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How to: Set the ToolStrip Renderer at Run Time

You can customize the appearance of your ToolStrip control by creating a custom ProfessionalColorTable class.

The following code example demonstrates how to create a custom ProfessionalColorTable class. This class defines gradients for a MenuStrip and a ToolStrip control.

To use this code example, compile and run the application, and then click Change Colors to apply the gradients defined in the custom ProfessionalColorTable class.


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Drawing;


...


// This code example demonstrates how to use a ProfessionalRenderer
// to define custom professional colors at runtime.
class Form2 : Form
{
    public Form2()
    {
        // Create a new ToolStrip control.
        ToolStrip ts = new ToolStrip();

        // Populate the ToolStrip control.
        ts.Items.Add("Apples");
        ts.Items.Add("Oranges");
        ts.Items.Add("Pears");
        ts.Items.Add(
            "Change Colors", 
            null, 
            new EventHandler(ChangeColors_Click));

        // Create a new MenuStrip.
        MenuStrip ms = new MenuStrip();

        // Dock the MenuStrip control to the top of the form.
        ms.Dock = DockStyle.Top;

        // Add the top-level menu items.
        ms.Items.Add("File");
        ms.Items.Add("Edit");
        ms.Items.Add("View");
        ms.Items.Add("Window");

        // Add the ToolStrip to Controls collection.
        this.Controls.Add(ts);

        // Add the MenuStrip control last.
        // This is important for correct placement in the z-order.
        this.Controls.Add(ms);
    }

    // This event handler is invoked when the "Change colors"
    // ToolStripItem is clicked. It assigns the Renderer
    // property for the ToolStrip control.
    void ChangeColors_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        ToolStripManager.Renderer = 
            new ToolStripProfessionalRenderer(new CustomProfessionalColors());
    }
}

// This class defines the gradient colors for 
// the MenuStrip and the ToolStrip.
class CustomProfessionalColors : ProfessionalColorTable
{
    public override Color ToolStripGradientBegin
    { get { return Color.BlueViolet; } }

    public override Color ToolStripGradientMiddle
    { get { return Color.CadetBlue; } }

    public override Color ToolStripGradientEnd
    { get { return Color.CornflowerBlue; } }

    public override Color MenuStripGradientBegin
    { get { return Color.Salmon; } }

    public override Color MenuStripGradientEnd
    { get { return Color.OrangeRed; } }
}


Defining a Custom ProfessionalColorTable class

The custom gradients are defined in the CustomProfessionalColors class.


// This class defines the gradient colors for 
// the MenuStrip and the ToolStrip.
class CustomProfessionalColors : ProfessionalColorTable
{
    public override Color ToolStripGradientBegin
    { get { return Color.BlueViolet; } }

    public override Color ToolStripGradientMiddle
    { get { return Color.CadetBlue; } }

    public override Color ToolStripGradientEnd
    { get { return Color.CornflowerBlue; } }

    public override Color MenuStripGradientBegin
    { get { return Color.Salmon; } }

    public override Color MenuStripGradientEnd
    { get { return Color.OrangeRed; } }
}


Assigning a Custom Renderer

Create a new ToolStripProfessionalRenderer with a CustomProfessionalColors class, and assign it to the ToolStripManager.Renderer property.


// This event handler is invoked when the "Change colors"
// ToolStripItem is clicked. It assigns the Renderer
// property for the ToolStrip control.
void ChangeColors_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    ToolStripManager.Renderer = 
        new ToolStripProfessionalRenderer(new CustomProfessionalColors());
}


This example requires:

  • References to the System.Design, System.Drawing, and System.Windows.Forms assemblies.

For information about building this example from the command line for Visual Basic or Visual C#, see Building from the Command Line (Visual Basic) or Command-line Building With csc.exe. You can also build this example in Visual Studio by pasting the code into a new project. For more information, see How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio and How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio and How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio and How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio.

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