#1,139 – Value Converter Example for Input

The ConvertBack method of a value converter is used to convert from a binding target (e.g. the attribute of a control) to a binding source (e.g. a property).  Below is a simple example, showing how we can convert from a Slider value to the square root of the selected value.

In XAML, we have a Slider that ranges from 1-100 and binds to a property that is meant to store the square root of the selected value.  We specify a binding Mode to indicate that binding should only map from the target (the Value property) to the source (the SqRootValue property) and not in the other direction.  We then include labels that bind to the Slider’s Value property as well as the SqRootValue property.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.MainWindow"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        xmlns:sys="clr-namespace:System;assembly=mscorlib"
        xmlns:local="clr-namespace:WpfApplication1"
        Title="Value Converter" SizeToContent="WidthAndHeight">

    <Window.Resources>
        <local:IntToRootConverter x:Key="intToRootConverter"/>
    </Window.Resources>

    <StackPanel Margin="15">
        <Slider x:Name="slider" Minimum="1" Maximum="100"
                IsSnapToTickEnabled="True"
                Value="{Binding Path=SqRootValue,
                                Converter={StaticResource intToRootConverter},
                                Mode=OneWayToSource}"/>
        <Label Content="{Binding ElementName=slider, Path=Value}"/>
        <Label Content="{Binding SqRootValue}"/>
    </StackPanel>
</Window>

The code-behind is straightforward.

    public partial class MainWindow : Window, INotifyPropertyChanged
    {
        public MainWindow()
        {
            this.DataContext = this;
            InitializeComponent();
        }

        public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged = delegate { };

        protected virtual void OnPropertyChanged(string prop)
        {
            PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(prop));
        }

        private double sqRootValue;
        public double SqRootValue
        {
            get { return sqRootValue; }
            set
            {
                if (sqRootValue != value)
                {
                    sqRootValue = value;
                    OnPropertyChanged("SqRootValue");
                }
            }
        }
    }

In the value converter, we just take the square root of the current value, calculating the result in ConvertBack.

    public class IntToRootConverter : IValueConverter
    {
        public object Convert(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        {
            throw new NotImplementedException();
        }

        // Convert from int (target of binding) to double representing square root (source of binding)
        public object ConvertBack(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        {
            double root = Math.Sqrt((double)value);
            return root;
        }
    }

At run-time:

1139-001

#1,137 – Value Converter Basics

A value converter is a class that knows how to convert data as part of the data binding process.  It can convert data in two directions:

  • From the data type of a bound property to the data type required by the attribute that is binding to the property (output)
  • From the data type of an attribute to the data type of a bound property (input)

A value converter implements the IValueConverter interface.  IValueConverter.Convert is used for output, converting from a bound property value to the type required by an attribute.  For example, you might have a integer property that you bind to and use in setting the background color of a particular control.

IValueConverter.ConvertBack is used for input, converting from an attribute’s value to a bound property.

#635 – Using a Value Converter to Change User Input

Instead of modifying user input by handling the TextChanged event, you can use a value converter to change the text input.  Below, we bind the Text property of a TextBox to a string property and specify a converter, which will convert vowels to uppercase.

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication9.MainWindow"
        xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
        xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
        xmlns:local="clr-namespace:WpfApplication9"
        Title="TextChanged"
        Height="150" Width="400">

    <Window.Resources>
        <ResourceDictionary>
            <local:CapVowelsConverter x:Key="capVowelsConverter"/>
        </ResourceDictionary>
    </Window.Resources>

    <StackPanel Orientation="Vertical">
        <TextBox HorizontalAlignment="Center" Width="150" Margin="10"
                 Text="{Binding Path=MyText, Converter={StaticResource capVowelsConverter}, UpdateSourceTrigger=PropertyChanged}"/>
        <Button Content="What Is My Text?" HorizontalAlignment="Center" Margin="10" Click="Button_Click"/>
    </StackPanel>
</Window>

Here’s the code for the value converter:

    public class CapVowelsConverter : IValueConverter
    {
        // From bound property TO the control -- no conversion
        public object Convert(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        {
            return value;
        }

        // To bound property FROM the control -- capitalize vowels
        public object ConvertBack(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        {
            string input = (string)value;

            const string vowels = "aeiou";

            StringBuilder sbInput = new StringBuilder(input);
            for (int i = 0; i < sbInput.Length; i++)
            {
                if (vowels.Contains(char.ToLowerInvariant(sbInput[i])))
                    sbInput[i] = char.ToUpper(sbInput[i]);
            }

            return sbInput.ToString();
        }
    }