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Version: 11.0.x

Markup Extensions

A MarkupExtension allows code-based customization of setter logic to a target property in a convenient, reusable syntax within XAML. Curly braces are used to differentiate the usage from plain text.

Avalonia provides the following:

MarkupExtensionAssigns to Property
StaticResourceAn existing keyed resource and does not update on changes
DynamicResourceDeferred loading of a keyed resource that will update on changes
BindingBased on the default binding preference: Compiled or Reflection
CompiledBindingBased on a compiled binding
ReflectionBindingBased on a reflection binding
TemplateBindingBased on a simplified binding used only within a ControlTemplate
OnPlatformConditionally when on the specified platform
OnFormFactorConditionally when on the specified factor

Compiler intrinsics

These technically fall outside of MarkupExtensions as part of the XAML compiler, but the XAML syntax is the same.

IntrinsicAssigns to Property
x:Truetrue literal
x:Falsefalse literal
x:Nullnull literal
x:StaticStatic member value
x:TypeSystem.Type literal

The x:True and x:False literals have use cases where the target binding property is object and you need to provide a boolean. In these scenarios that lack type information, providing "True" remains a string.

<Button Command="{Binding SetStateCommand}" CommandParameter="{x:True}" />

Creating MarkupExtensions

Derive from MarkupExtension or add one of the following signatures which are supported via duck-typing:

T ProvideValue();
T ProvideValue(IServiceProvider provider);
object ProvideValue();
object ProvideValue(IServiceProvider provider);

When strong types are used instead of object, you will receive compile-time errors when there is a mismatch in the XAML use of constructor parameters, properties, or the return value in ProvideValue. When returning object, the actual type returned must match the target property's type else an InvalidCastException is thrown at runtime.

Receiving Literal Parameters

When parameters are required, use a constructor to receive each parameter in order.

For optional or unordered parameters, use properties instead. Mix and matching with multiple constructors is allowed, including parameterless ones.

public class MultiplyLiteral
private readonly double _first;
private readonly double _second;

public double? Third { get; set; }

public MultiplyLiteral(double first, double second)
_first = first;
_second = second;

public double ProvideValue(IServiceProvider provider)
return First * Second * Third ?? 1;
<TextBlock Text="This has FontSize=40" FontSize="{namespace:MultiplyLiteral 10, 8, Third=0.5}" />

Receiving Parameters From Bindings

A common scenario is wanting to transform data coming in from a binding and updating the target property. When all parameters come from bindings, this is somewhat straightforward by creating a MultiBinding with an IMultiValueConverter. In the sample below, MultiplyBinding requires two bound parameters. If a mix of literal and bound parameters is necessary, creating an IMultiValueConverter would allow for passing of literals as constructor or init parameters. BindingBase allows for both CompiledBinding and ReflectionBinding to be used, but does not allow literals.

public class MultiplyBinding
private readonly BindingBase _first;
private readonly BindingBase _second;

public MultiplyBinding(BindingBase first, BindingBase second)
_first = first;
_second = second;

public object ProvideValue()
var mb = new MultiBinding()
Bindings = new[] { _first, _second },
Converter = new FuncMultiValueConverter<double, double>(doubles => doubles.Aggregate(1d, (x, y) => x * y))

return mb;
<TextBlock FontSize="{local:MultiplyBinding {Binding Multiplier}, {Binding Multiplicand}}" 
Text="MarkupExtension with Bindings!" />

An alternate approach is to return an IObservable<T>.ToBinding() instead.

Returning Parameters

To make a MarkupExtension compatible with multiple target property types, return an object and handle each supported type individually.

public object ProvideValue(IServiceProvider provider)
var target = (IProvideValueTarget)provider.GetService(typeof(IProvideValueTarget))!;
var targetProperty = target.TargetProperty as AvaloniaProperty;
var targetType = targetProperty?.PropertyType;

double result = First * Second * (Third ?? 1);

if (targetType == typeof(double))
return result;
else if (targetType == typeof(float))
return (float)result;
else if (targetType == typeof(int))
return (int)result;
throw new NotSupportedException();

Constructors can also receive parameter types using the object approach, but compile-time errors similarly turn into runtime exceptions.

MarkupExtension Property Attributes

  • [ConstructorArgument] - Associated property may be initialized by a constructor parameter and should be ignored for XAML serialization if the constructor is used.
  • [MarkupExtensionOption], [MarkupExtensionDefaultOption] - Used with ShouldProvideOption, check OnPlatform and OnFormFactor source for an example.