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Reusable custom usercontrols with BindableProperty

·3 mins

While working on a project I had to develop multiple forms which involved multiple fields which required to input a (valid) date.

Xamarin already included a default DatePicker. But I need one which could be fit into my form being a TableView, also provided by Xamarin. Unfortunately for me, they didn’t combine these two to create a DatePickerCell. Luckily for you, I have done that for you!

In this post I will describe how to create your own reusable user control in the form of a DatePickerCell. But with a little imagination you can apply it to other controls as well!

What the Cell?! #

As described I started out with a TableView form, which looked like this:

<TableView.Root> </TableView.Root>

Ok, it looked something like this. It had a little less awesome. But you get the picture.

After creating two of these DatePicker ViewCells I decided that this wasn’t the way to go. If I wanted to make a change to the layout or looks I had to go through all my pages and change it in every ViewCell that contains a DatePicker.

So, I decided to create my own kind of Cell, the DatePickerCell.

First I wondered for some minutes how I would go about it. Of course I could create a new class, inherit the ViewCell and define my layout in code. But I like to do my UI in XAML..! So then I went on and created a Controls folder in my PCL project first. Then with a right-click there and Add > New Item I scrolled through my options, but there was everything but something stating ‘control’.

Adding a new item to my project

Eventually I decided to go with the ‘Forms Xaml Page’ option.

Now what I learned here was that you shouldn’t be thrown of track by the ‘Page’ part of this option. Although it will generate a ContentPage for you, you can turn it into any View that you like. So in my case a ViewCell, which seemed most appropriate. The XAML I put in is shown below.

So far for defining my DatePickerCell, now on to using it in my form. Notice how I replaced the ViewCell with my brand new one.

<TableView.Root> <controls:DatePickerCell /> </TableView.Root>

Let’s see how this looks in runtime.

DatePickerCell with ugly border

And when you select it, you get the date picker as you would expect it on iOS.

DatePickerCell picking a date

As a perfectionist I don’t really like the double border thing going on in this cell. So I have to make up for that by implementing some logic in a custom renderer. The renderer is pretty much as straight forward as it gets, you just tell it to remove the border at the OnElementChanged event.

[assembly: ExportRenderer(typeof(DatePicker), typeof(DatePickerRenderer))]

namespace MyAwesomeApp.iOS.CustomRenderers { public class DatePickerRenderer : Xamarin.Forms.Platform.iOS.DatePickerRenderer { protected override void OnElementChanged(ElementChangedEventArgs e) { base.OnElementChanged(e);

        Control.BorderStyle = UITextBorderStyle.None;


Now, it looks much better;

DatePickerCell without the ugly border

So, now you know how to create this bindable custom control. Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Like I said at the beginning; it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with some other controls which you will use often. For example; right when I finished this one I’ve created a PickerCell for my enums!

Good luck! And if you have any questions or improvements, please don’t be shy and contact me!

For my next blogs I will try to put up as much code on GitHub so we can exchange ideas a little easier :)