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Programming Windows Phone 7 : The Intricacies of Layout - Text Concatenation with StackPanel

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3/2/2011 10:55:19 PM
A StackPanel with a horizontal orientation can concatenate text. This is demonstrated in the TextConcatenation project:
Example 1. Silverlight Project: TextConcatenation File: MainPage.xaml (excerpt)
<Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal"
HorizontalAlignment="Center"
VerticalAlignment="Center"
Background="{StaticResource PhoneAccentBrush}">
<TextBlock Text="Two " />
<TextBlock Text="plus " />
<TextBlock Text="two " />
<TextBlock Text="equals " />
<TextBlock Text="four!" />
</StackPanel>
</Grid>

Here it is:



It might seem rather silly to concatenate text in this way, but it’s actually a very useful technique. Sometimes a program has some fixed text defined in XAML, mixed with some variable text from code or a data binding. The StackPanel does a nice job of piecing it together without any extraneous spacing. (In some cases you can alternatively use a TextBlock with its Inlines property set to multiple Run objects.)

Suppose you wanted the background color of the concatenated text to extend a little further beyond the boundaries of the text. You can’t do it with a Margin property on the StackPanel because that’s space outside the element. StackPanel doesn’t have a Padding property (alas), so you’d need to set Margin properties or Padding properties on all the individual TextBlock elements, and that doesn’t sound like fun.

An easier solution is to put the StackPanel in a Border element, and move all the alignment and Background settings to that Border:

<Grid x:Name="ContentPanel" Grid.Row="1" Margin="12,0,12,0">
<Border Background="{StaticResource PhoneAccentBrush}"
Padding="12"
CornerRadius="24"
HorizontalAlignment="Center"
VerticalAlignment="Center">
<StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
<TextBlock Text="Two " />
<TextBlock Text="plus " />
<TextBlock Text="two " />
<TextBlock Text="equals " />
<TextBlock Text="four!" />
</StackPanel>
</Border>
</Grid>

Now you get a nice comfortable background with rounded corners:



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