#1,040 – An Example of Dependency Property Inheritance

One of the attributes of dependency properties in WPF is that they support inheritance of property values within a tree of user interface elements.  Controls (dependency objects) within the tree that make use of a particular dependency property can set a property value locally or retrieve a value from an element higher up in the tree.  The local value takes precedence over the inherited value and then in turn applies to all elements “further down”.

(There are a number of other places from which a dependency property can get its value).

Below is an example.  FontSize is set to 20 for the top-level Window.  This value is use for lower-level elements unless they set their own value.  The GroupBox sets FontSize to 14, which then applies to it and elements under it.  Within the GroupBox, the second Label sets its own value for FontSize.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.MainWindow"
        Title="Dependency Properties" 
        Width="280" Height="252"

    <StackPanel Name="spOuter" 
        <Label Name="lbl1" Content="Label 1"/>
        <Label Name="lbl2" Content="Label 2"/>
        <GroupBox Name="gb1" Header="Stuff" FontSize="14">
            <StackPanel Name="spInner" Orientation="Horizontal">
                <Label Name="lbl3" Content="Label 3"/>
                <Label Name="lbl4" Content="Label 4" FontSize="10"/>
        <Button Name="btn1" Content="I'm a Button"
                            Padding="10,5" HorizontalAlignment="Center"

See this post for another example of dependency property inheritance.


#144 – Dependency Property Value Sources: #10 – Inheritance

The tenth source in the list of sources for the base value of a dependency property is inheritance.  A property can get its base value through inheritance if an element higher up in the logical tree sets the property and the property is not overwritten due to a higher precedence rule.

This means that when you set a property value in XAML or in code, that value often “trickles down” the element tree and is applied to other elements that have a property of the same name.

Here’s an example. The value of FontStyle for several controls is inherited from the top-level Window element.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.MainWindow"
        Title="MainWindow" Height="350" Width="525" FontStyle="Italic">
    <StackPanel Orientation="Vertical">
        <Button Content="Run" Height="23" Width="75" />
        <Button Content="Skip" Height="23" Width="75" />
        <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
            <Label Content="Inside 2nd StackPanel"/>
            <Label Content="I do my own FontStyle" FontStyle="Normal"/>

Here’s what the window looks like: