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Getting Started

Christian Oleson edited this page Sep 10, 2021 · 25 revisions
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Material Design in XAML Toolkit consists of Material styles for existing components and completely new components that follow the Material Design logic. This article will guide you through the steps necessary to set up Material Design in XAML Toolkit in your project.

There is also an introductory video.

The setup of the toolkit can vary from version to version. Please note which version of the toolkit you are using.

Installing the Toolkit

Before anything else, you must install the Toolkit. This can be done either manually or through the NuGet package (Install-Package MaterialDesignThemes).

We also require to install ShowMeTheXAML using nuget or manually PM> Install-Package ShowMeTheXAML.MSBuild

Version 3.0.0 and later

Configuring your App.xaml

Like any other XAML library, the Toolkit needs to be imported and configured through your project's App.xaml to function properly. All of the following changes should be done as merged dictionaries (complete sample below). First, you will need to include all of the default styles for the controls. This is required regardless of which of the three styling options you choose.

<ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml" /> 

Next, you need to select a color theme. The simplest option is to use one of the built-in themes provided by the BundledTheme resource dictionary.

A final App.xaml should look something like this:

<Application x:Class="Example.App"
             xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
             xmlns:materialDesign="http://materialdesigninxaml.net/winfx/xaml/themes"
             StartupUri="MainWindow.xaml">
    <Application.Resources>
        <ResourceDictionary>
            <ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>
                <materialDesign:BundledTheme BaseTheme="Light" PrimaryColor="DeepPurple" SecondaryColor="Lime" />
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml" /> 
            </ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>
        </ResourceDictionary>
    </Application.Resources>
</Application>

If you would prefer to use your own custom colors for the theme, you can do this with the CustomColorTheme resource dictionary. A final App.xaml should look something like this:

<Application x:Class="Example.App"
             xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
             xmlns:materialDesign="http://materialdesigninxaml.net/winfx/xaml/themes"
             StartupUri="MainWindow.xaml">
    <Application.Resources>
        <ResourceDictionary>
            <ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>
                <materialDesign:CustomColorTheme BaseTheme="Light" PrimaryColor="Aqua" SecondaryColor="DarkGreen" />
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml" /> 
            </ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>
        </ResourceDictionary>
    </Application.Resources>
</Application>

Configuring your Window(s)

We're almost there! Now, all we need to do is configure our window to have Material Designs's look. There are no secrets here, you just need to add a few parameters to your Window's opening tag. The basic ones are:

<Window [...]
        TextElement.Foreground="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignBody}"
        Background="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignPaper}"
        [...] >

These will ensure the window uses Material Design colors, blending in nicely with the Toolkit's styles and components. However, for the full Material Design experience, you should set up the font like this:

<Window [...]
        xmlns:materialDesign="http://materialdesigninxaml.net/winfx/xaml/themes"
        TextElement.Foreground="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignBody}"
        Background="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignPaper}"
        TextElement.FontWeight="Medium"
        TextElement.FontSize="14"
        FontFamily="{materialDesign:MaterialDesignFont}"
        [...] >

Now your window's text will also blend in nicely with Material Design.

Version 2.6.0 and earlier

Configuring your App.xaml

Like any other XAML library, the Toolkit needs to be imported and configured through your project's App.xaml to function properly. All of the following changes should be done as merged dictionaries (complete sample below). First, you will need to include all of the default styles for the controls. This is required regardless of which of the three styling options you choose.

First of all, you'll need to merge one of the themes (Dark or Light) into your resource dictionary. This can be accomplished by adding the following line inside your Resource Dictionary's Merged Dictionaries:

  • For the Light theme:
<ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Light.xaml" />
  • For the Dark theme:
<ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Dark.xaml" />

Then, you'll need to load the MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml file, which contains all of the component styles, with the following line:

<ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml" /> 

Your App.xaml should be looking something like this for now:

<Application x:Class="MaterialTest.App"
             xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
             xmlns:local="clr-namespace:MaterialTest"
             StartupUri="MainWindow.xaml">
    <Application.Resources>
        <ResourceDictionary>
            <ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Light.xaml" />
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml" />
            </ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>
        </ResourceDictionary>
    </Application.Resources>
</Application>

The Colors

In Material Design, two 'palettes' need to be defined: Primary and Accent. To make your life easier, the Toolkit includes all of Google's swatches and their recommended palettes built-in and ready to be used! They are contained in the MaterialDesignColors project, which is imported automatically as a dependency when you install the main NuGet package.

In this section, we'll use the recommended palettes to define our application's colors, since they're the easiest way to do it and also the most common. If you'd like to learn more, see the Swatches and Recommended Colors page.

The recommended palettes live in /Themes/Recommended/Accent/MaterialDesignColor.COLOR_NAME.xaml and /Themes/Recommended/Primary/MaterialDesignColor.COLOR_NAME.xaml, inside the MaterialDesignColors project, where COLOR_NAME is the name of the color swatch as defined in Google's guide, without spaces (So Deep Purple becomes DeepPurple). Please note that not all swatches have Primary and Accent colors. So see which ones are available, consult Google's guide or the project's Accent and Primary folders.

Now, let's get to the code. Importing them is very similar to how you imported other resources earlier, just with a change to the project:

<ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignColors;component/Themes/Recommended/Primary/MaterialDesignColor.COLOR_NAME.xaml" />
<ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignColors;component/Themes/Recommended/Accent/MaterialDesignColor.COLOR_NAME.xaml" />

So, if you wanted to use Deep Purple as your primary color and Lime as your secondary, your app.xaml would look something like this right now:

<Application x:Class="MaterialTest.App"
             xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
             xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
             StartupUri="MainWindow.xaml">
    <Application.Resources>
        <ResourceDictionary>
            <ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>

                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Light.xaml" />
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Themes/MaterialDesignTheme.Defaults.xaml" />
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignColors;component/Themes/Recommended/Primary/MaterialDesignColor.DeepPurple.xaml" />
                <ResourceDictionary Source="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignColors;component/Themes/Recommended/Accent/MaterialDesignColor.Lime.xaml" />

            </ResourceDictionary.MergedDictionaries>            
        </ResourceDictionary>
    </Application.Resources>
</Application>

Configuring your Window(s)

We're almost there! Now, all we need to do is configure our window to have Material Designs' look. There are no secrets here, you just need to add a few parameters to your Window's opening tag. The basic ones are:

<Window [...]
        TextElement.Foreground="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignBody}"
        Background="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignPaper}"
        [...] >

These will ensure the window uses Material Design colors, blending in nicely with the Toolkit's styles and components. However, for the full Material Design experience, you should use:

<Window [...]
        TextElement.Foreground="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignBody}"
        Background="{DynamicResource MaterialDesignPaper}"
        TextElement.FontWeight="Medium"
        TextElement.FontSize="14"
        FontFamily="pack://application:,,,/MaterialDesignThemes.Wpf;component/Resources/Roboto/#Roboto"
        [...] >

Now your window's text will also blend in nicely with Material Design.

Summary

To use Material Design in the XAML Toolkit, you'll need to install the package manually or through NuGet, import either the Light or Dark theme, import the Default file that contains all of the component's themes, choose Primary and Accent colors of your preference and configure your window to use Material Design's looks.

Using the Toolkit with MahApps

If you also want to use MahApps.Metro in your project, check out the MahApps.Metro integration page.

Aftermath

Now that you're all set to stun your users with modern and beautiful applications, you should take a look at the Toolkit's Demo to learn how to properly use components and styles, or at the Mash Up Demo to see how to integrate Material Design, MahApps, and Dragablz for a truly modern application.