Using XAML DatePicker in WPF

The XAML DatePicker control represents a visual DatePicker that allows the user to pick a date and fire an event on the selection of the date. This article demonstrates how to create and use a DatePicker control in WPF using XAML and C#.

Creating a DatePicker

The DatePicker element represents a WPF DatePicker control in XAML.

  1. <DatePicker/>  
The DatePicker control is defined in the System.Windows.Controls namespace. When you drag and drop a DatePicker control from the Toolbox to the page, you will see the code listed in Listing 1 added to the XAML file for the DatePicker control.
  1. <DatePicker Height="25" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Margin="42,26,0,0" Name="datePicker1"   
  2. VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="115" />  
Listing 1

The Width and Height attributes of the DatePicker element represent the width and the height of a DatePicker. The Content attribute represents the text of a DatePicker. The Name attribute represents the name of the control, that is a unique identifier of a control.

When you run this code, you will see a TextBox with the text Select a date and when you click on this TextBox or the date, the Calendar dropdown will appear where you can select a date. The selected date will be the date in the TextBox as you can see in Figure 1.


                Figure 1

Display Date


The DisplayDate property represents the date to display. The default is today.

IsDropDownOpen

The IsDropDownOpen property indicates whether the calendar part of the DatePicker control is open or closed.

Text Property

The Text property represents the text that is displayed in the DatePicker.

Selection Date and Selection Date Format

The SelectedDate property represents the currently selected date. If the multiple dates selection is true, the SelectedDates property represents a collection of currently selected dates.

BlackoutDates

The BlackoutDates property of the DatePicker class represents a collection of dates that are not available for selection. All non-selection dates are marked by a cross. For example, say in the month of March of the year 2010, we would like to block the dates from Jan 1st to Jan 7th and then all Sundays and the final DatePicker should look like Figure 2.


                 Figure 2

The following code snippet adds backout dates to a DatePicker.
  1. <DatePicker.BlackoutDates>  
  2.    <CalendarDateRange Start="3/1/2010" End="3/7/2010"/>  
  3.    <CalendarDateRange Start="3/8/2010" End="3/8/2010"/>  
  4.    <CalendarDateRange Start="3/15/2010" End="3/15/2010"/>  
  5.    <CalendarDateRange Start="3/22/2010" End="3/22/2010"/>  
  6.    <CalendarDateRange Start="3/29/2010" End="3/29/2010"/>  
  7. </DatePicker.BlackoutDates>  
We can do this by adding the code listed in Listing 2. As you can see from Listing 3, the BlackoutDates.Add method takes a CalendarDateRange object, that is a collection of two DateTime objects. The first date is the start date of the range and the second date is the end date of the date range.
  1. private void SetBlackOutDates()  
  2. {  
  3.    MonthlyCalendar.BlackoutDates.Add(new CalendarDateRange(  
  4.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 1),  
  5.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 7)  
  6.    ));  
  7.    MonthlyCalendar.BlackoutDates.Add(new CalendarDateRange(  
  8.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 8),  
  9.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 8)  
  10.    ));  
  11.    MonthlyCalendar.BlackoutDates.Add(new CalendarDateRange(  
  12.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 15),  
  13.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 15)  
  14.    ));  
  15.    MonthlyCalendar.BlackoutDates.Add(new CalendarDateRange(  
  16.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 22),  
  17.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 22)  
  18.    ));  
  19.    MonthlyCalendar.BlackoutDates.Add(new CalendarDateRange(  
  20.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 29),  
  21.       new DateTime(2010, 3, 29)  
  22.    ));  
  23. }  
Listing 2

DisplayDateStart and DisplayDateEnd


The DatePicker control allows you to set the start and end display dates using the DisplayDateStart and DisplayDateEnd properties. If you see Figure 2 in the previous section, you may notice the March 2010 month DatePicker display starts with the March 01, 2010 date. But now what if you want to display dates for month of March 2010 only? We can use the DisplayStartDate and DisplayEndDate properties to control the start and end dates of a month.

The DisplayDate property represents the current date to display.

The following code snippet sets the DisplayDate, DisplayDateStart and DisplayDateEnd attributes of the DatePicker element in XAML.
  1. <DatePicker Name="MonthlyCalendar"   
  2.    SelectionMode="MultipleRange"   
  3.    DisplayDate="3/1/2010"  
  4.    DisplayDateStart="3/1/2010"  
  5.    DisplayDateEnd="3/31/2010"  
  6. />  
The code listed in Listing 3 makes sure the start date is March 01, 2010 and end date is March 31, 2010. The current selected date is March 05.
  1. private void SetDisplayDates()  
  2. {  
  3.    MonthlyCalendar.DisplayDate = new DateTime(2010, 3, 5);  
  4.    MonthlyCalendar.DisplayDateStart = new DateTime(2010, 3, 1);  
  5.    MonthlyCalendar.DisplayDateEnd = new DateTime(2010, 3, 31);  
  6. }  
Listing 3

The new DatePicker looks like Figure 3.


