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Binding::Format Event

Occurs when the property of a control is bound to a data value.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

 event ConvertEventHandler^ Format {
	void add (ConvertEventHandler^ value);
	void remove (ConvertEventHandler^ value);

The Format event is raised when data is pushed from the data source into the control. You can handle the Format event to convert unformatted data from the data source into formatted data for display. When data is pulled from the control into the data source, the Parse event is raised to unformat the displayed value, then the Format event occurs to reformat the data for display. This ensures that the bound control displays correctly formatted data regardless of whether the user enters formatted or unformatted data in the control.

The Format and Parse events allow you to create custom formats for displaying data. For example, if the data in a table is of type Decimal, you can display the data in the local currency format by setting the Value property of the ConvertEventArgs to the formatted value in the Format event. You must consequently unformat the displayed value in the Parse event.

The Format event occurs whenever the Current value of the BindingManagerBase changes, which includes:

  • The first time the property is bound.

  • Any time the Position changes.

  • Whenever the data-bound list is sorted or filtered, which is accomplished when a DataView supplies the list.

The Format event also occurs after the Parse event. For example, when a control loses focus, its contents are parsed. Immediately afterward, as new data is pushed into the control, the Format event occurs allowing the new contents to be formatted.

For more information about handling events, see Consuming Events.

The following code example creates a Binding, adds a ConvertEventHandler delegate to both the Parse and Format events, and adds the Binding to the BindingsCollection of a TextBox control through the DataBindings property. The DecimalToCurrencyString event delegate, added to the Format event, formats the bound value (a Decimal type) as currency using the ToString method. The CurrencyStringToDecimal event delegate, added to the Parse event, converts the value displayed by the control back to the Decimal type.

This example assumes the presence of a DataSet named ds.

   void DecimalToCurrencyString( Object^ /*sender*/, ConvertEventArgs^ cevent )
      // The method converts only to string type. Test this using the DesiredType.
      if ( cevent->DesiredType != String::typeid )

      // Use the ToString method to format the value as currency ("c").
      cevent->Value = ( (Decimal)(cevent->Value) ).ToString( "c" );

   void CurrencyStringToDecimal( Object^ /*sender*/, ConvertEventArgs^ cevent )
      // The method converts back to decimal type only. 
      if ( cevent->DesiredType != Decimal::typeid )

      // Converts the string back to decimal using the static Parse method.
      cevent->Value = Decimal::Parse( cevent->Value->ToString(),
         NumberStyles::Currency, nullptr );

   void BindControl()
      // Creates the binding first. The OrderAmount is a Decimal type.
      Binding^ b = gcnew Binding(
         "Text",ds,"customers.custToOrders.OrderAmount" );

      // Add the delegates to the event.
      b->Format += gcnew ConvertEventHandler( this, &Form1::DecimalToCurrencyString );
      b->Parse += gcnew ConvertEventHandler( this, &Form1::CurrencyStringToDecimal );
      text1->DataBindings->Add( b );

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.