Archives / 2020 / October
  • Windows 10 Theme for a Properties Dialog

    Today I played around with some code in an WPF application that opens a (COM-style) properties dialog.

    When opened outside my application, the dialog looked like this:


    But when I opened the dialog from my code, it looked like this:


    The solution is simple but appears blog-worthy to me because I had a hard time searching the Web using rather unspecific search terms like “properties dialog”, theme, style, etc.

    In the end I came across a theme-related Microsoft article for C++ mentioning a manifest file and connected the dots to a StackOverflow question/answer about changing the Windows User Account Control level for a C#/WPF application using a custom manifest.

    What to do

    Create the custom manifest file

    • In Visual Studio (2019), open the context menu of the project for the WPF application.
    • Add > New item.
    • Ctrl+E (to jump to the search box), enter “manifest”.
    • Press the “Add” button to add the “app.manifest” file to the project.
    • Visual Studio selects the file automatically (see project properties > Application > Resources > Icon and manifest > Manifest)

    Edit the manifest

    • Open the “app.manifest” file.
    • Scroll to the bottom.
    • Uncomment the section behind the “Enable themes for Windows common controls and dialogs (Windows XP and later)” comment.
    • Rebuild.

    That’s it!

    In case you are wondering about my (webcam) experiment: This will be the topic of an upcoming blog post.