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Silverlight Behaviors and Triggers: TextBox Magic

The TextBox control is popular in Silverlight but comes with a few nuances. For example, the default behavior is that the data is not bound until the control loses focus! This can be awkward when you have a form with a disabled save button. The save button won't enable until the text box contains content, but it won't "know" about the content until the box loses focus, so the user is forced to tab from the last field before they can save.

I will cover two topics specific to the TextBox: the first is a behavior and trigger that resolve the issue with the "late data binding." The second is a filter behavior that allows you to control exactly what goes into the text box.

Let's get started! As you recall, the recipe for creating a new attached property is to declare the properties on a static class and register them as an attached property. We're going to start with the filter. As you know, the TextBox control itself takes any type of character input. A numeric field can be validated which prevents it from binding to the object, but why let the user type anything but a digit in the first place? Prevention is the best medicine, so why not filter the field?

We'll start with a class called TextBoxFilters to hold our attached properties specific to the text box. To filter the text box, we want to hook into the KeyDown event, check to see if it's a key we like, and set the event to "handled" if we don't want it (this prevents it from bubbling up and making it into the form). Of course, we have to be careful because we're not just checking for digits. Users must be able to navigate into and out of the field u

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