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TabControl.DrawItem Event

Occurs when the TabControl needs to paint each of its tabs if the DrawMode property is set to OwnerDrawFixed.

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

public event DrawItemEventHandler DrawItem

When you set the DrawMode property to OwnerDrawFixed, the TabControl raises the DrawItem event whenever it needs to paint one of its tabs. To customize the appearance of the tabs, provide your own painting code in a handler for the DrawItem event.

The TabControl does not support variable tab sizes with owner drawing.

For more information about handling events, see Consuming Events.

The following code example creates a TabControl with one TabPage. This example declares an event handler that is used to draw a string and Rectangle on the tab of tabPage1. The event handler is bound to the DrawItem event.

Use the System.Drawing and System.Windows.Forms namespaces for this example.

using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;

public class Form1 : Form
    private Rectangle tabArea;
    private RectangleF tabTextArea;

    public Form1()
        TabControl tabControl1 = new TabControl();
        TabPage tabPage1 = new TabPage();

        // Allows access to the DrawItem event. 
        tabControl1.DrawMode = TabDrawMode.OwnerDrawFixed;

        tabControl1.SizeMode = TabSizeMode.Fixed;
        tabControl1.ItemSize = new Size(80, 30);
        tabControl1.Location = new Point(25, 25);
        tabControl1.Size = new Size(250, 250);
        tabPage1.TabIndex = 0;
        ClientSize = new Size(300, 300);

        tabArea = tabControl1.GetTabRect(0);
        tabTextArea = (RectangleF)tabControl1.GetTabRect(0);

        // Binds the event handler DrawOnTab to the DrawItem event  
        // through the DrawItemEventHandler delegate.
        tabControl1.DrawItem += new DrawItemEventHandler(DrawOnTab);

    // Declares the event handler DrawOnTab which is a method that 
    // draws a string and Rectangle on the tabPage1 tab. 
    private void DrawOnTab(object sender, DrawItemEventArgs e)
        Graphics g = e.Graphics;
        Pen p = new Pen(Color.Blue);
        Font font = new Font("Arial", 10.0f);
        SolidBrush brush = new SolidBrush(Color.Red);

        g.DrawRectangle(p, tabArea);
        g.DrawString("tabPage1", font, brush, tabTextArea);

    static void Main() 
        Application.Run(new Form1());

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98

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

.NET Framework

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