#1,203 – Create a Reusable Group of Elements with a ContentPresenter

There are several ways to achieve reuse in WPF. You can create a reusable control by creating shared data and control templates for a single type of control. You can also create custom controls, providing custom code and layout.

One simple way to reuse a group of controls is by using a ContentPresenter with a reusable ContentTemplate.

In the example below, we have a small grid displaying a person’s name and address. To use this set of controls in multiple places in an application, we place them in a DataTemplate and then use a ContentPresenter wherever we want the set of controls to appear.

The DataTemplate is defined in the resources section for a window. The main body of the Window includes two instances of the set of controls. Note that we need to set the Content of each ContentPresenter to the bound data context of the window. Not shown here, but assumed, is that our Window is bound to an object having MyName and Address properties.

    <Window.Resources>
        <DataTemplate x:Key="MyGridContentTemplate">
            <Grid Margin="8">
                <Grid.RowDefinitions>
                    <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                    <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                </Grid.RowDefinitions>
                <Grid.ColumnDefinitions>
                    <ColumnDefinition Width="Auto"/>
                    <ColumnDefinition/>
                </Grid.ColumnDefinitions>

                <TextBlock Text="Your name is:"/>
                <TextBlock Grid.Column="1" Margin="8,0,0,0"
                           FontWeight="Bold"
                           Text="{Binding MyName}"/>

                <TextBlock Grid.Row="1" Text="Your address is:"/>
                <TextBlock Grid.Row="1" Grid.Column="1" Margin="8,0,0,0"
                           FontWeight="Bold"
                           Text="{Binding Address}"/>
            </Grid>
        </DataTemplate>
    </Window.Resources>
    
    <Grid Margin="10">
        <Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <RowDefinition Height="*"/>
            <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
            <RowDefinition Height="*"/>
        </Grid.RowDefinitions>

        <ContentPresenter Grid.Row="0" ContentTemplate="{StaticResource MyGridContentTemplate}" Content="{Binding}"/>
        
        <Separator Grid.Row="1"/>

        <ContentPresenter Grid.Row="2" ContentTemplate="{StaticResource MyGridContentTemplate}" Content="{Binding}"/>
    </Grid>

Here’s what the application looks like at run-time:

About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about software development and sailing.

4 Responses to #1,203 – Create a Reusable Group of Elements with a ContentPresenter

  1. Pingback: Dew Drop - April 3, 2017 (#2454) - Morning Dew

  2. Murat says:

    I am newbie. I follow your articles to understand wpf. I wanna ask:
    Assume this DataTemplate contains a button, and data template is declared in a resource dictionary . How to declare the Button’s Click event and consume it ?

    • Sean says:

      You could do some gymnastics to add the handler in your code-behind, after the template is applied. But this isn’t really the right way to handle a click in WPF and using the MVVM paradigm. Better is to define a command in your ViewModel and wire the Click to the command. In general, you want to avoid wiring up events like Click to code in code behind. See this article for a deeper discussion of this – https://www.codemag.com/Article/1505101/XAML-Anti-Patterns-Code-Behind

  3. Murat says:

    Thanks

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