Drag and Drop Forms with XAML Power Tools


Karl Shifflett whose project we highlighted a few weeks ago, Mole is back and now free! is back with another project.

This Visual Studio Professional/Enterprise extension will make turning your WPF MVVM View Model into a View as simple as a few drag and drops.

What else? Well it's free... OH and it also works with Xamarin Forms and is cross platform.

XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2015

Visual Studio 2015 extension that enables developers to rapidly generate data entry forms from view models or entity objects for Xamarin Forms or WPF.


Primary Scenario

At the writing of this, the primary scenario for Xamarin Forms is pages that don't require Platform specific features to accomplish the layout, navigation, animation, or functional implementation.

This tool is designed to enable the developer to rapidly create cross-platform data bound, data entry forms.

While adopting the MVVM pattern is not a requirement to create forms with the tool, it is designed to fully support creating forms with a view model as the BindingContext or DataContext. Using the MVVM pattern has long been a best practice for developing XAML applications, this tool's happy path is form development against view models.

The XAML that the tool generates, is similar to clean hand-coded XAML. Clean XAML is easily styleable because few if any Element properties have values set.



  • Rapid Data Entry Form Creation from View Model or Entity Class
Rapid Data Entry Form Creation

NOTE: the below images and property names in this documentation, were taken from a Xamarin Forms application. When using the tool for WPF, some options will not be displayed or different ones will be displayed.

Creating a data bound, data entry form with XAML Power Toys is very simple. You'll use drag and drop to specify the desired data form controls on a friendly layout surface.

The end result will be a data entry form that renders well across platforms, with all data bindings, format strings, etc. set the way you would had you hand coded the form.

Easy Workflow

  • Start XAML Power Toys
  • Select Source Class
  • Optionally Set Form Options
  • Drag and Drop Properties to Layout Surface
  • Optionally Set Control Options
  • Optionally Set Generate UI Options
  • Generate UI


Select Source Class

After clicking the XAML Power Toys command in the context menu, the below Select Source Class dialog appears.




Generate UI I'm now happy with my two field form. It will be rendered in a stack layout and have the control labels positioned above each control.

Click the Next... button and the XAML UI Generation Options are displayed.

You can optionally wrap the form in a top level control. For example, a scroll viewer for mobile forms.

You can optionally add names to all your controls.

You can optionally add a form header to the generated UI.


... [Click through for the entire Visual Studio Gallery entry]

Want to see it in action? Get the source? Maybe grab the CI build? Show your appreciation and make a donation?

XAML Power Toys

XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2015 (Professional and Enterprise version) is a Visual Studio extension that enables developers to rapidly generate data entry forms from view models or entity objects for Xamarin Forms or WPF.  In the future UWP will be supported.

Download XAML Power Toys from the Visual Studio Gallery

Download XAML Power Toys from the CI Build on VSIX Gallery

Download source from GitHub


To make a donation click here.

Training Video – Learning XAML Power Toys for Visual Studio 2015 (25 minutes)
Using XAML Power Toys to Create WPF Data Entry Form (4 minutes)
Using XAML Power Toys to Rapidly Create a Xamarin Forms TableView Form (14 minutes)

[Click through to see the videos and more]

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