Windows Forms Controls by Function

 

Windows Forms offers controls and components that perform a number of functions. The following table lists the Windows Forms controls and components according to general function. In addition, where multiple controls exist that serve the same function, the recommended control is listed with a note regarding the control it superseded. In a separate subsequent table, the superseded controls are listed with their recommended replacements.

System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

The following tables do not list every control or component you can use in Windows Forms; for a more comprehensive list, see Controls to Use on Windows Forms

FunctionControlDescription
Data displayDataGridView controlThe DataGridView control provides a customizable table for displaying data. The DataGridView class enables customization of cells, rows, columns, and borders. Note: The DataGridView control provides numerous basic and advanced features that are missing in the DataGrid control. For more information, see Differences Between the Windows Forms DataGridView and DataGrid Controls
Data binding and navigationBindingSource componentSimplifies binding controls on a form to data by providing currency management, change notification, and other services.
BindingNavigator controlProvides a toolbar-type interface to navigate and manipulate data on a form.
Text editingTextBox controlDisplays text entered at design time that can be edited by users at run time, or changed programmatically.
RichTextBox controlEnables text to be displayed with formatting in plain text or rich-text format (RTF).
MaskedTextBox controlConstrains the format of user input
Information display (read-only)Label controlDisplays text that users cannot directly edit.
LinkLabel controlDisplays text as a Web-style link and triggers an event when the user clicks the special text. Usually the text is a link to another window or a Web site.
StatusStrip controlDisplays information about the application's current state using a framed area, usually at the bottom of a parent form.
ProgressBar controlDisplays the current progress of an operation to the user.
Web page displayWebBrowser controlEnables the user to navigate Web pages inside your form.
Selection from a listCheckedListBox controlDisplays a scrollable list of items, each accompanied by a check box.
ComboBox controlDisplays a drop-down list of items.
DomainUpDown controlDisplays a list of text items that users can scroll through with up and down buttons.
ListBox controlDisplays a list of text and graphical items (icons).
ListView controlDisplays items in one of four different views. Views include text only, text with small icons, text with large icons, and a details view.
NumericUpDown controlDisplays a list of numerals that users can scroll through with up and down buttons.
TreeView controlDisplays a hierarchical collection of node objects that can consist of text with optional check boxes or icons.
Graphics displayPictureBox controlDisplays graphical files, such as bitmaps and icons, in a frame.
Graphics storageImageList controlServes as a repository for images. ImageList controls and the images they contain can be reused from one application to the next.
Value settingCheckBox controlDisplays a check box and a label for text. Generally used to set options.
CheckedListBox controlDisplays a scrollable list of items, each accompanied by a check box.
RadioButton controlDisplays a button that can be turned on or off.
TrackBar controlAllows users to set values on a scale by moving a "thumb" along a scale.
Date settingDateTimePicker controlDisplays a graphical calendar to allow users to select a date or a time.
MonthCalendar controlDisplays a graphical calendar to allow users to select a range of dates.
Dialog boxesColorDialog controlDisplays the color picker dialog box that allows users to set the color of an interface element.
FontDialog controlDisplays a dialog box that allows users to set a font and its attributes.
OpenFileDialog controlDisplays a dialog box that allows users to navigate to and select a file.
PrintDialog controlDisplays a dialog box that allows users to select a printer and set its attributes.
PrintPreviewDialog controlDisplays a dialog box that displays how a control PrintDocument component will appear when printed.
FolderBrowserDialog controlDisplays a dialog that allows users to browse, create, and eventually select a folder
SaveFileDialog controlDisplays a dialog box that allows users to save a file.
Menu controlsMenuStrip controlCreates custom menus. Note: The MenuStrip is designed to replace the MainMenu control.
ContextMenuStrip controlCreates custom context menus. Note: The ContextMenuStrip is designed to replace the ContextMenu control.
CommandsButton controlStarts, stops, or interrupts a process.
LinkLabel controlDisplays text as a Web-style link and triggers an event when the user clicks the special text. Usually the text is a link to another window or a Web site.
NotifyIcon controlDisplays an icon in the status notification area of the taskbar that represents an application running in the background.
ToolStrip controlCreates toolbars that can have a Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Internet Explorer, or custom look and feel, with or without themes, and with support for overflow and run-time item reordering. Note: The ToolStrip control is designed to replace the ToolBar control.
User HelpHelpProvider componentProvides pop-up or online Help for controls.
ToolTip componentProvides a pop-up window that displays a brief description of a control's purpose when the user rests the pointer on the control.
Grouping other controlsPanel controlGroups a set of controls on an unlabeled, scrollable frame.
GroupBox controlGroups a set of controls (such as radio buttons) on a labeled, nonscrollable frame.
TabControl controlProvides a tabbed page for organizing and accessing grouped objects efficiently.
SplitContainer controlProvides two panels separated by a movable bar. Note: The SplitContainer control is designed to replace the Splitter control.
TableLayoutPanel controlRepresents a panel that dynamically lays out its contents in a grid composed of rows and columns.
FlowLayoutPanel controlRepresents a panel that dynamically lays out its contents horizontally or vertically.
AudioSoundPlayer controlPlays sound files in the .wav format. Sounds can be loaded or played asynchronously.
FunctionSuperseded controlRecommended replacement
Data displayDataGridDataGridView
Information Display (Read-only controls)StatusBarStatusStrip
Menu controlsContextMenuContextMenuStrip
MainMenuMenuStrip
CommandsToolBarToolStrip
StatusBarStatusStrip
Form layoutSplitterSplitContainer

Controls to Use on Windows Forms
Developing Custom Windows Forms Controls with the .NET Framework

Show: