How to: Create a PathGeometry Animation for Text

You can convert formatted text to a PathGeometry object, and use the object for highlighting the text. For example, you could apply an animation to the PathGeometry object so that the animation follows the outline of the formatted text.

The following example shows formatted text that has been converted to a PathGeometry object. An animated ellipse follows the outline, or strokes, of the rendered text.

Example of formatted text rendered as a geometry with an animated highlight

Sphere following the path geometry of text

The following code example uses a Path object to display the geometry of the formatted text. The Path object can draw closed or open shapes, multiple shapes, and curved shapes. An animated Ellipse is created that will follow the outline, or strokes, of the formatted text.


<!-- Top-left starting point should be half the width of the ellipse so the text strokes align to the center of circle. -->
<Path 
  Canvas.Top="15" 
  Canvas.Left="15" 
  Stroke="SteelBlue"
  StrokeThickness="3" 
  Fill="LightSteelBlue" 
  Name="path" />

<Ellipse
  Canvas.Top="0" 
  Canvas.Left="0"
  Width="30"
  Height="30">

  <Ellipse.Fill>
    <RadialGradientBrush GradientOrigin="0.5,0.5" Center="0.5,0.5" RadiusX="0.5" RadiusY="0.5">
      <RadialGradientBrush.GradientStops>
        <GradientStop Color="Yellow" Offset="0.25" />
        <GradientStop Color="Transparent" Offset="1" />
      </RadialGradientBrush.GradientStops>
    </RadialGradientBrush>
  </Ellipse.Fill>

  <Ellipse.RenderTransform>
    <MatrixTransform />
  </Ellipse.RenderTransform>
  <Ellipse.Triggers>
    <EventTrigger RoutedEvent="FrameworkElement.Loaded">
      <EventTrigger.Actions>
      <BeginStoryboard>
        <Storyboard x:Name="storyboard">
          <MatrixAnimationUsingPath 
            x:Name="matrixAnimation"
            Duration="0:00:40"
            RepeatBehavior="Forever"
            Storyboard.TargetProperty="RenderTransform.Matrix" />
        </Storyboard>
      </BeginStoryboard>
      </EventTrigger.Actions>
    </EventTrigger>
  </Ellipse.Triggers>
</Ellipse>


The following code example shows how to create a PathGeometry object. The object is assigned to the Data property of a Path object, which renders the converted formatted text as a geometry. The PathGeometry object is then assigned to the PathGeometry property of a MatrixAnimationUsingPath object, which provides the path for the animated ellipse to follow.


// Display the text string and animate the ellipse to trace the text character outlines.
public void DisplayText(string textToDisplay)
{
    // Create a formatted text string.
    FormattedText formattedText = new FormattedText(
        textToDisplay,
        CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("en-us"),
        FlowDirection.LeftToRight,
        new Typeface("Verdana"),
        96,
        System.Windows.Media.Brushes.Black);

    // Set the font weight to Bold for the formatted text.
    formattedText.SetFontWeight(FontWeights.Bold);

    // Build a geometry out of the formatted text.
    Geometry geometry = formattedText.BuildGeometry(new System.Windows.Point(0, 0));

    // Create a set of polygons by flattening the Geometry object.
    PathGeometry pathGeometry = geometry.GetFlattenedPathGeometry();

    // Supply the empty Path element in XAML with the PathGeometry in order to render the polygons.
    path.Data = pathGeometry;

    // Use the PathGeometry for the matrix animation,
    // allowing the ellipse to follow the path of the polygons.
    matrixAnimation.PathGeometry = pathGeometry;
}


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