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Adding Controls to Windows Forms

Visual Studio .NET 2003

Most forms are designed by adding controls to the surface of the form to define a user interface. A control is a component on a form used to display information or accept user input.

To draw a control on a form

  1. Open the form. For details, see Displaying Windows Forms in the Designer.
  2. In the Toolbox, click the control you want to add to your form.
  3. On the form, click where you want the upper-left corner of the control to be located, and drag to where you want the lower-right corner of the control to be located.

    The control is added to the form with the specified location and size.

Each control has a default size defined. You can add a control to your form in the control's default size by dragging it from the Toolbox to the form.

To drag a control to a form

  1. Open the form. For details, see Displaying Windows Forms in the Designer.
  2. In the Toolbox, click the control you want and drag it to your form.

    The control is added to the form at the specified location in its default size.

    Note   You can double-click a control in the Toolbox to add it to the upper-left corner of the form in its default size.

You can also add controls dynamically to a form at run time. In the example below, a TextBox control will be added to the form when a Button control is clicked.

Note   The procedure below assumes the existence of a form with a Button control,
Button1
, already placed on it.

To add a control to a form programmatically

  • In the method that handles the button's Click event within your form's class, insert code similar to the following to add a reference to your control variable, set the control's Location, and add the control:
    ' Visual Basic
    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
       Dim MyText As New TextBox()
       MyText.Location = New Point(25, 25)
       Me.Controls.Add(MyText)
    End Sub
    // C#
    private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e) 
    {
       TextBox myText = new TextBox();
       myText.Location = new Point(25,25);
       this.Controls.Add (myText);
    }
    // C++
    private:
      System::Void button1_Click(System::Object *  sender,
        System::EventArgs *  e)
      {
        TextBox *myText = new TextBox();
        myText->Location = Point(25,25);
        this->Controls->Add(myText);
      }
    
    Note   You can also add code to initialize other properties of the control.
    Security Note   You might expose your local computer to a security risk through the network by referencing a malicious UserControl. This would only be a concern in the case of a malicious person creating a damaging custom control, followed by you mistakenly adding it to your project.

See Also

Windows Forms Controls | Arranging Controls on Windows Forms | Resizing Controls on Windows Forms | Setting the Text Displayed by a Windows Forms Control | Controls You Can Use on Windows Forms | Creating Windows Forms

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