#1,086 – Defining a Key Binding in XAML

You define a KeyBinding object to bind a key gesture (i.e. keypress) to a particular command.  You can do this in code by creating a KeyBinding instance and adding it to an UI elements InputBindings collection.

You can also define a key binding in XAML, as shown below.  You use a <KeyBinding> element for each key binding.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.MainWindow"
        Title="Commands" Width="320" Height="220">

        <CommandBinding Command="ApplicationCommands.Open"
        <KeyBinding Command="ApplicationCommands.Open"


Here is the code-behind, containing methods for Executed and CanExecute.

        public void Executed_Open(object sender, ExecutedRoutedEventArgs e)
            MessageBox.Show("Executing the Open command");

        public void CanExecute_Open(object sender, CanExecuteRoutedEventArgs e)
            e.CanExecute = true;

#1,085 – Input Bindings Don’t Require that Element Binds to Command

When binding a routed command in WPF to a user interface element, you typically do the following:

  • Create a CommandBinding instance that associates a command to executable code
  • Add the CommandBinding to the element’s CommandBindings collection (typically belonging to the top-level window)
  • Set the Command property of an individual user interface element to refer to the Command

When you define InputBindings, you must perform the first two steps listed above.  You do not have to set the Command property of any user interface element in order for the input binding to work.

Consider the following example:

  • We bind a command to some code by creating a CommandBinding
  • We add the CommandBinding to a window’s CommandBindings collection
  • We define a KeyBinding for the same command and add to window’s InputBindings

We can now execute the command using the key, even though we didn’t set the Command property for any UI element.

#1,084 – A KeyBinding Binds a Command to a Key

A user interface element has a CommandBindings collection containing command binding objects that indicate which commands are supported for the element and the code that the command is bound to.

User interface elements also have an InputBindings collection that contains KeyBinding and MouseBinding instances, each of which maps keyboard or mouse input to a command that is also present in the CommandBindings collection.

In the code below, we wire up the Open command for both key (Ctrl+O) and mouse (Ctrl+Left Click) input.

        public MainWindow()
            this.DataContext = this;

            this.CommandBindings.Add(new CommandBinding(ApplicationCommands.Open,
               (sender, e) => { MessageBox.Show("Executing the Open command"); },
               (sender, e) => { e.CanExecute = CanOpenIsChecked; }));

            // Ctrl+O = Open
            this.InputBindings.Add(new KeyBinding(ApplicationCommands.Open,
                new KeyGesture(Key.O, ModifierKeys.Control)));

            // Ctrl+Left Mouse Click = Open
            this.InputBindings.Add(new MouseBinding(ApplicationCommands.Open,
                new MouseGesture(MouseAction.LeftClick, ModifierKeys.Control)));

We can now use either form of input to execute the Open command.