How to make a ListBox.ItemTemplate reusable/generic


Question

I am trying to understand how best to extend the ListBox control. As a learning experience, I wanted to build a ListBox whose ListBoxItems display a CheckBox instead of just text. I got that working in a basic fashion using the ListBox.ItemTemplate, explicitly setting the names of the properties I wanted to databind to. An example is worth a thousand words, so...

I've got a custom object for databinding:

public class MyDataItem {
    public bool Checked { get; set; }
    public string DisplayName { get; set; }

    public MyDataItem(bool isChecked, string displayName) {
        Checked = isChecked;
        DisplayName = displayName;
    }
}

(I build a list of those and set ListBox.ItemsSource to that list.) And my XAML looks like this:

<ListBox Name="listBox1">
    <ListBox.ItemTemplate>
        <DataTemplate>
            <CheckBox IsChecked="{Binding Path=Checked}" Content="{Binding Path=DisplayName}" />
        </DataTemplate>
    </ListBox.ItemTemplate>
</ListBox>

This works. But I want to make this template reusable, i.e. I'll want to bind to other objects with properties other than "Checked" and "DisplayName". How can I modify my template such that I could make it a resource, reuse it on multiple ListBox instances, and for each instance, bind IsChecked and Content to arbitrary property names?

1
15
10/6/2018 9:49:50 AM

Accepted Answer

The easiest way is probably to put the DataTemplate as a resource somewhere in your application with a TargetType of MyDataItem like this

<DataTemplate DataType="{x:Type MyDataItem}">
    <CheckBox IsChecked="{Binding Path=Checked}" Content="{Binding Path=DisplayName}" />
</DataTemplate>

You'll probably also have to include an xmlns to your local assembly and reference it through that. Then whenever you use a ListBox (or anything else that uses a MyDataItem in a ContentPresenter or ItemsPresenter) it will use this DataTemplate to display it.

16
7/18/2013 1:42:31 PM

Create your DataTemplate as a resource and then reference it using the ItemTemplate property of the ListBox. MSDN has a good example

<Windows.Resources>
  <DataTemplate x:Key="yourTemplate">
    <CheckBox IsChecked="{Binding Path=Checked}" Content="{Binding Path=DisplayName}" />
  </DataTemplate>
...
</Windows.Resources>

...
<ListBox Name="listBox1"
         ItemTemplate="{StaticResource yourTemplate}"/>

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