No output to console from a WPF application?


Question

I'm using Console.WriteLine() from a very simple WPF test application, but when I execute the application from the command line, I'm seeing nothing being written to the console. Does anyone know what might be going on here?

I can reproduce it by creating a WPF application in VS 2008, and simply adding Console.WriteLine("text") anywhere that get executed. Any ideas?

All I need for right now is something as simple as Console.WriteLine(). I realize I could use log4net or somet other logging solution, but I really don't need that much functionality for this application.

Edit: I should have remembered that Console.WriteLine() is for console applications. Oh well, no stupid questions, right? :-) I'll just use System.Diagnostics.Trace.WriteLine() and DebugView for now.

1
97
4/6/2009 2:04:38 AM

Accepted Answer

You'll have to create a Console window manually before you actually call any Console.Write methods. That will init the Console to work properly without changing the project type (which for WPF application won't work).

Here's a complete source code example, of how a ConsoleManager class might look like, and how it can be used to enable/disable the Console, independently of the project type.

With the following class, you just need to write ConsoleManager.Show() somewhere before any call to Console.Write...

[SuppressUnmanagedCodeSecurity]
public static class ConsoleManager
{
    private const string Kernel32_DllName = "kernel32.dll";

    [DllImport(Kernel32_DllName)]
    private static extern bool AllocConsole();

    [DllImport(Kernel32_DllName)]
    private static extern bool FreeConsole();

    [DllImport(Kernel32_DllName)]
    private static extern IntPtr GetConsoleWindow();

    [DllImport(Kernel32_DllName)]
    private static extern int GetConsoleOutputCP();

    public static bool HasConsole
    {
        get { return GetConsoleWindow() != IntPtr.Zero; }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Creates a new console instance if the process is not attached to a console already.
    /// </summary>
    public static void Show()
    {
        //#if DEBUG
        if (!HasConsole)
        {
            AllocConsole();
            InvalidateOutAndError();
        }
        //#endif
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// If the process has a console attached to it, it will be detached and no longer visible. Writing to the System.Console is still possible, but no output will be shown.
    /// </summary>
    public static void Hide()
    {
        //#if DEBUG
        if (HasConsole)
        {
            SetOutAndErrorNull();
            FreeConsole();
        }
        //#endif
    }

    public static void Toggle()
    {
        if (HasConsole)
        {
            Hide();
        }
        else
        {
            Show();
        }
    }

    static void InvalidateOutAndError()
    {
        Type type = typeof(System.Console);

        System.Reflection.FieldInfo _out = type.GetField("_out",
            System.Reflection.BindingFlags.Static | System.Reflection.BindingFlags.NonPublic);

        System.Reflection.FieldInfo _error = type.GetField("_error",
            System.Reflection.BindingFlags.Static | System.Reflection.BindingFlags.NonPublic);

        System.Reflection.MethodInfo _InitializeStdOutError = type.GetMethod("InitializeStdOutError",
            System.Reflection.BindingFlags.Static | System.Reflection.BindingFlags.NonPublic);

        Debug.Assert(_out != null);
        Debug.Assert(_error != null);

        Debug.Assert(_InitializeStdOutError != null);

        _out.SetValue(null, null);
        _error.SetValue(null, null);

        _InitializeStdOutError.Invoke(null, new object[] { true });
    }

    static void SetOutAndErrorNull()
    {
        Console.SetOut(TextWriter.Null);
        Console.SetError(TextWriter.Null);
    }
} 
90
4/5/2009 7:14:31 AM

Right click on the project, "Properties", "Application" tab, change "Output Type" to "Console Application", and then it will also have a console.


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