WPF: Setting the Width (and Height) as a Percentage Value


Say I want a TextBlock to have its Width equal to it's Parent container's Width (ie, stretch from side to side) or a percentage of it's Parent Container Width, how can I accomplish this in XAML without specifying absolute values?

I want to do this so that if the Parent Container container is later on expanded (its' Width increased), its' Child Elements will also be expanded automatically. (basically, like in HTML and CSS)

4/16/2018 2:48:39 PM

Accepted Answer

The way to stretch it to the same size as the parent container is to use the attribute:

 <Textbox HorizontalAlignment="Stretch" ...

That will make the Textbox element stretch horizontally and fill all the parent space horizontally (actually it depends on the parent panel you're using but should work for most cases).

Percentages can only be used with grid cell values so another option is to create a grid and put your textbox in one of the cells with the appropriate percentage.

4/4/2009 4:24:10 PM

Typically, you'd use a built-in layout control appropriate for your scenario (e.g. use a grid as a parent if you want scaling relative to the parent). If you want to do it with an arbitrary parent element, you can create a ValueConverter do it, but it probably won't be quite as clean as you'd like. However, if you absolutely need it, you could do something like this:

public class PercentageConverter : IValueConverter
    public object Convert(object value, 
        Type targetType, 
        object parameter, 
        System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        return System.Convert.ToDouble(value) * 

    public object ConvertBack(object value, 
        Type targetType, 
        object parameter, 
        System.Globalization.CultureInfo culture)
        throw new NotImplementedException();

Which can be used like this, to get a child textbox 10% of the width of its parent canvas:

<Window x:Class="WpfApplication1.Window1"
    Title="Window1" Height="300" Width="300">
        <local:PercentageConverter x:Key="PercentageConverter"/>
    <Canvas x:Name="canvas">
        <TextBlock Text="Hello"
                       Converter={StaticResource PercentageConverter}, 

For anybody who is getting an error like : '2*' string cannot be converted to Length.

<Grid >
        <ColumnDefinition Width="2*" /><!--This will make any control in this column of grid take 2/5 of total width-->
        <ColumnDefinition Width="3*" /><!--This will make any control in this column of grid take 3/5 of total width-->
        <RowDefinition MinHeight="30" />

    <TextBlock Grid.Column="0" Grid.Row="0">Your text block a:</TextBlock>
    <TextBlock Grid.Column="1" Grid.Row="0">Your text block b:</TextBlock>

IValueConverter implementation can be used. Converter class which take inheritance from IValueConverter take some parameters like value (percentage) and parameter (parent's width) and returns desired width value. In XAML file, component's width is set with that desired with value:

public class SizePercentageConverter : IValueConverter
    public object Convert(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, CultureInfo culture)
        if (parameter == null)
            return 0.7 * value.ToDouble();

        string[] split = parameter.ToString().Split('.');
        double parameterDouble = split[0].ToDouble() + split[1].ToDouble() / (Math.Pow(10, split[1].Length));
        return value.ToDouble() * parameterDouble;

    public object ConvertBack(object value, Type targetType, object parameter, CultureInfo culture)
        // Don't need to implement this
        return null;


    <m:SizePercentageConverter x:Key="PercentageConverter" />

<ScrollViewer VerticalScrollBarVisibility="Auto"
          Width="{Binding Converter={StaticResource PercentageConverter}, RelativeSource={RelativeSource Mode=FindAncestor,AncestorType={x:Type Border}},Path=ActualWidth}"
          Height="{Binding Converter={StaticResource PercentageConverter}, ConverterParameter=0.6, RelativeSource={RelativeSource Mode=FindAncestor,AncestorType={x:Type Border}},Path=ActualHeight}">

I know it's not Xaml but I did the same thing with SizeChanged event of the textbox:

private void TextBlock_SizeChanged(object sender, SizeChangedEventArgs e)
   TextBlock textBlock = sender as TextBlock;
   FrameworkElement element = textBlock.Parent as FrameworkElement;
   textBlock.Margin = new Thickness(0, 0, (element.ActualWidth / 100) * 20, 0);

The textbox appears to be 80% size of it's parent (well right side margin is 20%) and stretches when needed.


I use two methods for relative sizing. I have a class called Relative with three attached properties To, WidthPercent and HeightPercent which is useful if I want an element to be a relative size of an element anywhere in the visual tree and feels less hacky than the converter approach - although use what works for you, that you're happy with.

The other approach is rather more cunning. Add a ViewBox where you want relative sizes inside, then inside that, add a Grid at width 100. Then if you add a TextBlock with width 10 inside that, it is obviously 10% of 100.

The ViewBox will scale the Grid according to whatever space it has been given, so if its the only thing on the page, then the Grid will be scaled out full width and effectively, your TextBlock is scaled to 10% of the page.

If you don't set a height on the Grid then it will shrink to fit its content, so it'll all be relatively sized. You'll have to ensure that the content doesn't get too tall, i.e. starts changing the aspect ratio of the space given to the ViewBox else it will start scaling the height as well. You can probably work around this with a Stretch of UniformToFill.


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