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Customizing String Resources

What is a String Resource?

A string resource is a text string that generally can be displayed in the user interface of our products.

For instance, when hovering the mouse over the NavigationBar control's customize button, a tooltip whose default text is Configure Buttons is displayed. The string Configure Buttons is defined as a string resource in the Navigation product's assembly.

All WPF Studio products that have displayable strings have string resources defined for those items. You can view all the string resources in our products with the String Resource Browser.


The default string resources in our products are defined in US English.

Our products have a nice framework that offers you the ability to alter any string resource to use custom text. This feature can be used in two main cases: simple changing of various strings to other strings that you prefer instead, and for localization.

In the first case, maybe you are building a US English-based application but wish to change one or two of the items to alternate text.

In the second case, you may wish to provide localization on the strings for any language based on the current culture that is running your application. Here you would want to customize the full set of string resources for each product that has string resources.


In addition to the string resource customization capabilities, all string properties in the WPF Studio products have the appropriate Localizability attributes set.

Getting/Setting Custom Strings with the SR Class

Products that have string resources have a class named SR (string resource) in their ActiproSoftware.Products.[ProductName] namespace. For instance, the Navigation product has the ActiproSoftware.Products.Navigation.SR class.

The SR class contains static methods allowing you to customize any string resources and return the resolved value of a string resource between its default value and any customizations you may have made. Even if you haven't made any customizations, the SR class is ideal for returning the default string resource values via a call to its GetString method.


Any string resource customizations must be performed at application startup such as in Application.OnStartup, before any UI or controls have been referenced. This must be done since some string resources are used by static class initializers. Therefore your customizations may not be picked up if not set immediately upon application startup before UI classes are referenced.

These are the important members on any SR class implementation:

Member Description
ClearCustomStrings Method Removes all custom strings.
ContainsCustomString Method Returns whether a custom string is defined for the specified string resource.
GetCustomString Method Returns the custom string that is stored for the specified string resource, if any.
GetString Method Returns the resolved value of the specified string resource. There is an overload that takes an optional argument list. This overload returns the resolved value of the specified string resource, by calling String.Format using the supplied arguments.
RemoveCustomString Method Removes any custom string that is defined for the specified string resource
SetCustomString Method Sets a custom string value for the specified string resource.

This code shows how to set a custom string for the NavigationBar's customize button tooltip:

SR.SetCustomString(SRName.UINavigationBarCustomizeButtonToolTip.ToString(), "Custom Tooltip Text");

This code shows how to retrieve the resolved value of a string resource (including any customizations):

string text = SR.GetString(SRName.UINavigationBarCustomizeButtonToolTip);

Use the String Resource Browser in the Sample Browser to browse all available string resources and easily generate string resource customization code.

The SRName Enumeration

To make discovery and verification of string resource names even easier, each product that has string resources will also have an enumeration named SRName defined in the same namespace as SR.

The SRName enumeration has one value for each string resource name in the product. You can call ToString on a value to convert it to a string when working with various methods on SR.

The SRExtension XAML Markup Extension

While the SR class makes it simple to access any resolved string resource value from code, we also wanted to provide an easy way to use resolved string resources in XAML, such as in templates for controls. To accomplish this, we created the SRExtension class that is available in any product that has string resources.

The first step in using the markup extension in your XAML is to declare a namespace in your XAML root tag. The namespace should be declared for the product whose string resources you will be accessing. For this sample, we will access a string resource for a Navigation control:


Now lets use the UINavigationBarCustomizeButtonToolTip resource's text as a Button's content:

<Button Content="{productsNavigation:SRExtension UINavigationBarCustomizeButtonToolTip}" />

That's all there is to it!