Charting in WPF

This tutorial demonstrates how to draw various charts including line chart, bar chart, column chart, area chart, scatter chart, and pie chart using WPF and C#.

Charting in WPF

 
The WPF Toolkit released in June 2009 comes with a data visualization assembly called System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Toolkit.dll that hosts the charting functionality in WPF. This article demonstrates how to draw charts using the WPF Toolkit.
 
Note: This article is written by using the WPF Toolkit June 2009 that you can download from here: WPF Toolkit - Release: WPF Toolkit June 2009. This toolkit may be a part of WPF in near future versions.
 

Adding WPF Toolkit Reference

 
Before you can use any charting related functionality in a WPF application, you must download the WPF Toolkit. After that, you need to add a reference to an assembly.
 
To add a reference, right-click the References folder of your project in Solution Explorer and select Add Reference. This action will open the Add Reference dialog as you can in the following Figure 1. On this dialog, select Browse option and browse the System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Toolkit.dll assembly from the folder where you installed the WPF Toolkit. This assembly resides in the Binaries folder.
 
Tip: If you do not want to download WPF Toolkit, you can download the attached project and copy WPFToolkit.dll and System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Toolkit.dll assemblies from this project to the bin folder of your project and add a reference.
 
WPF Toolkit 
Figure 1
 
Once you add the reference, you will see the System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.
 
Toolkit added to your References dialog as you see in Figure 2.
 
System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization 
Figure 2
 
Now, the next step is to import the System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.toolkit and the System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Charting namespaces to the page. Once you type xmlns= in your page, you will see these namespaces in the Intellisense. Select and add both of them to your page as you can see in Figure 3.
 
ChartImg3.gif 
Figure 3
 
The final reference added to the page looks like following. As you can see here, I added name of this reference to ToolkitRef.
  1. xmlns:DV="clr-namespace:System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization;assembly=System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Toolkit"  
  2. xmlns:DVC="clr-namespace:System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Charting;assembly=System.Windows.Controls.DataVisualization.Toolkit"  
Now you will see DVC in your page and once you select it, you will notice all Charting related elements added to the Intellisense. To add a Chart control to your page, just select the Chart control from the list. The list of charting related elements looks like Figure 4.
 
ChartImg4.gif 
Figure 4
 

Creating a WPF Chart

 
The Chart element represents a WPF Chart control in XAML.
  1. <DVC:Chart></DVC:Chart>  
The code snippet in Listing 1 creates a Chart and sets its width, height, and background properties of the Chart control.
  1. <DVC:Chart Name="MyChart"Width="400" Height="250"    
  2. Background="YellowGreen">    
  3. </DVC:Chart>   
Listing 1
 
The output of Listing 1 looks like Figure 5.
 
WPF Chart 
Figure 5
 

Chart Types in WPF

 
The Series attribute of the Chart element is used to create a chart type. If you see in Figure 6, you will notice BarSeries, ColumnSeries, LineSeries, PieSeries, and ScatterSeries attributes and based on the attribute, the chart will be created.
 
Chart Types in WPF 
Figure 6
 

Bar Chart in WPF

 
The code snippet in Listing 2 creates a bar chart by setting Chart.Series to BarSeries. As you see, the binding is occurred on Key and Value fields of a data source.
  1. <DVC:ChartCanvas.TopDVC:ChartCanvas.Top="80" Canvas.Left="10" Name="mcChart"    
  2. Width="400" Height="250"    
  3. Background="LightSteelBlue">    
  4. <DVC:Chart.Series>    
  5. <DVC:BarSeriesTitleDVC:BarSeriesTitle="Experience"    
  6. IndependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Key}"    
  7. DependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Value}">    
  8. </DVC:BarSeries>    
  9. </DVC:Chart.Series>    
  10. </DVC:Chart>   
Listing 2
 
The code snippet in Listing 3 creates a collection in KeyValuePair form and sets the ItemsSource property of the chart series. Same data can be used for other chart types.
  1. private void LoadBarChartData()  
  2. {  
  3.     ((BarSeries)mcChart.Series[0]).ItemsSource =   
  4.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>[]{  
  5.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Project Manager", 12),  
  6.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("CEO", 25),  
  7.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Software Engg.", 5),  
  8.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Team Leader", 6),  
  9.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Project Leader", 10),  
  10.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Developer", 4) };  
  11. }  
Listing 3
 
