Silverlight for Windows Phone Programming Tip – Be Sure to Scope Your SIP

Scope Your SIP – sounds painful, doesn’t it? Adding on to Jeff‘s series concerning WP7 Silverlight development tips, I figured it worthwhile to add another one. The SIP is the Software Input Panel – AKA the Phone’s onscreen keyboard. One of the handy features of the SIP is the ability to customize it to fit the needs of the textbox it is being displayed for – eg if you need to enter a phone number, why wrestle with a bunch of letter keys?
Figure 1- SIP default appearance (USA)
To do so, it is necessary to provide set the TextBox’s InputScope property to one of the values in the InputScopeNameValue enumeration, as pictured below:
<TextBox>
    <TextBox.InputScope>
        <InputScope>
            <InputScopeName NameValue="TelephoneNumber"/>
        </InputScope>
    </TextBox.InputScope>
</TextBox>
																			
Figure 2- SIP with TelephoneNumber Selected for the InputScope
Note that this is a little convoluted than the original description, which perhaps should have stated “it is necessary to provide the TextBox’s InputScope property with an InputScope object which contains the desired input scope name.” InputScope actually accepts a list of Names, of which only the first currently has any effect on the SIP display.
public sealed class InputScope : DependencyObject
{
    public InputScope();    
    public IList Names { get; }
}
If you want suggested word completions to appear as the user types letters, the only InputScope values that currently support completion are “Text” and “Chat.”
<TextBox>
    <TextBox.InputScope>
        <InputScope>
            <InputScopeName NameValue="Text"/>
        </InputScope>
    </TextBox.InputScope>
</TextBox>
																			
Figure 3- Showing Word Completion Suggestions with “Text” InputScope Selected
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