WPF Caliburn.Micro/mvvm Navigation

I'm building a project, and one of the biggest problems I've come across until now is navigation. I've been looking for some time now for examples of caliburn.micro/mvvm navigation, but they all seem to be really long and I couldn't really understand much of it (beginner here!).

Some info about my project: I want there to be an outer window/shell, with menu links/tabs that open pages according to the button clicked inside an inner part of the shell, and be able to open change the page from within a one.

I currently have: ShellViewModel.cs, MainViewModel.cs, my models, and my views. For now, all I need to know is how to make MainViewModel load inside shellviewmodel on startup(using contentcontrol/frames...), and how to move from one page to another.

You could also just write it in points, and link me to some useful examples, and I believe I could continue from there. It'd be best to get a thorough explanation of stuff if possible.


Have a read about Conductors and Screens on the official documentation.

As a simple example, your ShellViewModel could be a Conductor of one active screen (i.e. only one screen becomes active/inactive at a time):

public class ShellViewModel : Conductor<IScreen>.Collection.OneActive

You can then set the ActiveItem of the Conductor to the view model instance that you wish to be currently active:


A collection Conductor type also provides an Items collection which you can populate as you instantiate new windows. Viewmodels in this Items collection may be those that are currently deactivated but not yet closed, and you can activate them by using ActivateItem as above. It also makes it very easy to create a menu of open windows by using an ItemsControl with x:Name="Items" in your ShellView.

Then, to create the ShellView, you can use a ContentControl and set its name to be the same as the ActiveItem property, and Caliburn.Micro will do the rest:

<ContentControl x:Name="ActiveItem" />

You can then respond to activation/deactivation in your MainViewModel by overriding OnActivate/OnDeactivate in that class.

In ShellView you use a content control like this:

<ShellView xmlns:cal="http://caliburnproject.org/">
           <Button Content="Show other view" cal:Message.Attach="ShowOtherView" />
           <ContentControl cal:View.Model="{Binding Child}" />


public class ShellViewModel : Screen
     private object Child;

     public object Child
           get{ return child; }
                if(child == value)
                child = value;
                NotifyOfPropertyChange(() => Child);

     public ShellViewModel()
         this.Child = new MainViewModel();

     public void ShowOtherView()
           this.Child = new FooViewModel();

So this is a very basic example. But as you see, your ShellView provides a ContentControl, which shows the child view. This ContentControl is bound via View.Model to the Child property from your ShellViewModel.

In ShellView, I used a button to show a different view, but you can also use a menu or something like that.

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