The output looks like Figure 7.
Bar Chart in WPF 
Figure 7
 

Column Chart in WPF

 
The code snippet in Listing 4 creates a column chart by setting Chart.Series to ColumnSeries. As you may see, the binding is occurred on Key and Value fields of a data source.
  1. <DVC:ChartCanvas.TopDVC:ChartCanvas.Top="80" Canvas.Left="10"Name="mcChart"     
  2. Width="400" Height="250"    
  3. Background="LightSteelBlue">    
  4. <DVC:Chart.Series>    
  5. <DVC:ColumnSeriesTitleDVC:ColumnSeriesTitle="Experience"     
  6. IndependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Key}"    
  7. DependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Value}">    
  8. </DVC:ColumnSeries>    
  9. </DVC:Chart.Series>    
  10. </DVC:Chart>  
Listing 4
 
The code snippet in Listing 5 creates a collection in KeyValuePair form and sets the ItemsSource property of the chart series. Same data can be used for other chart types.
  1. private void LoadColumnChartData()  
  2. {  
  3.     ((ColumnSeries)mcChart.Series[0]).ItemsSource =  
  4.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>[]{  
  5.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Project Manager", 12),  
  6.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("CEO", 25),  
  7.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Software Engg.", 5),  
  8.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Team Leader", 6),  
  9.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Project Leader", 10),  
  10.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Developer", 4) };  
  11. }  
Listing 5
 
The output looks like Figure 8.
Column Chart in WPF 
Figure 8
 

Pie Chart in WPF

 
The code snippet in Listing 6 creates a pie chart by setting Chart.Series to BarSeries. As you may see, the binding is occurred on Key and Value fields of a data source.
  1. <DVC:ChartCanvas.Top="80" Canvas.Left="10" Name="mcChart"  
  2. Width="400" Height="250"  
  3. Background="LightSteelBlue">  
  4. <DVC:Chart.Series>  
  5. <DVC:PieSeriesTitle="Experience"  
  6. IndependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Key}"  
  7. DependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Value}">  
  8. </DVC:PieSeries>  
  9. </DVC:Chart.Series>  
  10. </DVC:Chart>  
Listing 6
 
The code snippet in Listing 7 creates a collection in KeyValuePair form and sets the ItemsSource property of the chart series. Same data can be used for other chart types.
  1. private void LoadPieChartData()  
  2. {  
  3.     ((PieSeries)mcChart.Series[0]).ItemsSource =  
  4.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>[]{  
  5.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Project Manager", 12),  
  6.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("CEO", 25),  
  7.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Software Engg.", 5),  
  8.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Team Leader", 6),  
  9.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Project Leader", 10),  
  10.         newKeyValuePair<string,int>("Developer", 4) };  
  11. }  
Listing 7
 
The output looks like Figure 9.
 
Pie Chart in WPF 
Figure 9
 

Line Chart in WPF

 
The code snippet in Listing 8 creates a line chart by setting Chart.Series to LineSeries. As you may see, the binding is occurred on Key and Value fields of a data source.
  1. <DVC:ChartCanvas.Top="80" Canvas.Left="10" Name="mcChart"  
  2. Width="400" Height="250"  
  3. Background="LightSteelBlue">  
  4. <DVC:Chart.Series>  
  5. <DVC:LineSeriesTitle=" Monthly Count"  
  6. IndependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Key}"  
  7. DependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Value}">  
  8. </DVC:LineSeries>  
  9. </DVC:Chart.Series>  
  10. </DVC:Chart>  
Listing 8
 
The code snippet in Listing 9 creates a collection in KeyValuePair form and sets the ItemsSource property of the chart series. Same data can be used for other chart types.
  1. private void LoadLineChartData()  
  2. {  
  3.     ((LineSeries)mcChart.Series[0]).ItemsSource =  
  4.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>[]{  
  5.         newKeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now, 100),  
  6.         newKeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(1), 130),  
  7.         newKeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(2), 150),  
  8.         newKeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(3), 125),  
  9.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(4),155) };  
  10. }  
Listing 9
 
The output looks like Figure 10.
 
Line Chart in WPF 
Figure 10
 

Scatter Chart in WPF

 
The code snippet in Listing 9 creates a scatter chart by setting Chart.Series to ScatterSeries. As you may see, the binding is occurred on Key and Value fields of a data source.
  1. <DVC:ChartCanvas.Top="80" Canvas.Left="10" Name="mcChart"  
  2. Width="400" Height="250"  
  3. Background="LightSteelBlue">  
  4. <DVC:Chart.Series>  
  5. <DVC:ScatterSeriesTitle="Dots"  
  6. IndependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Key}"  
  7. DependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Value}">  
  8. </DVC:ScatterSeries>  
  9. </DVC:Chart.Series>  
  10. </DVC:Chart>  
Listing 9
 
The code snippet in Listing 10 creates a collection in KeyValuePair form and sets the ItemsSource property of the chart series. Same data can be used for other chart types.
  1. private void LoadScatterChartData()  
  2. {  
  3.     ((ScatterSeries)mcChart.Series[0]).ItemsSource =  
  4.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>[]{  
  5.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now, 100),  
  6.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(1), 130),  
  7.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(2), 150),  
  8.         new KeyValuePair<DateTime,int>(DateTime.Now.AddMonths(3), 125)  
  9. };  
  10. }  
Listing 10
 
The output looks like Figure 11.
 
