Walking the visual tree in F#

This blog post shows how to dump the visual tree into a console window, using F#.

In my continued quest to understand how F# and WPF can work well together, I wrote a simple utility which walks down the visual tree of a UI and writes it out to a console window.  I found that F# is a natural fit for this type of quick script-like coding.  This app is not imminently useful, but it is a great way to both learn F# and get used to manipulating WPF with F#.

Here is the F# code:

Walk visual tree in F# (code)

Notice in the ‘createWindow’ function it uses the ‘use’ keyword.  That is a relatively new addition to the language, which you can read more about here.  It’s like a ‘using’ block in C#.

When the app runs, it loads a Window from a XAML file.  That XAML looks like this:

Walk visual tree in F# (xaml)

When you run the app, you will see both a console window and the window which was loaded from the XAML file.  Here is a screenshot:

Walk visual tree in F# (screenshot)

Download the demo app here: Walk visual tree in F# (demo app)  Be sure to change the file extension from .DOC to .ZIP and then decompress the file.  Download the F# compiler and tools here.

6 Responses to Walking the visual tree in F#

  1. Karl Shifflett says:


    You are really getting into F#!

    I remember the LET statement from a language I learned a long time ago. Ummm, let me remember. Oh yea, BASIC man!

    May have to look into this F# business,



  2. Josh Smith says:


    F# borrows things from many different languages, and programming styles. It’s a fascinating language to learn, because it allows you to think about things in many different ways. You’re not “trapped” in the OO mindset.


  3. Christer says:

    How would this look in C#?
    In what way is this small app better in F#?

  4. Josh Smith says:


    I’m not claiming that this small app is “better” in F# than in C#. I am just showing how to work in WPF using F#, and getting some practice with the language.


  5. free download of Visual Styles windows vista Themes

    no kidding!

%d bloggers like this: