Gets or sets the identifying name of the object. When a XAML processor creates the object tree from XAML markup, run-time code can refer to the XAML-declared object by this name.
The name of the object, which must be a string that is valid in the XamlName grammar (see table in x:Name reference). The default is an empty string.
The most common usage of this property is to specify the x:Name attribute for an object in XAML markup, or to read that value as it was set in markup. In most ways, the x:Name attribute and the Name property are equivalent. On any single element, the x:Name attribute and the Name property are mutually exclusive as XAML attributes; if you attempt to set both x:Name and Name on the same object element in markup, a parser error is thrown.
When you use the default Page build actions for XAML, any XAML element that has a x:Name or Name generates field references that are eventually populated by InitializeComponent when the XAML is loaded. The field references enable a programming model whereby objects can be directly referenced by name in your page-specific code-behind, once the XAML object tree is loaded into a page or app.
Names must be unique in a XAML namescope. Generally, the XAML namescope is defined by the XAML page, but certain features such as templates or calls to APIs such as XamlReader.Load can define separate XAML namescopes. For more info, see XAML namescopes.
Name should never be localized. Name is used as a field name variable in code-behind. Such code is typically inaccessible to the localizer who might otherwise have access to XAML files that define the UI, although this depends on your deployment model and localization procedures. This is one reason why you should not display any strings that come from Name in your app UI.
Setting x:Name or Name in the XAML that defines UI elements supports several major scenarios:
- Animation targeting To apply an animation to an object property, you must target a specific instance. You do that by setting the Storyboard.TargetName attached property on any Timeline. The value that you set here is the string that you assigned as the x:Name or Name. For more info, see Storyboarded animations.
- Parts of a control template In order to support the visual state model and control initialization, control authors should specify Name values for the key parts of a templated control. For more info see Quickstart: Control templates.
- General run time interaction For example, code within an event handler might handle an event on an object that provides the change UI, but the change to properties occurs on another nearby UI element. The easiest way to write code for this situation is to use the field reference generated from a Name.
The utility method FindName, which is available from any FrameworkElement, can find objects by name in the object tree as long as they are in the current XAML namescope. FindName searches the XAML-created object tree in its entirety. Technically, what FindName is actually searching is the XAML namescope, which does not preserve the tree metaphor and is instead represented as a hash table of names. FindName cannot find names that are defined in applied templates. To find items in applied templates, use VisualTreeHelper.GetChild to get the applied template root object. Then you can call FindName on that root object, and you will be searching the XAML namescope of the template rather than the greater page.
You cannot use the string value of Name as a direct source value for a data binding source. If you have to display the same string value as Name in UI with binding, you should replicate the same value to the Tag property, which can be used as a property binding source. Also don't use Name as a binding target.
You can set the value of Name for an object at run time, but there are some important considerations and limitations that you should be aware of.
Changing the value of Name in code at run time if the object had a previous Name value set in XAML is generally not recommended. This is because setting a name after the object tree is loaded will not create or change the identifying name of the equivalent field reference. If a field reference already exists because x:Name is provided in the initial markup, and you change the value of Name, the field and the name that you need to use to find the object through FindName are now different because the field remains as the markup-defined name.
Setting a Name value for an object that was created in code and therefore never had a XAML-defined Name value is appropriate for certain scenarios. One such scenario is if you want to be able to find either XAML-created or code-created objects in the tree by using FindName as the common utility function. In order to make that scenario work, the Windows Runtime continues to use and add to the XAML namescope hashtable representation at run time. If you are attempting to add new named objects to an existing largely XAML-created object tree, names must be unique, otherwise a duplicate name exception occurs. The duplicate name exception might not occur on the attempt to set Name. Until you attempt to add the duplicate-named object to the main object tree, the new object has its own self-contained XAML namescope. It is only at the moment that you connect the object to a larger object tree that the duplicate name condition can be detected. Or, the exception might occur on the operation that connected objects in the tree, for example on a call to the Add method of a collection that connects to the main object tree.
It can be difficult to know which Name values already exist in the XAML namescope that you will later add the new object to. There is no specific API that reports the full hashtable of existing names in a XAML namescope. If you set Name values in code extensively, you might need a technique for generating name strings that are unique to your run time usage, or you might need to wrap calls that add newly named objects in a try-catch block to catch the exceptions that could result from a duplicate name. Or you can add your own code to the InitializeComponent implementation that reads the XAML-generated name values.
Note that you can only set Name at run time for objects that are a FrameworkElement or an Inline. If an object does not have a Name property, and setting the name in XAML would have required using the x:Name attribute rather than Name, there is no run-time API available for setting such an object's run-time name.
This example gets a value for Name from an existing object, and uses that name to retarget an animation. You target an animation by setting the Storyboard.TargetName attached property.
Minimum supported client
Minimum supported server
|Windows Server 2012|
Minimum supported phone
|Windows Phone 8.1 [Windows Runtime apps only]|