Converting an int to a string in XAML C++/CX

Boring.  Ok, if it’s boring, then find a clearly written piece of documentation that shows you the absolutely easy way to convert an integer to a string in C++/CX?  Go ahead I’ll wait.  I just spent the morning trying to find clear step by step procedures on how to convert an integer to string for use in XAML and C++.  Sure I know how to do this in ANSI C++, but that wasn’t my goal, I needed the correct string to enter an integer into one of the XAML Textbox or Textblock controls.  And if you are a device driving kind of developer, this is likely not for you.  But basically you use the .ToString() to do the conversion (that is a period followed by the ToString() at the end there is the open and close parentheses.

Here is how:

Create a Windows Store App in C++


  • Add a button, textbox and textblock control
  • Use the following code, replace the grid that is in the XAML code your project name will vary:Pretty simple XAML, just like the XAML you are used to.
  • <Grid Background="{StaticResource ApplicationPageBackgroundThemeBrush}">
            <Button x:Name="ExampleButton" Content="Button" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Height="142" Margin="78,290,0,0" 
                    VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="572" Tapped="ExampleTapped" />
            <TextBlock x:Name="txtTextBlock" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Height="107" Margin="78,10,0,0" 
                    TextWrapping="Wrap" Text="TextBlock" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="572" FontSize="36"/>
            <TextBox x:Name="txtTextBox" HorizontalAlignment="Left" Height="100" Margin="78,147,0,0" 
                    TextWrapping="Wrap" Text="TextBox" VerticalAlignment="Top" Width="572" FontSize="36"/>


  • Add some code, which is the main part of this discussion, to the MainPage.xaml.cpp, if you used the code above, make sure to use the "Navigate Event” on the right click hover over the Button Content, then place this into the button click event (Note the line with the keyword void on it is the “click event” if it looks like the line below, ExampleTapped is built off of the name of the button
void IntegerToStringConversion::MainPage::ExampleTapped(Platform::Object^ sender, Windows::UI::Xaml::Input::TappedRoutedEventArgs^ e)
    int integer8 = 8;
    double double20 = 20.0; 
        "TextBlock " + integer8.ToString() + " Double " + double20.ToString();
        integer8.ToString() + " TextBox";

Possible error statements

If you forget to add the parentheses after the “ToString()” you will likely see errors like the following:

c:\users\sstokes\documents\visual studio 2012\projects\integertostringconversion\mainpage.xaml.cpp(48): error C3867: 'default::int32::ToString': function call missing argument list; use '&default::int32::ToString' to create a pointer to member

1>c:\users\sstokes\documents\visual studio 2012\projects\integertostringconversion\mainpage.xaml.cpp(48): error C2679: binary '+' : no operator found which takes a right-hand operand of type 'Platform::String ^(__cdecl default::int32::* )(void)' (or there is no acceptable conversion)

1>          could be 'built-in C++ operator+(volatile const Platform::Object ^, volatile const Platform::String ^)'

1>          or       'built-in C++ operator+(volatile const Platform::String ^, volatile const Platform::Object ^)'

1>          or       'built-in C++ operator+(volatile const Platform::String ^, volatile const Platform::String ^)'

1>          while trying to match the argument list '(Platform::String ^, Platform::String ^(__cdecl default::int32::* )(void))'

Reading the documentation

The Windows 8 Samples do not clearly call out how to work with the XAML Textboxes, TextBlocks and similar as this is considered pretty low level.  Hence the reason I am writing about it.  But the documentation generally online in any form on any site for this subject is written by knowledgable C++ programmers and there is a great deal of information to get out there about the C++/CX.  So the writers assume that you have worked with XAML and C++ or that you can figure out easily how to work with XAML and C++ in that you have been working with something other then console apps or supplying DLL types of classes to C#, etc.  Of course, the XAML and C++ is very similar to C#, but it is tricky.

For example the illustration given here is quite simple, but why a period with the “ToString” and the “->” operator with the Text property on the textblock and text box?  What is the difference?

  1. integer8.ToString is a postfix-expression represents a value of struct, class, or union type, and name names a member of the specified structure, union, or class. The value of the operation is that of name and is an l-value if postfix-expression is an l-value.

  2. txtTextBox->Text is a postfix-expression represents a pointer to a structure, union, or class, and name names a member of the specified structure, union, or class. The value is that of name and is an l-value. The –> operator dereferences the pointer. Therefore, the expressions e–>member and (*e).member (where e represents a pointer) yield identical results (except when the operators –> or * are overloaded).

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