ReSharper 2016.1 Help

ReSharper for Universal Apps and Windows Phone

Just like development for the Silverlight and WPF platforms, development for Universal apps and Windows Phone involves interacting with two types of files – the XAML files that define the user interface, and the C# files that serve as code-behind and define the logic of what happens in the application. ReSharper not only simplifies the editing of these files in isolation, but also provides functionality for changing both the XAML and code-behind in tandem.

Basic XML-Specific Features

The first thing that’s worth pointing out is that, since ReSharper supports XML and XAML, ReSharper provides a lot of features for editing XAML files. Thus, with the caret over an element, you will be presented with the following context actions:

ReSharper's context actions in XAML code of a Universal App

Let’s briefly talk about what these do:

  • Remove tag and promote children removes the tag itself, but all its contents get unindented and brought to the removed tag’s level.
  • Replace tag lets you change the type of the tag with a different element – for example, changing Border to my:SpecialBorder.
  • Replace all tags does the same as the above, with the exception that all inner definitions of Borderwill also be changed. This means that if you have a Border within a Border, you end up with a my:SpecialBorder within a my:SpecialBorder.

ReSharper knows how to expand and collapse empty elements. A closed element offers the option to expand so that you could add some child elements there:

ReSharper's context actions in XAML code of a Universal App

Whereas an expanded empty tag can be collapsed:

ReSharper's context actions in XAML code of a Universal App

It’s also possible to promote an attribute to nested element:

ReSharper's context actions in XAML code of a Universal App

The inverse operation is, of course, also available:

ReSharper's context actions in XAML code of a Universal App

In addition to the above context actions, ReSharper also lets you rearrange XML elements and attributes. By holding Ctrl+Shift+Alt, you can press the left and right arrow keys to move attributes within an element; holding the same combination and pressing the up and down keys moves the whole element you’re in (including its attributes and child elements) up and down within the containing element:

ReSharper lets you quickly rearrange elements in a XAML file

File Structure

Just like with ordinary code files, ReSharper’s File Structure Window (Ctrl+F11) is able to display the structure of the XAML file. You can also get this window to navigate to the element you select in the tree.

ReSharper shows structure of a XAML file


Resources are a core concept in XAML development, and ReSharper can help you create resources right in the XAML code. For example, if you create a resource dictionary with a (still) nonexistent resource, ReSharper will offer you options to produce this resource from usage:

ReSharper helps creating XAML resources from usage

There are two options here:

  • Create type creates a simple CLR type
  • Create XAML type creates a custom XAML control

Whichever option you choose, the resource will be created in the right namespace if it is already registered in the top-level element.

In addition to creation of resources, ReSharper also offers options for their destruction – for example, in cases where a resource is not used:

ReSharper helps removing unused XAML resources

In-Place Refactoring & Navigation

Just like with ordinary code, ReSharper’s in-place refactoring capabilities (Ctrl+Shift+R) are available in XAML. For example, if you use a custom control class in XAML, you can access the same refactoring options as you would if you were on the class definition in a .cs file:

ReSharper refactorings in XAML code

It’s also worth noting that some refactoring features are available for XAML-specific elements. For example, you can perform a Rename refactoring on a static resource key:

ReSharper's Rename refactoring for static resources in XAML code

In the same vein, you can use the Navigate To (Ctrl+Shift+G) menu for navigation from a particular symbol:

ReSharper's navigation features in XAML code

It’s also worth noting that both the refactoring and the navigation menus are also available in the File Structure Window and in the Solution Explorer.

Live Templates

ReSharper comes with the following XML-specific live templates:

  • The tc template creates a closed tag like <ThisOne/>
  • The t template creates an open tag like <ThisOne></ThisOne>
  • The a template creates an attribute like thisOne=""

Of course, nothing prevents you from defining your own XML-specific templates. You can even constrain them to XAML files only by specifying the *.xaml file extension in the template scope.

Last modified: 19 August 2016