How to: Create a WPF UserControl Library Project

To combine the functionality of one or more Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) controls with custom code, you can create a user control, also known as a composite control. User controls combine rapid control development, standard WPF control functionality, and the versatility of custom properties and methods. When you begin creating a user control, you are presented with a visual designer, upon which you can place standard WPF controls. The child controls are known as constituent controls.

These constituent controls retain all their inherent functionality, as well as the appearance and behavior (look and feel) of standard WPF controls. Once these controls are built into the user control, however, they are no longer available to you through code. The user control does its own painting and also handles all the basic functionality associated with controls.

NoteNote

The dialog boxes and menu commands you see might differ from those described in Help depending on your active settings or edition. To change your settings, choose Import and Export Settings on the Tools menu. For more information, see Working with Settings.

To create a WPF User Control project

  1. Start Visual Studio 2010.

  2. On the File menu, point to New, and then select Project.

    The New Project dialog box appears.

  3. In the Installed Templates pane, expand Visual Basic or Visual C# and then select Windows.

  4. Set the .NET Framework version drop-down list to a version that supports WPF, such as the .NET Framework 4.

  5. In the list of templates, select WPF User Control Library.

  6. In the Name text box, name the project something unique to indicate the control's purpose.

  7. In the Location text box, specify a location to save your project.

  8. Click OK.

    The WPF Designer for Visual Studio opens, showing UserControl1 of the project you created.

    Visual Basic noteVisual Basic Note

    Every executable file that you create with Visual Basic 2005 contains a namespace with the same name as your project. For more information, see Namespaces in Visual Basic.

  9. Drag controls from the Toolbox onto your user control.

    These controls should be positioned and designed as you want them to appear in the final user control. If you want to allow developers to access the constituent controls, you must declare them as public, or selectively expose properties of the constituent control.

    NoteNote

    To display your user control in the Toolbox, check the Automatically populate toolbox items setting. For more information, see Formatting, XAML, Text Editor, Options Dialog Box.

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