Welcome CustomMessageBox to the Windows Phone Toolkit

A big welcome to CustomMessageBox, a new control to the toolkit which is exactly what it sounds like, a customizable, Windows Phone-UI compliant, easy to use message box offering the following features:

  • Native look & feel including font sizes, layout, alignment and animations
  • Ability to display full screen or to only consume as much space as needed
  • Very simple “basic” mode with ability to easily extend it to complex scenarios
  • Customizable buttons without needing to re-template

Here is what it looks like, from the basic (a message and some buttons) to the complex (a full screen message box with an embedded Pivot):


Getting Started

As of today (9/30/2012) you’ll need to download the latest source from CodePlex and recompile the toolkit assembly to use it but we’ll soon have an updated NuGet package for your convenience. As usual add a reference to the Microsoft.Phone.Controls.Toolkit.dll to your project and add the toolkit XML namespace to the top of your XAML:


Basic Usage

The basic usage is very similar to the default MessageBox and how you’re probably used to using dialogs in other UI platforms; set some properties, call Show(), handle the event that is raised when the user returns from the dialog.

Possible values to customize are:

  • Caption – sets the title caption of the message box
  • Message – the actual message to display to the user
  • LeftButtonContent, RightButtonContent – the buttons that appear on the bottom of the dialog, if you omit the text then the button won’t be shown.

To handle the user’s selection hook up the Dismissed() event and look at the e.Result value which is of type CustomMessageBoxResult indicating which, if any, button was tapped. If the user presses the back button vs. making a selection the result will be None.

Finally to kick-off the whole process call Show(). Show() is non-blocking so be aware that any code you put after the Show() call will run before the user has made a selection.

By default the the message box only takes up as much space as required but you can force it to full-screen by setting the property IsFullScreen to true.

Simple Example

To recreate the first message box in the screen shot do the following in code-behind:

CustomMessageBox messageBox = new CustomMessageBox()
    Caption = "Do you like this sample?",
    Message = "There are tons of things you can do using custom message boxes. To learn more, be sure to check out the source code at CodePlex.",
    LeftButtonContent = "yes",
    RightButtonContent = "no"
messageBox.Dismissed += (s1, e1) =>
        switch (e1.Result)
            case CustomMessageBoxResult.LeftButton:
                // Do something.
            case CustomMessageBoxResult.RightButton:
                // Do something.
            case CustomMessageBoxResult.None:
                // Do something.

The title caption, message and buttons are configured, the Dismissed() event is assigned a handler and finally the Show() method is called to kick off the party.

Taking It Up A Notch

That’s all well and good but where is the real “custom” part of the CustomMessageBox? That comes in with the Content property where you insert your own content into the overall layout. You can define your extra content in either code-behind or as a XAML resource and then set it to the Content of the CustomMessageBox.

The content area exists below where the Message is displayed yet right above the buttons.

Let’s say we want to recreate this dialog:


Via Code-Behind

One way to go about it would be to create all the custom content inline at the time of invocation:

HyperlinkButton hyperlinkButton = new HyperlinkButton()
    Content = "Privacy Statement",
    Margin = new Thickness(0, 28, 0, 8),
    HorizontalAlignment = HorizontalAlignment.Left,
    NavigateUri = new Uri("http://silverlight.codeplex.com/", UriKind.Absolute)
TiltEffect.SetIsTiltEnabled(hyperlinkButton, true);
CustomMessageBox messageBox = new CustomMessageBox()
    Caption = "Allow this application to access and use your location?",
    Message = "Sharing this information helps us provide and improve the location-based services offered for this phone. We won't use the information to identify or contact you.",
    Content = hyperlinkButton,
    LeftButtonContent = "allow",
    RightButtonContent = "cancel"

The HyperlinkButton is created in code, tilt effect is set on the HyperlinkButton and to hook it together the HyperlinkButton is assigned to the Content property.


Another approach is to create it as a DataTemplate in either the page or application resources and when you configure the dialog set the ContentTemplate property which may prove easier for more complicated templates.

<DataTemplate x:Key="HyperlinkContentTemplate">
    <HyperlinkButton Content="Privacy Statement"
                        TargetName="_blank" />

Now the code-behind looks like this:

CustomMessageBox messageBox = new CustomMessageBox()
    Caption = "Allow this application to access and use your location?",
    Message = "Sharing this information helps us provide and improve the location-based services offered for this phone. We won't use the information to identify or contact you.",
    ContentTemplate = (DataTemplate)this.Resources["HyperlinkContentTemplate"],
    LeftButtonContent = "allow",
    RightButtonContent = "cancel"

More Samples

You can find more examples, including the source to the “What Can I Say?” screenshot I showed above, in the Toolkit Samples project which you can either get via downloading the latest source or looking at it directly on CodePlex.

As always feedback is appreciated via either comments here or on CodePlex. We review each piece of feedback and we do get to them, if sometimes a little later than we’d like. Our goal is to make it so you can focus on writing your application vs. having to recreate the UI you see on the phone.

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  • Berni

    navigationService or even calling another method inside the dismissed event handler doesn’t work. Just where it ways //doSomething… nothing can be done. Please help

    • June Dong

      Yes, absolutely same problem with me! HELP !

  • akhil

    I dont know Dismissed event is bieng called immediately after popup is shown even without clicking any button. Please help.

  • http://shawnoster.com/ Shawn Oster

    Apologies on the double-Dismissed event folks! We are getting a new release ready to publish but until then you can get the latest source from phone.codeplex.com and re-compile the toolkit. I’ve pushed the fix to codeplex to help fix the issue. Sorry for taking so long to get this fix pushed out.

  • Aydın Mehmet ÖZKAN


    Calling navigationService.Navigate; triggers the Dismissed event which causes the e1.Result end up with the value “None”. Will you fix this error soon?

    Thank you.

  • Aydın Mehmet ÖZKAN


    I was wondering if there is a way to customize the Messagebox as in the attached .png

    Thank you.

    P.S. The Message Area must be scrollable

    • nepo111

      same requirement here.. hope the solution is available ASAP..

      • Rahul Panchal

        Why dont you design your own message box using popup and grid

    • DiamondDrake

      I realize this is an old post, but the answer here is obvious. Create a grid that has this look (text in a scroll view), then create the messagebox, set it’s message area to a blank string “” then it will display nothing, and set its content to your grid (or custom control).

  • bluechrism

    Sweet, just what I needed.

    I’m using a TextBox in my CustomMessageBox and it took me a while to figure out how to set focus to the textbox (and in doing so popping open the keyboard) when the message box is shown. It worked using the following:

    myMessageBox.Loaded += (s1, e1)=>

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  • pythonflash

    Wondering if there is a way to have only a single button. I dont’ actually want to respond to button clicks, only a single OK button to dismiss the box itself.

  • http://varunagrawal.github.io Varun Agrawal

    Amazing post!! Thanks a tonne.

  • ashay

    A nice and very useful.
    I have a requirement that left Button text is more that 20 chars(including spaces) and its not fitting in it. Can anyone help me out in this.
    Thanks in advance