This is a control that behaves like the tab control, but has visual cues that look more like the navigation panel in Outlook. Since this is more of a tab control than a navigation panel control, you are free to add as many tabs as you like. The control is made of a collection of tabs, where each tab has two drawing surfaces and an icon. The icon is used when a tab is not visible. Please note that this control is not thread-safe; I will make it thread-safe at some point. If you are interested in making it thread-safe, you will have to modify the Change theme code in all of the controls in the solution.
How to Use the Control
- Include the following DLLs in your project debug directory, or at least in a directory whose path is known to VS. Better yet, place them in the GAC:
- Set a reference to NavCtl.dll in your project.
- Add the control to your toolbox. To do this, right click on the toolbox and click "Choose Items."
- In the "Choose Toolbox Items" dialog box, click "Browse..." and find NavCtl.dll. Alternatively...
- Once selected, the controls
TabC will be added to your toolbox active tab.
- Drag and drop the control on any form.
- Now add a new user control to your project. This user control must visually inherit from the
HDCControl as in the next two figures.
- Design your user control by adding other controls to it.
- In your code view of the containing form, create a locally scoped variable of type
AdrdNavigationTabCollection. The following is a code example.
public partial class Form1 : Form
AdrdNavigationTabCollection TabsCollection =
- In the form
Load event, create a variable of type
AdrdNavigationTab tab = new AdrdNavigationTab();
- Assign the user control you created in steps 7 and 8 to the
tab.HeaderControl = new YOURCONTROL();
tab.DetailControl = new YOURCONTROL ();
Note: replace "
YOURCONTROL" with your user control name.
- Add the instant of
AdrdNavigationTab you created in step 10 to the collection you created in step 9.
- Assign the instant of the collection
AdrdNavigationTabCollection to the
AllTabsCollection property of the control.
this.adrdNC1.AllTabsCollection = TabsCollection;
- (OPTIONAL) Create the
this.adrdNC1.OnTabAction += new TabActions(adrdNC1_OnTabAction);
this.adrdNC1.OnChildClick += new
- Make sure all your user controls (tabs) inherit from
public partial class YOURCONTROL : HDCUserControl.HDCControl
- To actually make the control pass values back and forth between the different surfaces and/or the containing form, always call the
OnAction method of the
HDCControl instant. For example, if you included a TreeView control on your
HDCControl instant drawing surface and you want to update your containing form with the node text when the node selected is changed, you would do the following:
OnTabAction will pass you the
HDCControl control instant that raised the
OnAction event and the
AdrdNavigationTab item. So, you can have both drawing surfaces to the control and can cause changes on either of the drawing surfaces and/or the containing form.
The attached solution contains a "TestHarness" project that includes most of the implementations of the control. Also, there is a DOC directory in the attached solution that holds some documentation I started working on while developing the control. It's not complete, though.
- 17 September, 2007 -- Original version posted
- 26 September, 2007 -- Image added to article