How to set focus to textbox using MVVM?

You can do this by adding a property to your ViewModel (or use an existing property) that indicates when the SetFocus should happen but the View should be responsible for actually setting the focus since that is purely View related.

You can do this with a DataTrigger.


<Grid Name="LayoutRoot" DataContext="{StaticResource MyViewModelInstance}">
                <DataTrigger Binding="{Binding UserShouldEditValueNow}" Value="True">
                    <Setter Property="FocusManager.FocusedElement" Value="{Binding ElementName=PropertySearch}"/>
    <TextBox   Name="PropertySearch"   Text="{Binding UpdateSourceTrigger=PropertyChanged, Mode=TwoWay, Path=PropertySearch, ValidatesOnDataErrors=True}" Width="110" Height="25" Margin="10" />


// When you think the view should set focus on a control
this.UserShouldEditValueNow = true;

The example above is simplified by just using a boolean ViewModel property “UserShouldEditValueNow”. You can add a property like this to your ViewModel or use some other exising property that indicates this state.

Note: So why is it done this way in MVVM? One reason is, suppose the View author decided to replace the TextBox with a ComboBox, or even better, suppose your property was an integer value that had both a TextBox to view/edit the number and a Slider as another way to edit the same value, both controls bound to the same property… how would the ViewModel know which control to set focus on? (when it shouldn’t even know what control, or controls, are bound to it in the first place) This way the View can select which control to focus by changing the ElementName binding target in the DataTrigger Setter.

Happy coding!

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