Getting Started

General Use

JavaScript Integration


Windows Forms




How to: Handle or Simulate User Input with the WPF WebControl

.NET Language:


The WPF WebControl uses WPF specific presenters (IWebViewPresenter), depending on the specified ViewType. Presenters are used in the visual tree when styling a WPF WebControl. These can be custom WPF surfaces also implementing ISurface (for offscreen views) or any other control providing custom presentation of an IWebView instance.

When WebControl.ViewType is set to Offscreen (default), the predefined WebViewPresenter is used for presentation. This is an ISurface component that uses 100% WPF logic to copy the view’s pixel buffer to a bitmap that it then renders for presentation.

WebViewPresenter inherits FrameworkElement and is part of the WPF WebControl’s default style. When the visual tree is loaded for presentation, the WPF WebControl uses the IWebViewPresenter interface to communicate with the WebViewPresenter that takes care of all UI related operations which besides rendering include:

  • Handling user input
  • Presentation of dialogs
  • Presentation of menus

When using the WPF WebControl, it is the WebViewPresenter and not the WebControl itself that handles user input. This means that handling user input related events on the WebControl, will not prevent the WebViewPresenter from handling these events and passing them to the native view.

Since the WebViewPresenter is part of the WebControl’s visual tree, the appropriate way to handle such events yourself, is by handling the Preview events.

Native windowed views handle user input themselves and there’s no way to handle or simulate user input on the managed side. If you need to handle or simulate user input, make sure that WebControl.ViewType is set to Offscreen (default).


The following example demonstrates:

  • How to prevent the presenter from handling the TAB and Space characters and passing them to the native view.
  • How to translate right-arrow to a Space hit.

XAML (MainWindow.xaml)


C# (MainWindow.xaml.cs)

using System;
using System.Windows;
using System.Windows.Input;
using Awesomium.Core;
using Awesomium.Windows.Controls;

namespace WpfApplication1
    /// <summary>
    /// Interaction logic for MainWindow.xaml
    /// </summary>
    public partial class MainWindow : Window
        public MainWindow()

        private void WebControl_PreviewKeyDown( object sender, KeyEventArgs e )
            // Prevent passing TAB and Space to the view.
            if ( ( e.Key == Key.Tab ) || ( e.Key == Key.Space ) )
                e.Handled = true;

            // We only want to translate right-arrow to a space.
            if ( e.Key != Key.Right )

            // Get the IWebView interface the control implements.
            IWebView webView = (IWebView)webControl;

            // Create a WPF KeyDown event for Space.
            KeyEventArgs ev = new KeyEventArgs( 
                Key.Space );
            // The GetKeyboardEvent extensions provided by
            // Awesomium.Windows.Controls.Utilities, can translate this 
            // to a WebKeyboardEvent needed by Awesomium.
            WebKeyboardEvent webEvent = ev.GetKeyboardEvent( 
                WebKeyboardEventType.KeyDown );
            // Inject the event, simulating a Space hit.
            webView.InjectKeyboardEvent( webEvent );

            // A normal Space hit, would be followed by a 
            // PreviewTextInput event. We need to simulate this too.
            TextCompositionEventArgs txtEv = new TextCompositionEventArgs( 
                new TextComposition( InputManager.Current, webControl, " " ) );

            if ( txtEv.GetKeyboardEvent() != null )
                // Get the equivalent WebKeyboardEvent.
                webEvent = (WebKeyboardEvent)txtEv.GetKeyboardEvent();
                // Inject it to the view.
                webView.InjectKeyboardEvent( webEvent );

            // Consume the right-arrow hit. We translated it to a Space.
            e.Handled = true;

        private void WebControl_PreviewKeyUp( object sender, KeyEventArgs e )
            // Prevent passing TAB and Space to the view.
            if ( ( e.Key == Key.Tab ) || ( e.Key == Key.Space ) )
                e.Handled = true;

            if ( e.Key == Key.Right )
                // We translate this to a Space in PreviewKeyDown.
                // A KeyUp is not needed for Space.
                e.Handled = true;

        private void WebControl_PreviewTextInput( object sender, 
                                                  TextCompositionEventArgs e )
            // Should never be fired since we handle Space
            // in KeyDown, but just in case.
            if ( e.Text == " " )
                e.Handled = true;

Additional Resources