Updated: July 2009
Represents a window or dialog box that makes up an application's user interface.
Assembly: System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)
A is a representation of any window displayed in your application. The class can be used to create standard, tool, borderless, and floating windows. You can also use the class to create modal windows such as a dialog box. A special kind of form, the multiple-document interface (MDI) form, can contain other forms called MDI child forms. An MDI form is created by setting the IsMdiContainer property to true. MDI child forms are created by setting the MdiParent property to the MDI parent form that will contain the child form.
Using the properties available in the class, you can determine the appearance, size, color, and window management features of the window or dialog box you are creating. The Text property allows you to specify the caption of the window in the title bar. The Size and DesktopLocation properties allow you to define the size and position of the window when it is displayed. You can use the ForeColor color property to change the default foreground color of all controls placed on the form. The FormBorderStyle, MinimizeBox, and MaximizeBox properties allow you to control whether the form can be minimized, maximized, or resized at run time.
In addition to properties, you can use the methods of the class to manipulate a form. For example, you can use the ShowDialog method to show a form as a modal dialog box. You can use the SetDesktopLocation method to position the form on the desktop.
The events of the class allow you to respond to actions performed on the form. You can use the Activated event to perform operations such as updating the data displayed in the controls of the form when the form is activated.
You can use a form as the starting class in your application by placing a method called Main in the class. In the Main method add code to create and show the form. You will also need to add the STAThread attribute to the Main method in order for the form to run. When the starting form is closed, the application is also closed.
If you set the Enabled property to false before the is visible (for example, setting Enabled to false in the Microsoft Visual Studio designer), the minimize, maximize, close, and system buttons remain enabled. If you set Enabled to false after the is visible (for example, when the Load event occurs), the buttons are disabled.
The following code example creates a new instance of a and calls the ShowDialog method to display the form as a dialog box. The example sets the FormBorderStyle, AcceptButton, CancelButton, MinimizeBox, MaximizeBox, and StartPosition properties to change the appearance and functionality of the form to a dialog box. The example also uses the Add method of the form's Controls collection to add two Button controls. The example uses the HelpButton property to display a help button in the caption bar of the dialog box.
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, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC