Introduction to WPF: Building Rich Desktop Apps

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a powerful framework for creating rich desktop applications with modern user interfaces. In this guide, you'll learn about WPF and how to build feature-rich desktop apps using XAML and C#.

What is WPF?

Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is a graphical subsystem for rendering user interfaces in Windows-based applications. It provides a flexible, powerful, and data-driven way to create rich desktop applications with visually appealing user interfaces.

Creating a WPF Application

Follow these steps to create a new WPF application in Visual Studio:

  1. Open Visual Studio.
  2. Click "File" -> "New" -> "Project..." to open the project creation dialog.
  3. Choose "WPF App (.NET Framework)" as the project template.
  4. Give your project a name and choose a location for it. Click "Create." Visual Studio will create a new WPF project for you.

Designing the User Interface with XAML

WPF user interfaces are designed using XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language). XAML allows you to define the structure and appearance of your application's UI elements in a markup language. It is often used in conjunction with C#.

Example of a simple XAML markup for a WPF window:

<Window x:Class="WpfApp.MainWindow"
Title="My WPF App" Height="350" Width="500">
<Button Content="Click Me" HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Center" Click="Button_Click"/>

Code-Behind in C#

You can write C# code-behind that interacts with the XAML-defined user interface elements. In the example above, we have a button with a click event handler defined in the code-behind file.

Example of handling a button click event in C#:

using System.Windows;
namespace WpfApp
public partial class MainWindow : Window
public MainWindow()
private void Button_Click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
MessageBox.Show("Hello, WPF!", "Greetings");

Building and Running Your Application

After designing your WPF user interface and writing the code-behind, you can build and run your application from Visual Studio. Click the "Start" button or press F5 to build and run your application. You'll see your WPF window displayed on the screen.


WPF is a versatile framework for building rich desktop applications with beautiful user interfaces. You've learned how to create a new WPF application, design the user interface using XAML, and write code-behind in C#. With WPF, you can create powerful and interactive desktop applications for various purposes.

Practice creating more complex WPF applications to unlock the full potential of this framework. As you continue your programming journey, you'll explore advanced topics like data binding, styles, and animations to enhance your WPF applications.