Here’s one way to find a named element in a DataTemplate in XAML in Windows 8 XAML.

You might try FindName to discover it doesn’t work. That’s because it’s not recursive.

So, I created a simple extension method to do the same thing:

public static class FrameworkElementExtensions
{
    public static FrameworkElement FindDescendantByName(this FrameworkElement element, string name)
    {
        if (element == null || string.IsNullOrWhiteSpace(name)) { return null; }

        if (name.Equals(element.Name, StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase))
        {
            return element;
        }
        var childCount = VisualTreeHelper.GetChildrenCount(element);
        for (int i = 0; i < childCount; i++)
        {
            var result = (VisualTreeHelper.GetChild(element, i) as FrameworkElement).FindDescendantByName(name);
            if (result != null) { return result; }
        }
        return null;
    }
}

The code above loops through the children and attempts to match by name.

A simple usage (admittedly, this is stupid and clunky as lists are often virtualized, but …)

private void Page_Loaded_1(object sender, Windows.UI.Xaml.RoutedEventArgs e)
{
    for (int i = 0; i < myPeeps.Items.Count; i++)
    {
        var element = myPeeps.ItemContainerGenerator.ContainerFromIndex(i) as FrameworkElement;
        if (element != null)
        {
            var tb = element.FindDescendantByName("tbValue") as TextBlock;
            if (tb != null)
            {
                tb.Text = i.ToString();
            }
        }
    }
}

Given this DataTemplate and Page:

<Page.Resources>
    <local:SampleDataSource x:Key="sampleData" />
    <DataTemplate x:Key="SampleDataTemplate">
        <Grid >
            <Grid.RowDefinitions>
                <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
                <RowDefinition Height="Auto"/>
            </Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <TextBlock HorizontalAlignment="Left" Text="{Binding Name}" />
            <TextBlock Grid.Row="1" Name="tbValue" />
        </Grid>
    </DataTemplate>
</Page.Resources>

<Grid Background="{StaticResource ApplicationPageBackgroundThemeBrush}" 
      DataContext="{StaticResource sampleData}">
    <ItemsControl x:Name="myPeeps"
        ItemsSource = "{Binding Persons}"
        ItemTemplate="{StaticResource SampleDataTemplate}" FontSize="22"/>
</Grid>

And this sample data:

public class Person {
    public string Name { get; set; }        
}    

public class SampleDataSource {
    public IEnumerable<Person> Persons { get; private set; }
    
    
    public SampleDataSource () {
        var list = new List<Person>();
        
        list.Add(new Person { Name = "Alex" });
        list.Add(new Person { Name = "Betsy" });
        list.Add(new Person { Name = "Carla" });
        list.Add(new Person { Name = "Donald" });
        list.Add(new Person { Name = "Erica" });
        list.Add(new Person { Name = "Francis" });            
        
        this.Persons = list;
    }            
}

You’ll get results like this:

image

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