Saturday 27 April 2013

Difference between WPF and Window Forms in .NET

Difference between WPF and Window Forms in .NET

I have been asked the difference between WPF and Window Forms. my times by my juniors whenever I suggest them to learn WPF. So, today I am trying to clear this doubt and make my opinions clear about this.

There are a lot of differences between WPF and Window Forms. WinForms is past and WPF is the latest technology equipped with advanced features which Window Forms lack. WPF supports UI, media, documents, hardware acceleration, vector graphics, scalability to different form factors, interactive data visualization, and superior content readability. Lets have a look on the features and benefits that WPF provides over the Window Forms.

1. WPF is a Vector Graphics based UI Presentation Layer

WPF is a vector graphics based UI presentation layer where WinForms is not. By being vector based, it allows the presentation layer to smoothly scale UI elements to any size without distortion.

2. Enhanced Custom Controls Support

WPF is also a composable presentation system, which means that pretty much any UI element can be made up of any other UI element. This allows you to easily build up complex UI elements from simpler ones.

3. Enhanced DataBinding Support

WPF is also fully databinding aware, which means that you can bind any property of a UI element to a .NET object (or a property/method of an object), a property of another UI element, or data. Yes, WinForms supports databinding but in a much more limited way.

4. WPF is "skinable" or "themeable"

WPF is "skinable" or "themeable", which means that as a developer you can use a list box because those are the behaviors you need but someone can "skin" it to look like something completely different.

Think of a list box of images. You want the content to actually be the image but you still want list box behaviors. This is completely trivial to do in WPF by simply using a listbox and changing the content presentation to contain an image rather than text.
5. Supports Window Forms

WPF does support Windows Forms and Windows Forms can be included in WPF project by adding dlls of Window Forms.


WPF is a replacement for WinForms. What Window Forms can do, WPF can, but what WPF can do, Window Forms cannot do all.

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