Hosting HTML Content in Silverlight 4

In Silverlight 4 we can present HTML content to the user.

The WebBrowser Control

For example to display the content of DontCodeTired.com we can set the Source property in XAML:

<WebBrowser Name="webBrowser" Source="http://www.dontcodetired.com" />

Or we can use the Navigate method of WebBrowser:

webBrowser.Navigate(new Uri(@"http://www.dontcodetired.com"));

The user can navigate to links, right-click and open in new tab (which opens up tab in a full web browser), view source, etc.

To use the WebBrowser the Silverlight app must be running out of browser (OOB), if you view when embedded in a web page (i.e. not OOB) the control displays a message saying that it can only be used in Out-of-Browser mode.

WebBrowser control running in-browser

WebBrowserBrush

Using the new WebBrowserBrush (previously HtmlBrush in beta 4) we can use the contents of a WebBrowser to fill another element.

For example, to fill an Ellipse with the content of a WebBrowser named "webBrowser" we define a WebBrowserBrush and sets its SourceName:

<Ellipse>
    <Ellipse.Fill>
        <WebBrowserBrush SourceName="webBrowser"  />
    </Ellipse.Fill>
</Ellipse>

The following example creates an ellipse which is filled with a blurred version of the content of a WebBrowser. One thing to note is that we hook into the WebBrowser's LoadCompleted event to ensure the ellipse is updated whenever a page has been loaded into the WebBrowser. When run it looks like the image below: 



XAML:

<UserControl x:Class="SL4HTMLHosting.MainPage"
    xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"
    xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml"
    xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/expression/blend/2008"
    xmlns:mc="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006"
    mc:Ignorable="d"
    d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="400">

    <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White">
        <Grid.RowDefinitions>
            <RowDefinition Height="1*" />
            <RowDefinition Height="1*" />
        </Grid.RowDefinitions>
       
        <WebBrowser Name="webBrowser"
                    Source="http://www.dontcodetired.com"
                    Grid.Row="0"
                    LoadCompleted="webBrowser_LoadCompleted">
        </WebBrowser>
       
        <Ellipse HorizontalAlignment="Stretch"
                    VerticalAlignment="Stretch"
                    Grid.Row="1">
            <Ellipse.Effect>
                <BlurEffect Radius="5" />
            </Ellipse.Effect>
            <Ellipse.Fill>
                <WebBrowserBrush x:Name="browserBrush"
                                    SourceName="webBrowser"  />
            </Ellipse.Fill>
        </Ellipse>
          
    </Grid>
</UserControl>

Code Behind:

using System.Windows.Controls;

namespace SL4HTMLHosting
{
    public partial class MainPage : UserControl
    {
        public MainPage()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
        }

        private void webBrowser_LoadCompleted(object sender, System.Windows.Navigation.NavigationEventArgs e)
        {
            browserBrush.Redraw();
        }
    }
}

Interacting With WebBrowser Content

The following example uses WebBrowser.NavigateToString which allows a string of HTML to be rendered rather than a page at some Uri. The example creates a simple html button which uses window.external.notify to pass a message to the WebBroswer control via it's ScriptNotify event.

XAML:

<Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White">            
    <WebBrowser Name="webBrowser"
                ScriptNotify="webBrowser_ScriptNotify">                  
    </WebBrowser>          
</Grid>

Code Behind:

using System.Windows.Controls;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows;

namespace SL4HTMLHosting
{
    public partial class MainPage : UserControl
    {
        public MainPage()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
           
            // Create some basic HTML on the fly containing a simple button,
            // that when clicked passes a message to the containing WebBrowser
            var html = new StringBuilder();
            html.Append("<html>");
            html.Append("   <body>");
            html.Append(@"       <input type=""button"" value=""Show Message Box"" onclick=""window.external.notify('button click');"" /> ");
            html.Append("   </body>");
            html.Append("</html>");

            webBrowser.NavigateToString(html.ToString());
        }



        private void webBrowser_ScriptNotify(object sender, NotifyEventArgs e)
        {
            MessageBox.Show(string.Format("Message from web page: '{0}'.",e.Value));
        }
    }
}
 

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