How to: Enable AutoComplete in ToolStrip Controls in Windows Forms

The following procedure combines a ToolStripLabel with a ToolStripComboBox that can be dropped down to show a list of items, such as recently visited Web sites. If the user types a character that matches the first character of one of the items in the list, the item is immediately displayed.


Automatic completion works with ToolStrip controls in the same way that it works with traditional controls such as ComboBox and TextBox.

To enable AutoComplete in a ToolStrip control

  1. Create a ToolStrip control and add items to it.

    ToolStrip1 = New System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip
    ToolStrip1.Items.AddRange(New System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem()_
        {ToolStripLabel1, ToolStripComboBox1})

    toolStrip1 = new System.Windows.Forms.ToolStrip();
    toolStrip1.Items.AddRange(new System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItem[] 
        {toolStripLabel1, toolStripComboBox1});
  2. Set the Overflow property of the label and the combo box to Never so that the list is always available regardless of the form's size.

    ToolStripLabel1.Overflow = _
    ToolStripComboBox1.Overflow = _

    toolStripLabel1.Overflow = _
    toolStripComboBox1.Overflow = System.Windows.Forms.ToolStripItemOverflow.Never
  3. Add words to the Items collection of the ToolStripComboBox control.

    ToolStripComboBox1.Items.AddRange(New Object() {"First Item", _
        "Second Item", "Third Item"})

    toolStripComboBox1.Items.AddRange(new object[] {"First item", "Second item", "Third item"});
  4. Set the AutoCompleteMode property of the combo box to Append.

    ToolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteMode = _

    toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteMode = System.Windows.Forms.AutoCompleteMode.Append;
  5. Set the AutoCompleteSource property of the combo box to ListItems.

    ToolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteSource = _

    toolStripComboBox1.AutoCompleteSource = System.Windows.Forms.AutoCompleteSource.ListItems;

See Also