                Figure 3

FirstDayOfWeek and IsTodayHighlighted

By default, Sunday is the first day of week. If you would like to change it, you use the FirstDayOfWeek property. The IsTodayHightlighted property is used to make today highlighted.

The following code snippet sets the FirstDayOfWeek to Tuesday and makes today highlighted.
  1. <DatePicker Name="MonthlyCalendar"   
  2.    SelectionMode="MultipleRange"   
  3.    DisplayDate="3/5/2010"  
  4.    DisplayDateStart="3/1/2010"  
  5.    DisplayDateEnd="3/31/2010"  
  6.    FirstDayOfWeek="Tuesday"  
  7.    IsTodayHighlighted="True"   
  8.    xmlns:sys="clr-namespace:System;assembly=mscorlib" Margin="15,39,88,19">  
The following code snippet sets the FirstDayOfWeek to Tuesday and makes today highlighted in WPF.
  1. MonthlyCalendar.FirstDayOfWeek = DayOfWeek.Tuesday;  
  2. MonthlyCalendar.IsTodayHighlighted = true;  
The new DatePicker looks like Figure 4, where you can see the start day of the week is Tuesday.


                 Figure 4

Selected Date and Selected Dates


The SelectedDate property represents the current selected date. If multiple date selection is true, then the SelectedDates property represents all the selected dates in a DatePicker. The following code snippet sets the SelectedDates in XAML at design-time.
  1. <DatePicker Name="MonthlyCalendar"   
  2.    SelectionMode="MultipleRange"   
  3.    DisplayDate="3/5/2010"  
  4.    DisplayDateStart="3/1/2010"  
  5.    DisplayDateEnd="3/31/2010"  
  6.    FirstDayOfWeek="Tuesday"  
  7.    IsTodayHighlighted="True"   
  8.    xmlns:sys="clr-namespace:System;assembly=mscorlib" Margin="15,39,88,19">  
  9.   
  10.    <DatePicker.SelectedDates>  
  11.       <sys:DateTime>3/5/2010</sys:DateTime>  
  12.       <sys:DateTime>3/15/2010</sys:DateTime>  
  13.       <sys:DateTime>3/25/2010</sys:DateTime>  
  14.    </DatePicker.SelectedDates>  
  15. </DatePicker>  
The selected dates in a DatePicker looks as in Figure 5 where you can see March 5th, 15th and 25th have a light blue background and represents the selected dates.


                  Figure 5

The following code snippet sets the SelectedDates property in WPF at run-time.
  1. private void AddSelectedDates()  
  2. {  
  3.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDates.Add(new DateTime(2010, 3, 5));  
  4.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDates.Add(new DateTime(2010, 3, 15));  
  5.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDates.Add(new DateTime(2010, 3, 25));  
  6. }  
Note: If you set the selected dates to any of the blockout dates then you will see the parser in XAML will throw an error like Figure 6.


                                                   Figure 6

DatePicker Events


Besides the normal control events, the DatePicker control has three DatePicker related events. These events are the DisplayDateChanged, DisplayModeChanged and SelectedDatesChanged. The DisplayDateChanged event is fired where the DisplayDate property is changed. The DisplayModeChanged event is fired when the DisplayMode property is changed. The SelectedDatesChanged event is fired when the SelectedDate or SelectedDates properties are changed. The following code snippet sets these three events attributes.
  1. <DatePicker SelectionMode="SingleRange"  
  2.    Name="MonthlyCalendar"   
  3.    SelectedDatesChanged="MonthlyCalendar_SelectedDatesChanged"  
  4.    DisplayDateChanged="MonthlyCalendar_DisplayDateChanged"  
  5.    DisplayModeChanged="MonthlyCalendar_DisplayModeChanged"  
  6.    HorizontalAlignment="Left"  
  7.    VerticalAlignment="Top"  
  8.    Margin="10,10,0,0">   
  9. </DatePicker>  
The code behind for these events looks like Listing 4.
  1. private void MonthlyCalendar_SelectedDatesChanged(object sender,   
  2. SelectionChangedEventArgs e)  
  3. {  
  4. }  
  5. private void MonthlyCalendar_DisplayDateChanged(object sender,   
  6. CalendarDateChangedEventArgs e)  
  7. {  
  8. }  
  9. private void MonthlyCalendar_DisplayModeChanged(object sender,   
  10. CalendarModeChangedEventArgs e)  
  11. {  
  12. }  
Listing 4

Normally, on a date selection, you may want to capture that event and know what the current selected date is. Now how about we add a TextBox control to the page and on the date selection, we will set the text of the TextBox to the currently selected date.

