DesignerAutoFormatCollection Class

Represents a collection of DesignerAutoFormat objects within a control designer. This class cannot be inherited.

Namespace: System.Web.UI.Design
Assembly: System.Design (in

public sealed class DesignerAutoFormatCollection : IList, ICollection, IEnumerable
public final class DesignerAutoFormatCollection implements IList, ICollection, 
public final class DesignerAutoFormatCollection implements IList, ICollection, 
Not applicable.

The ControlDesigner class and any derived class defines the AutoFormats property as a DesignerAutoFormatCollection object. Control developers can override the AutoFormats property in a derived control designer, add custom automatic formatting styles, and return the collection of supported formats to the visual designer.

The collection dynamically increases as objects are added. Indexes in this collection are zero-based. Use the Count property to determine how many automatic style formats are in the collection.

Additionally, use the DesignerAutoFormatCollection methods and properties to provide the following functionality:

  • The Add method to add a single format to the collection.

  • The Insert method to add a format at a particular index within the collection.

  • The Remove method to remove a format.

  • The RemoveAt method to remove the format at a particular index.

  • The Contains method to determine whether a particular format is already in the collection.

  • The IndexOf method to retrieve the index of a format within the collection.

  • The Item property to get or set the format at a particular index, using array notation.

  • The Clear method to remove all formats from the collection.

  • The Count property to determine the number of formats in the collection.

  • The IndexOf method to get the position of a format within the collection.

The following code example demonstrates how to implement the AutoFormats property in a custom control designer. The derived control designer implements the AutoFormats property by adding three instances of a custom automatic format that are derived from the DesignerAutoFormat class.

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.Design;
using System.Web.UI.Design.WebControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;

namespace CustomControls.Design.CS
	// A custom Label control whose contents can be indented
        ToolboxData("<{0}:IndentLabel Runat=\"server\"></{0}:IndentLabel>")]
    public class IndentLabel : Label
        private int _indent = 0;

        // Property to indent all text within the label
        [Category("Appearance"), DefaultValue(0), 
        public int Indent
            get { return _indent; }
                _indent = value;
                // Get the number of pixels to indent
                int ind = value * 8;

                //  Add the indent style to the control
                if (ind > 0)
                    this.Style.Add(HtmlTextWriterStyle.MarginLeft, ind.ToString() + "px");

	// A design-time ControlDesigner for the IndentLabel control
    public class IndentLabelDesigner : LabelDesigner
        private DesignerAutoFormatCollection _autoFormats = null;

		// The collection of AutoFormat objects for the IndentLabel object
        public override DesignerAutoFormatCollection AutoFormats
                if (_autoFormats == null)
					// Create the collection
                    _autoFormats = new DesignerAutoFormatCollection();

					// Create and add each AutoFormat object
                    _autoFormats.Add(new IndentLabelAutoFormat("MyClassic"));
                    _autoFormats.Add(new IndentLabelAutoFormat("MyBright"));
                    _autoFormats.Add(new IndentLabelAutoFormat("Default"));
                return _autoFormats;

	    // An AutoFormat object for the IndentLabel control
        private class IndentLabelAutoFormat : DesignerAutoFormat
		    public IndentLabelAutoFormat(string name) : base(name)
		    { }

		    // Applies styles based on the Name of the AutoFormat
            public override void Apply(Control inLabel)
                if (inLabel is IndentLabel)
                    IndentLabel ctl = (IndentLabel)inLabel;

				    // Apply formatting according to the Name
                    if (this.Name == "MyClassic")
					    // For MyClassic, apply style elements directly to the control
                        ctl.ForeColor = Color.Gray;
                        ctl.BackColor = Color.LightGray;
                        ctl.Font.Size = FontUnit.XSmall;
                        ctl.Font.Name = "Verdana,Geneva,Sans-Serif";
                    else if (this.Name == "MyBright")
					    // For MyBright, apply style elements to the Style property
                        this.Style.ForeColor = Color.Maroon;
					    this.Style.BackColor = Color.Yellow;
					    this.Style.Font.Size = FontUnit.Medium;

					    // Merge the AutoFormat style with the control's style
					    // For the Default format, apply style elements to the control
                        ctl.ForeColor = Color.Black;
                        ctl.BackColor = Color.Empty;
                        ctl.Font.Size = FontUnit.XSmall;


Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0

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