ToolStripItem Class

Represents the abstract base class that manages events and layout for all the elements that a ToolStrip or ToolStripDropDown can contain.

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

public ref class ToolStripItem abstract : public Component, IDropTarget, IComponent, IDisposable
public abstract class ToolStripItem extends Component implements IDropTarget, IComponent, 
public abstract class ToolStripItem extends Component implements IDropTarget, IComponent, 
Not applicable.

A ToolStripItem is an element such as a button, combo box, text box, or label that can be contained in a ToolStrip control or a ToolStripDropDown control, which is similar to a Windows shortcut menu. The ToolStrip class manages the painting and keyboard and mouse input, including drag-and-drop input, for these elements, and the ToolStripItem class manages events and layout within the elements themselves.

ToolStripItem classes either inherit directly from ToolStripItem, or they inherit indirectly from ToolStripItem through ToolStripControlHost or ToolStripDropDownItem.

ToolStripItem controls must be contained in a ToolStrip, MenuStrip, StatusStrip, or ContextMenuStrip and cannot be added directly to a form. The various container classes are designed to contain an appropriate subset of ToolStripItem controls.

Note   A given ToolStripItem cannot have more than one parent ToolStrip. You must copy of the ToolStripItem and add it to other ToolStrip controls.

The following table shows the elements that derive from the ToolStripItem class and which therefore can be hosted in a ToolStrip or ToolStripDropDown.




A toolbar button that supports images and text.


A text label typically used in a status bar or ToolStrip as a comment or title.


A non-selectable space or space with a vertical bar that visually groups elements.


A ToolStripItem that hosts a ToolStripComboBox, ToolStripTextBox, ToolStripProgressBar, other Windows Forms controls, or custom controls.

A ToolStripComboBox is a text box in which the user can enter text, along with a list from which the user can select text to fill the text box.

A ToolStripTextBox enables the user to enter text.

A ToolStripProgressBar represents a Windows progress bar control contained in a StatusStrip.


A ToolStripItem that hosts a ToolStripMenuItem, ToolStripSplitButton, and ToolStripDropDownButton.

A ToolStripMenuItem is a selectable option displayed on a menu or context menu.

A ToolStripSplitButton is a combination of a regular button and a drop-down button.

A ToolStripDropDownButton is a button that supports drop-down functionality.


A panel in a StatusStrip control.

The following code example demonstrates how to implement a custom ToolStripItem control.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.

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 CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, 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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