#766 – WPF Data Binding Ignores Custom Formatting

You can get the WPF data binding engine to respect the current locale, as specified in the Region applet, by setting the Language property of a FrameworkElement to the language tag that is part of the CurrentCulture property.

Doing this allows you to set up the proper locale in a single line of code and data binding will use the correct rules for formatting dates and floating point numbers for the appropriate language.

This mechanism won’t, however, honor any custom formatting that you specify in the Region applet.  A custom format is anything that you change from the defaults in the Region applet.

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If you want the data binding engine to completely respect all of the settings chosen in the Region applet, you can set the ConverterCulture property to the CurrentCulture, for each binding.

        <TextBlock Text="{Binding BoundDate, ConverterCulture={x:Static glob:CultureInfo.CurrentCulture}}"/>

The glob namespace points to System.Globalization.

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#763 – The Difference Between CurrentCulture and CurrentUICulture

In a WPF application, you have access to two properties that give you information about the user’s culture and language.  They are both properties of a Thread object, which you can access via Thread.CurrentThread.

  • CurrentCulture – Tells you the user’s current locale, as set in the Region applet.  I.e.: Where is the user located?
  • CurrentUICulture – Tells you the native language of the version of Windows that is installed.  I.e.: What language does the user speak?

The user can change CurrentCulture using the Region applet.  It’s used to determine formatting for numeric and date/time strings.

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The user normally can’t change CurrentUICulture without re-installing Windows.  It’s used to know what language to use when displaying text in your application.  (I.e. Which resource files to load).

            CultureInfo ci = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;
            lblCurrentCulture.Content = string.Format("CurrentCulture = {0} - {1}", ci.Name, ci.DisplayName);

            ci = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture;
            lblCurrentUICulture.Content = string.Format("CurrentUICulture = {0} - {1}", ci.Name, ci.DisplayName);

For example, someone in England might see:
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