We add the following code to the XAML just below the DatePicker control.
  1. <TextBox Width="200" Height="30"  
  2.    VerticalAlignment="Bottom"  
  3.    HorizontalAlignment="Left"  
  4.    Margin="10,10,10,10"  
  5.    x:Name="SelectedDateTextBox">  
  6. </TextBox>  
On the SelectedDateChanged event handler, we set the TextBox.Text property to the SelectedDate property of the DatePicker control as you can see from code in Listing 5.
  1. private void MonthlyCalendar_SelectedDatesChanged(object sender,   
  2. SelectionChangedEventArgs e)  
  3. {  
  4.    SelectedDateTextBox.Text = MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDate.ToString();  
  5. }  
Listing 5

Now when you run the application, you will see output that looks like Figure 7. When you select a date in the DatePicker, it will be displayed in the TextBox.


                       Figure 7

Formatting a DatePicker

How about we create a DatePicker control with a border formatting, background and foreground of the DatePicker?

The BorderBrush property of the DatePicker sets a brush to draw the border of a DatePicker. You may use any brush to fill the border. The following code snippet uses a linear gradient brush to draw the border with a combination of red and blue color.
  1. <DatePicker.BorderBrush>  
  2.    <LinearGradientBrush StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="1,1" >  
  3.       <GradientStop Color="Blue" Offset="0" />  
  4.       <GradientStop Color="Red" Offset="1.0" />  
  5.    </LinearGradientBrush>  
  6. </DatePicker.BorderBrush>  
The Background and Foreground properties of the DatePicker set the background and foreground colors of a DatePicker. You may use any brush to fill the border. The following code snippet uses linear gradient brushes to draw the background and foreground of a DatePicker.
  1. <DatePicker.Background>  
  2.    <LinearGradientBrush StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="1,1" >  
  3.       <GradientStop Color="Blue" Offset="0.1" />  
  4.       <GradientStop Color="Orange" Offset="0.25" />  
  5.       <GradientStop Color="Green" Offset="0.75" />  
  6.       <GradientStop Color="Red" Offset="1.0" />  
  7.    </LinearGradientBrush>  
  8. </DatePicker.Background>  
  9. <DatePicker.Foreground>  
  10.    <LinearGradientBrush StartPoint="0,0" EndPoint="1,1" >  
  11.       <GradientStop Color="Black" Offset="0.25" />  
  12.       <GradientStop Color="Green" Offset="1.0" />  
  13.    </LinearGradientBrush>  
  14. </DatePicker.Foreground>  
The new DatePicker looks as in Figure 8.


                 Figure 8

Setting Image as Background of a DatePicker

To set an image as the background of a DatePicker, we can set an image as the Background of the DatePicker. The following code snippet sets the background of a DatePicker to an image. The code also sets the opacity of the image.

 

 

  1. <DatePicker.Background>  
  2.    <ImageBrush ImageSource="Garden.jpg" Opacity="0.3"/>  
  3. </DatePicker.Background>  
The new output looks like Figure 9.


                 Figure 9

Creating a DatePicker Dynamically

The code listed in Listing 6 creates a DatePicker control programmatically. First, it creates a DatePicker object and sets its DisplayMode and SelectedMode and other properties and later the DatePicker is added to the LayoutRoot.
  1. private void CreateDynamicDatePicker()  
  2. {  
  3.    DatePicker MonthlyCalendar = new DatePicker();  
  4.    MonthlyCalendar.Name = "MonthlyCalendar";  
  5.    MonthlyCalendar.Width = 300;  
  6.    MonthlyCalendar.Height = 400;  
  7.    MonthlyCalendar.Background = Brushes.LightBlue;  
  8.    MonthlyCalendar.DisplayMode = CalendarMode.Month;  
  9.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectionMode = CalendarSelectionMode.SingleRange;  
  10.    MonthlyCalendar.DisplayDateStart = new DateTime(2010, 3, 1);  
  11.    MonthlyCalendar.DisplayDateEnd = new DateTime(2010, 3, 31);  
  12.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDates.Add(new DateTime(2010, 3, 5));  
  13.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDates.Add(new DateTime(2010, 3, 15));  
  14.    MonthlyCalendar.SelectedDates.Add(new DateTime(2010, 3, 25));  
  15.   
  16.    MonthlyCalendar.FirstDayOfWeek = DayOfWeek.Monday;  
  17.    MonthlyCalendar.IsTodayHighlighted = true;  
  18.   
  19.    LayoutRoot.Children.Add(MonthlyCalendar);  
  20. }  
Listing 6

Summary


In this article, I discussed how to create a DatePicker control in WPF and C#. We also saw how to set display modes, selection modes, blackout dates, selected dates, border, background and foreground properties. After that, we saw you to set an image as the background of a DatePicker. In the end of this article, we saw how to create a DatePicker dynamically.