Scatter Chart in WPF 
Figure 11
 

Area Chart in WPF

 
The code snippet in Listing 11 creates an area chart by setting Chart.Series to AreaSeries. As you may see, the binding is occurred on Key and Value fields of a data source.
  1. <!-- Area Chart in Code Behind -->  
  2. <DVC:ChartCanvas.Top="80" Canvas.Left="10"Name="mcChart"  
  3. Width="400" Height="250"  
  4. Background="LightSteelBlue"  
  5. Title="Area Chart"  
  6. LegendTitle="Month Rating">  
  7. <DVC:Chart.Series>  
  8. <DVC:AreaSeries  
  9. Title="Area Chart"  
  10. IndependentValuePath="Key"  
  11. DependentValuePath="Value">  
  12. </DVC:AreaSeries>  
  13. </DVC:Chart.Series>  
  14. </DVC:Chart>  
Listing 11
 
The code snippet in Listing 12 creates a collection in KeyValuePair form and sets the ItemsSource property of the chart series. Same data can be used for other chart types.
  1. private void LoadAreaChartData()  
  2. {  
  3.     ((AreaSeries)mcChart.Series[0]).ItemsSource =  
  4.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>[]{  
  5.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Jan 2009", 100),  
  6.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Apr 2009", 180),  
  7.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("July 2009", 110),  
  8.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Oct 2009", 95),  
  9.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Jan 2010", 40),  
  10.         new KeyValuePair<string,int>("Apr 2010", 95)  
  11.     };  
  12. }  
Listing 12
 
The output looks like Figure 12.
 
Area Chart in WPF 
Figure 12
 
Chart Axes
 
The Axes property of Chart is used to add x and y axis to the chart. The code snippet in Listing 13 adds a linear axis to the chart with its orientation, title, font and other properties.
  1. <DVC:Chart.Axes>  
  2. <!-- Add Horizontal and Vertical Axes-->  
  3. <DVC:LinearAxis  
  4. Orientation="Y"  
  5. Title="New Hires"  
  6. Interval="40"  
  7. Foreground="Black"  
  8. Background="GreenYellow"  
  9. FontFamily="Georgia"  
  10. FontSize="14"  
  11. FontWeight="Bold"/>  
  12. </DVC:Chart.Axes>  
Listing 13
 
The new output looks like Figure 13 that shows a left side chart title and formatting.
 
Chart Axes 
Figure 13
 

Generating an Area Chart from a Collection

 
Now we are going to generate a bar chart from a collection. I have a class Fruit that looks like Listing 14. It has two members Name and Share.
  1. class Fruit  
  2. {  
  3.     public string Name { getset; }  
  4.     public Int16 Share { get;set; }  
  5. }  
Listing 14
 
Listing 15 is a Fruit collection class that adds some Fruit objects in the constructor.
  1. class FruitCollection : System.Collections.ObjectModel.Collection<Fruit>  
  2. {  
  3.     publicFruitCollection()  
  4.     {  
  5.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Mango", Share = 10 });  
  6.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Banana", Share = 36 });  
  7.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Apple", Share = 24 });  
  8.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Guava", Share = 4 });  
  9.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Orange", Share = 12 });  
  10.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Pear", Share = 10 });  
  11.         Add(new Fruit { Name = "Pineapple", Share = 4 });  
  12.     }  
  13. }  
Listing 15
 
Now in our XAML code, I create a resource called FruitCollection and bind it to the AreaSeries using the ItemsSource property as listed in Listing 16.
  1. <Grid.Resources>  
  2. <local:FruitCollectionx:Key="FruitCollection" />  
  3. </Grid.Resources>  
Listing 16
 
XAML code for binding a FruitCollection with an AreaSeries is listed in Listing 17.
  1. <DVC:Chart.Series>  
  2. <DVC:AreaSeriesTitle="Fruits"  
  3. ItemsSource="{StaticResourceFruitCollection}"  
  4. IndependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Name}"  
  5. DependentValueBinding="{Binding Path=Share}">  
  6. </DVC:AreaSeries>  
  7. </DVC:Chart.Series>  
Listing 17
 
Now simply build and run the project. New output looks like Figure 14.
 
ChartImg14.gif 
Figure 14
 

Summary

 
This tutorial discusses how to the WPF Toolkit to create various charts including a bar chart, column chart, pie chart, area chart, scatter chart and a line chart.