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Formatting, XAML, Text Editor, Options Dialog Box

Use the Formatting property page to specify how elements and attributes are formatted in your XAML documents. To open the Options dialog box, click the Tools menu and then click Options. To access the Formatting property page, expand the Text Editor, XAML, Formatting node.


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 Visual Studio Settings.

Auto-formatting may occur when any of the following events is detected.

  • Completion of an end tag or simple tag.

  • Completion of a start tag.

  • Pasting from the clipboard.

  • Formatting keyboard commands.

You can specify which events cause auto-formatting.

On completion of end tag or simple tag

Auto-formatting occurs when you finish typing an end tag or a simple tag. A simple tag has no attributes, for example <Button />.

On completion of start tag

Auto-formatting occurs when you finish typing a start tag.

On paste from clipboard

Auto-formatting occurs when you paste XAML from the clipboard into XAML view.

This setting indicates whether attribute values are enclosed in single or double quotation marks. The auto-formatter and IntelliSense auto-completion both use this setting.

Once you set this option, only attributes subsequently added either using the designer or manually in the XAML view are affected.

Double quotes (")

Attribute values are enclosed in double quotes.

<Button Name="button1">Hello</Button>

Single quotes (')

Attribute values are enclosed in single quotes.

<Button Name='button1'>Hello</Button>

You can specify a line length for tag wrapping. When tag wrapping is enabled, any XAML subsequently added by using the designer will be wrapped appropriately.

Wrap tags that exceed specified length

Specifies whether lines are wrapped at the line length specified by Length.


The number of characters a line may contain. If necessary, some XAML lines might exceed the specified line length.

Use this setting to control how attributes are arranged in your XAML document

Preserve newlines and spaces between attributes

New lines and spaces between attributes are not affected by auto-formatting.

<Button Height="23"   Name="button1"


Insert a single space between attributes

Attributes occupy one line, with one space separating adjacent attributes. Tag wrapping settings are applied.

<Button Height="23" Name="button1" Width="75">Hello</Button>

Position each attribute on a separate line

Each attribute occupies its own line. This is useful when many attributes are present.





Position first attribute on same line as start tag

When checked, the first attribute appears on the same line as the element's start tag.

<Button Height="23"



Use this setting to control how elements are arranged in your XAML document

Preserve new lines in content

Empty lines in element content are not removed.




    <Button Name="button1">Hello</Button>



Collapse multiple empty lines in content to a single line

Empty lines in element content are collapsed to a single line.



    <Button Name="button1">Hello</Button>



Remove empty lines in content

All empty lines in element content are removed.


    <Button Name="button1">Hello</Button>


Use this setting to control when tags and quotes are automatically generated.

Closing tags

Specifies whether an element's closing tag is automatically generated when you close the opening tag with the ">" character.

Attribute quotes

Specifies whether enclosing quotes are generated when an attribute value is selected from the statement completion drop-down list.

Use this setting to control whether Design view appears when XAML documents are loaded.

Always open documents in full XAML view

Specifies whether XAML documents appear only in XAML view, without Design view. Useful for loading large documents.