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ContainerControl.ValidateChildren Method

Updated: August 2008

Causes all of the child controls within a control that support validation to validate their data.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

[BrowsableAttribute(false)]
public virtual bool ValidateChildren()

Return Value

Type: System.Boolean
true if all of the children validated successfully; otherwise, false. If called from the Validating or Validated event handlers, this method will always return false.

ValidateChildren will descend a control's hierarchy and examine each control to see if it supports validation. If the control can be selected by the user and its CausesValidation property is true, ValidateChildren will cause the Validating event to occur. If any of the controls cancel the Validating event, this method will return false; otherwise, it will return true.

If a control is bound to a data source, and the Validating event occurs, it will cause the control to push its current data back to the data source.

Calling ValidateChildren is equivalent to calling ValidateChildren with a ValidationConstraints of None.

The following code example turns off implicit validation for a form and all of its contained controls, and instead manually performs validation of all of the form's children when a mouse button is clicked.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Text;

namespace TestValidation
{
    class Form1 : Form
    {
        private static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            Application.EnableVisualStyles();
            Application.Run(new Form1());
        }

        private TextBox firstNameBox, lastNameBox;
        private Button validateButton;
        private FlowLayoutPanel flowLayout1;

        private Form1()
        {
            this.Load += new EventHandler(Form1_Load);
        }

        void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            // Turn off validation when a control loses focus. This will be inherited by child 
            // controls on the form, enabling us to validate the entire form when the  
            // button is clicked instead of one control at a time. 
            this.AutoValidate = AutoValidate.Disable;

            flowLayout1 = new FlowLayoutPanel();
            flowLayout1.Dock = DockStyle.Fill;
            flowLayout1.Name = "flowLayout1";

            firstNameBox = new TextBox();
            firstNameBox.Name = "firstNameBox";
            firstNameBox.Size = new Size(75, firstNameBox.Size.Height);
            firstNameBox.CausesValidation = true;
            firstNameBox.Validating += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(firstNameBox_Validating);
            flowLayout1.Controls.Add(firstNameBox);

            lastNameBox = new TextBox();
            lastNameBox.Name = "lastNameBox";
            lastNameBox.Size = new Size(75, lastNameBox.Size.Height);
            lastNameBox.CausesValidation = true;
            lastNameBox.Validating += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(lastNameBox_Validating);
            flowLayout1.Controls.Add(lastNameBox);

            validateButton = new Button();
            validateButton.Text = "Validate";
            // validateButton.Location = new Point(170, 10);
            validateButton.Size = new Size(75, validateButton.Size.Height);
            validateButton.Click += new EventHandler(validateButton_Click);
            flowLayout1.Controls.Add(validateButton);

            this.Controls.Add(flowLayout1);

            this.Text = "Test Validation";
        }

        void firstNameBox_Validating(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
        {
            if (firstNameBox.Text.Length == 0)
            {
                e.Cancel = true;
            }
            else
            {
                e.Cancel = false;
            }
        }

        void lastNameBox_Validating(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
        {
            e.Cancel = false;
        }

        void validateButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            if (this.ValidateChildren())
            {
                MessageBox.Show("Validation succeeded!");
            }
            else
            {
                MessageBox.Show("Validation failed.");
            }
        }
    }
}

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

Date

History

Reason

August 2008

Fixed reference so that code example appears.

Content bug fix.

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