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Create editable TreeViewItem using styles

One of clients asked me a question: “How easily create editable TreeViewItem”. I answers: “Simple. Just use styles, triggers and templates.” Let’s start. We need something like this.


First of all, let’s create simple tree with data, provided by XmlDataSource.  Something like this will be good enough

  <leaf id="1" name="leaf1">
    <group id="1" name="group1">
      <item name="item1" id="1">
        <subitem  id="1">test 1</subitem>
        <subitem id="5">test 2</subitem>
        <subitem id="5">test 3</subitem>
        <subitem id="5">test 4</subitem>
        <subitem id="5">test 5</subitem>


Next step is to create HierarchicalDataTemplate. Just for fun, let’s do it dummy way :)

<HierarchicalDataTemplate DataType="leaf" ItemsSource ="{Binding XPath=*}">
      <TextBlock Text="{Binding XPath=@name}" />
    <HierarchicalDataTemplate DataType="group" ItemsSource ="{Binding XPath=*}">
      <TextBlock Text="{Binding XPath=@name}" Foreground="Blue" />
    <HierarchicalDataTemplate DataType="item" ItemsSource ="{Binding XPath=*}">
      <TextBlock Text="{Binding XPath=@name}" Foreground="Red"/>


Next, I want to replace TextBlock inside node with editable TextBox, but only when I have no items inside. It’s possible to do it “smart way”, by creating ControlTemplates of HeaderedItemControl, that looks if it has items inside and choose wherever it need to choose, But the original question was “how to do it simple way“. So, we’ll create data template for it

<DataTemplate x:Key="editableName">
      <TextBox Text="{Binding RelativeSource={RelativeSource FindAncestor, AncestorType=HeaderedItemsControl}, Path=(Header).InnerText}"/>


How, what we have here? In order to show current data inside the TextBox text, we have to bind it to the ancestor’s header. Actually it’s XmlElement in our case, to we have to get InnerText property of the node. Simple – isn’t it? BTW, you can find Ancestor type of TreeViewItem – result will be exactly the same.

The last step – create a style, that has trigger for IsSelected property of TreeViewItem and change a template. Really, simple

<Style TargetType="TreeViewItem">
        <Trigger Property="IsSelected" Value="True">
          <Setter Property="HeaderTemplate" Value="{StaticResource editableName}" />


Now, I have a homework for you – create the same thing for those TreeViewItems, which has Items inside them. This is the clue, that might help you.


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4 Responses to “Create editable TreeViewItem using styles”

  1. Says:

    How would you go about setting different styles for specific node types?  The style is set on the TreeViewItem but I want different TreeViewItem styles for leafs, groups, items etc?  

    Your post helped me a bunch.    Thanks.

  2. Tamir Khason Says:

    Lee, thank you for replay. The answer is not :)

    There are using slight different templates. This why, I posted a clue with object document model

  3. lee Says:

    When you set the style for the TreeViewItem, why do we have to do something special if it has Items. I am under the impression that your code as it is should have displayed TextBox. what am I missing

  4. OhadAston Says:

    Fshiiiiii…. Great post, great blog!

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