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ContainerControl.ValidateChildren Method (ValidationConstraints)

Updated: October 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(
	ValidationConstraints validationConstraints
)

Parameters

validationConstraints
Type: System.Windows.Forms.ValidationConstraints

Places restrictions on which controls have their Validating event raised.

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 examine all the children of the current control, causing the Validating event to occur on a control if it meets the criteria spelled out by ValidationConstraints.

You may use several ValidationConstraints parameters at once by combining them with a bitwise OR operator. Combining parameters with a bitwise OR operator will result in a logical AND operation. For example, calling ValidateChildren(ValidationConstraints.ImmediateChildren | ValidationConstraints.Enabled) will only raise the Validating event on controls that are both immediate children of the container AND are enabled.

Regardless of which parameters you specify for this method, a control must have its CausesValidation property set to true in order for its Validating event to occur. You should also set the AutoValidate property of the control or of the control's container to false if you want validation to happen only when you call ValidateChildren, and not when the user shifts focus from the control.

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.

You cannot achieve the opposite effect of a ValidationConstraints parameter by applying a bitwise negation operator. For example, if you supply the negative value of the Visible field to ValidateChildren, it will not validate all children that are not visible on the container. Supplying any negative parameter to ValidateChildren will have no effect on the container or its children.

The following code example will only cause the Validating event to occur for immediate children of the form whose Enabled property is true.

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

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

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

        void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            // Create controls on form.
            TextBox textBox1, textBox2, textBox3;
            FlowLayoutPanel flowPanel1;
            TextBox subTextBox1;
            Button button1;

            this.Size = new Size(500, 300);
            this.AutoValidate = AutoValidate.Disable;

            textBox1 = new TextBox();
            textBox1.Location = new Point(20, 20);
            textBox1.Size = new Size(75, textBox1.Size.Height);
            textBox1.CausesValidation = true;
            textBox1.Validating += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(textBox1_Validating);
            this.Controls.Add(textBox1);

            textBox2 = new TextBox();
            textBox2.Location = new Point(105, 20);
            textBox2.Size = new Size(75, textBox2.Size.Height);
            textBox2.CausesValidation = true;
            textBox2.Validating += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(textBox2_Validating);
            this.Controls.Add(textBox2);

            textBox3 = new TextBox();
            textBox3.Location = new Point(190, 20);
            textBox3.Size = new Size(75, textBox3.Size.Height);
            textBox3.Enabled = false;
            textBox3.CausesValidation = true;
            textBox3.Validating += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(textBox3_Validating);
            this.Controls.Add(textBox3);

            button1 = new Button();
            button1.Text = "Click";
            button1.Location = new Point(270, 20);
            button1.Click += new EventHandler(button1_Click);
            this.Controls.Add(button1);

            flowPanel1 = new FlowLayoutPanel();
            flowPanel1.Size = new Size(400, 100);
            flowPanel1.Dock = DockStyle.Bottom;
            subTextBox1 = new TextBox();
            subTextBox1.CausesValidation = true;
            subTextBox1.Validating += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(subTextBox1_Validating);
            flowPanel1.Controls.Add(subTextBox1);
            this.Controls.Add(flowPanel1);
        }

        void subTextBox1_Validating(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("subTextBox1 Validating!");
        }

        void textBox1_Validating(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("textBox1 Validating!");
        }

        void textBox2_Validating(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("textBox2 Validating!");
        }

        void textBox3_Validating(object sender, System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
        {
            MessageBox.Show("textBox3 Validating!");
        }

        void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            this.ValidateChildren(ValidationConstraints.ImmediateChildren | ValidationConstraints.Enabled);
        }
    }
}

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

October 2008

Added clarification regarding combining parameters with a bitwise OR operator.

Customer feedback.

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