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Walkthrough: Updating Status Bar Information at Run Time

Important noteImportant

The StatusStrip and ToolStripStatusLabel controls replace and add functionality to the StatusBar and StatusBarPanel controls; however, the StatusBar and StatusBarPanel controls are retained for both backward compatibility and future use, if you choose.

Often, a program will call for you to update the contents of status bar panels dynamically at run time, based on changes to application state or other user interaction. This is a common way to signal users that keys such as the CAPS LOCK, NUM LOCK, or SCROLL LOCK are enabled, or to provide the date or a clock as a convenient reference.

In the following example, you will use an instance of the StatusBarPanel class to host a clock.

To get the status bar ready for updating

  1. Create a new Windows form.

  2. Add a StatusBar control to your form. For details, see How to: Add Controls to Windows Forms.

  3. Add a status bar panel to your StatusBar control. For details, see How to: Add Panels to a StatusBar Control.

  4. For the StatusBar control you added to your form, set the ShowPanels property to true.

  5. Add a Windows Forms Timer component to the form.


    The Windows Forms System.Windows.Forms.Timer component is designed for a Windows Forms environment. If you need a timer that is suitable for a server environment, see Introduction to Server-Based Timers.

  6. Set the Enabled property to true.

  7. Set the Interval property of the Timer to 30000.


    The Interval property of the Timer component is set to 30 seconds (30,000 milliseconds) to ensure that an accurate time is reflected in the time displayed.

To implement the timer to update the status bar

  • Insert the following code into the event handler of the Timer component to update the panel of the StatusBar control.

    Private Sub Timer1_Tick(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Timer1.Tick
       StatusBar1.Panels(0).Text = Now.ToShortTimeString
    End Sub

    private void timer1_Tick(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
       statusBar1.Panels[0].Text = DateTime.Now.ToShortTimeString();

      System::Void timer1_Tick(System::Object ^ sender,
        System::EventArgs ^ e)
        statusBar1->Panels[0]->Text =

    At this point, you are ready to run the application and observe the clock running in the status bar panel.

To test the application

  • Debug the application and press F5 to run it. For details about debugging, see Debugging in Visual Studio.


    It will take approximately 30 seconds for the clock to appear in the status bar. This is to get the most accurate time possible. Conversely, to make the clock appear sooner, you can reduce the value of the Interval property you set in step 7 in the previous procedure.