file extension, separated by a vertical bar character | (see the Example)
  • InitialDirectory - sets the initial directory the dialog should open

Example

C#

The following example shows how to load file contents into a RichTextBox. The control is named rtbxFile:

private void DialogOpen(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
   OpenFileDialog file = new OpenFileDialog();
   soubor.Filter = "Text files (*.txt;*rtf)|*.txt;*rtf";
   if (file.ShowDialog() == true)
   {
      rtbxFile.Document.Blocks.Clear();
      FileStream fileStream = new FileStream(file.FileName, FileMode.Open);
      TextRange range = new TextRange(rtbxFile.Document.ContentStart,rtbxFile.Document.ContentEnd);
      FileInfo fi = new FileInfo(file.FileName);
      string suffix = fi.Extension.ToUpper();
      if (suffix.Equals(".TXT"))
      {
         range.Load(fileStream, DataFormats.Text);
      }

      if (suffix.Equals(".RTF"))
      {
         range.Load(fileStream, DataFormats.Rtf);
      }

      if (!(suffix.Equals(".HTML") || suffix.Equals(".TXT")))
      {
         MessageBox.Show("This file format is not supported.", "Warning",
         MessageBoxButton.OK, MessageBoxImage.Warning, MessageBoxResult.OK);
      }
   }
   else
   {
      MessageBox.Show("Cancel was clicked");
   }
}

SaveFileDialog

This dialog is also the same as the Windows Explorer and is used to save a file.

Properties

The most important properties are:

  • FileName - the name of the selected file
  • Filter - the filter for the displayed files. The filter consists of the descriptive part and the corresponding file extension again, separated by a vertical bar character | (see Example)
  • InitialDirectory - sets the initial directory the dialog opens

Example

C#

The following example shows how to save text from a RichTextBox into a file. The control is named rtbxFile:

private void DialogSave(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
{
   SaveFileDialog file = new SaveFileDialog();
   file.Filter = "TXT file (*.txt)|*.txt|RTF file (*.rtf)|*.rtf";
   if (file.ShowDialog() == true)
   {
      FileStream fileStream = new FileStream(file.FileName, FileMode.Create);
      TextRange range = new TextRange(rtbxFile.Document.ContentStart, rtbxFile.Document.ContentEnd);
      range.Save(fileStream, DataFormats.Text);
   }
   else
   {
      MessageBox.Show("Cancel was clicked");
   }
}

Note: An example of directory selection is also included in the project attached below.

In the next lesson, WPF - Container Controls, the container controls are waiting for us.


 

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