Document Outline: WPF and Silverlight Projects


Keyboard:  CTRL + ALT + T
Menu:  View -> Other Windows -> Document Outline
Command:  View.DocumentOutline
Versions:  2008,2010
Published:  11/29/2010
Code:  vstipTool0117

 

 

When working with WPF and XAML it can get tricky sometimes finding items.  This is where the Document Outline comes in handy.  In this example, I've created a WPF Application and put a few controls on it.  Here is what I get when I pull up the Document Outline (CTRL + ALT + T):

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Note that you can also get to the Document Outline by clicking on the Document Outline button located in the lower left-hand corner of the screen by default:

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Notice how it shows each control and the parent/child relationships.  If the experience stopped there it would be okay but it actually goes to awesome when you put your mouse pointer over any item in the list:

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And putting the mouse pointer over a parent will show a preview of the parent and all the children.  Additionally it will put shading over the parent and all the children in the outline:

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You can also get a preview from the outline presented at the lower part of the screen as well:

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And dig into the details if needed:

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Also, by clicking on any item in the Document Outline it will select it in, both, XAML and Design view:

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So the Document Outline can be used when working with WPF to do the following:

  • View the logical structure of elements in your XAML.

  • View a thumbnail preview of an element in a pop-up window.

  • Navigate to specific elements, in Design view and in XAML view.

  • Put user input focus on deeply nested elements that may be hard to select on the design surface itself.

  • Locate controls that may be visually hidden by other controls.

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