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Continuing support for simple HTML display in Silverlight [HtmlTextBlock sample updated for Silverlight 2 Beta 1!]

A few months ago when Silverlight 1.1 Alpha was all the rage, I wrote a sample control that made a best-effort attempt to display simple HTML markup in Silverlight. The original HtmlTextBlock post described the control's purpose and the follow-up post detailed a number of improvements to HtmlTextBlock. (Please continue to refer to those posts for background and implementation details.) Now that Silverlight 2 Beta 1 is released, I've had a few internal and external requests to modify HtmlTextBlock to work with the latest Silverlight bits.

HtmlTextBlock Demonstration

I've updated the original HtmlTextBlock demonstration page and also updated the original source code download, so don't hesitate to try things out in your own browser and/or download the code to see how it works!


  • There were no fundamental changes to the features HtmlTextBlock uses, so the port from 1.1 Alpha to 2 Beta 1 was straightforward.
  • Thanks to Silverlight 2's flexible layout system, the code to override Width/Height/ActualWidth/ActualHeight and handle the Loaded event is all now unnecessary and has been removed.
  • The XAML passed to Control.InitializeFromXaml now specifies the default XML namespace.
  • Silverlight 2 Beta 1's TextBlock exposes the new properties LineHeight, LineStackingStrategy, and TextAlignment which HtmlTextBlock mirrors.
  • A handful of properties/classes changed names/types slightly.
  • The syntax for creating an instance of the Silverlight control in HTML has changed to use the <OBJECT> tag.

Curiously, certain text/style/size combinations don't seem to render under Silverlight 2 Beta 1. For example, viewing the initial sample text at Verdana/8, Lucida Sans Unicode/10, or Times New Roman/10 shows an empty box. Because changing the font face/size doesn't actually change the Silverlight object tree that HtmlTextBlock creates, I'm inclined to believe this is a rendering issue with the Silverlight Beta rather than a bug in HtmlTextBlock. However, if anyone finds otherwise, please let me know!

It's always great to hear that people have found value in the stuff I've posted to my blog. I hope that those of you who are using HtmlTextBlock continue using it successfully with Silverlight 2 Beta 1 - and that newcomers find something useful as well!