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ControlTemplate Class

Specifies the visual structure and behavioral aspects of a Control that can be shared across multiple instances of the control.

Namespace: System.Windows.Controls
Assembly: PresentationFramework (in presentationframework.dll)
XML Namespace:  http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation

[LocalizabilityAttribute(LocalizationCategory.None, Readability=Readability.Unreadable)] 
public class ControlTemplate : FrameworkTemplate
/** @attribute LocalizabilityAttribute(LocalizationCategory.None, Readability=Readability.Unreadable) */ 
public class ControlTemplate extends FrameworkTemplate
LocalizabilityAttribute(LocalizationCategory.None, Readability=Readability.Unreadable) 
public class ControlTemplate extends FrameworkTemplate
<ControlTemplate>
  VisualTree
</ControlTemplate>

The ControlTemplate allows you to specify the visual structure of a control. The control author can define the default ControlTemplate and the application author can override the ControlTemplate to reconstruct the visual structure of the control.

Control templating is one of the many features offered by the WPF styling and templating model. The styling and templating model provides you with such great flexibility that in many cases you do not need to write your own controls. If you are an application author that wants to change the visualization of your control or to replace the ControlTemplate of an existing control, see the Styling and Templating topic for examples and an in-depth discussion.

If you are writing your own control, see Create a Custom Control in the Control Authoring Overview.

A ControlTemplate is intended to be a self-contained unit of implementation detail that is invisible to outside users and objects, including styles. The only way to manipulate the content of the control template is from within the same control template.

The following shows a Button Style that sets the ControlTemplate of a Button:

<Style TargetType="Button">
  <!--Set to true to not get any properties from the themes.-->
  <Setter Property="OverridesDefaultStyle" Value="True"/>
  <Setter Property="Template">
    <Setter.Value>
      <ControlTemplate TargetType="Button">
        <Grid>
          <Ellipse Fill="{TemplateBinding Background}"/>
          <ContentPresenter HorizontalAlignment="Center"
                            VerticalAlignment="Center"/>
        </Grid>
      </ControlTemplate>
    </Setter.Value>
  </Setter>
</Style>

When this gets applied, the Button appears as an Ellipse:

Button ControlTemplate sample

When you set the Template property of a Control to a new ControlTemplate as in the above example, you are replacing the entire template. What the Button looks like when it is in focus or pressed is all part of the default appearance of the button that you are replacing. Therefore, depending on your needs, you may want to put in your definition what your button should look like when it is pressed, and so on, as in the following example:

<Style TargetType="Button">
  <Setter Property="SnapsToDevicePixels" Value="true"/>
  <Setter Property="OverridesDefaultStyle" Value="true"/>
  <Setter Property="FocusVisualStyle" Value="{StaticResource ButtonFocusVisual}"/>
  <Setter Property="MinHeight" Value="23"/>
  <Setter Property="MinWidth" Value="75"/>
  <Setter Property="Template">
    <Setter.Value>
      <ControlTemplate TargetType="Button">
        <Border 
          x:Name="Border"  
          CornerRadius="2" 
          BorderThickness="1"
          Background="{StaticResource NormalBrush}"
          BorderBrush="{StaticResource NormalBorderBrush}">
          <ContentPresenter 
            Margin="2"
            HorizontalAlignment="Center"
            VerticalAlignment="Center"
            RecognizesAccessKey="True"/>
        </Border>
        <ControlTemplate.Triggers>
          <Trigger Property="IsKeyboardFocused" Value="true">
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="BorderBrush" Value="{StaticResource DefaultedBorderBrush}" />
          </Trigger>
          <Trigger Property="IsDefaulted" Value="true">
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="BorderBrush" Value="{StaticResource DefaultedBorderBrush}" />
          </Trigger>
          <Trigger Property="IsMouseOver" Value="true">
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="Background" Value="{StaticResource DarkBrush}" />
          </Trigger>
          <Trigger Property="IsPressed" Value="true">
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="Background" Value="{StaticResource PressedBrush}" />
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="BorderBrush" Value="{StaticResource PressedBorderBrush}" />
          </Trigger>
          <Trigger Property="IsEnabled" Value="false">
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="Background" Value="{StaticResource DisabledBackgroundBrush}" />
            <Setter TargetName="Border" Property="BorderBrush" Value="{StaticResource DisabledBorderBrush}" />
            <Setter Property="Foreground" Value="{StaticResource DisabledForegroundBrush}"/>
          </Trigger>
        </ControlTemplate.Triggers>
      </ControlTemplate>
    </Setter.Value>
  </Setter>
</Style>

Note that this example references resources that are not shown here. For the complete sample, see Styling with ControlTemplates Sample. That sample provides examples of control templates for many controls and is the best way for you to get started with creating control templates.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0
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