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, 24 Jul 2008 CPOL
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A lightweight class that lets you add cues to a TextBox.


CueProvider is a tiny class that lets you set a cue banner (the grey prompt text that automatically disappears when you begin to type) in a TextBox control.

CueProvider demo

How to use CueProvider

CueProvider is easy to use, and has just two methods - one to set a TextBox's cue text, the other to clear it. To set the cue text, call SetCue(); to clear it, call ClearCue(). These calls are best placed in your form's OnLoad handler.

  // Set cue text
  CueProvider.SetCue (theTextBox, theCueText);

  // Clear cue text
  CueProvider.ClearCue (theTextBox);

How it works

CueProvider works by sending the TextBox the EM_SETCUEBANNER message. The message is sent using the SendMessage() Win32 API. More information on the EM_SETCUEBANNER message can be found on this MSDN page.


As you can see, there's nothing overly complicated in this class. I put CueBanner together in a few minutes, and wanted to share it with the CodeProject community in the hope it could help give our desktop apps a bit of UI "polish".

Revision history

  • 24 Jul 2008
  • Updated the "How to use" section.

  • 17 Jul 2008
  • Initial version.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Ravi Bhavnani
Technical Lead
Canada Canada
Ravi Bhavnani is an ardent fan of Microsoft technologies who loves building Windows apps, especially PIMs, system utilities, and things that go bump on the Internet. During his career, Ravi has developed expert systems, desktop imaging apps, marketing automation software, EDA tools, a platform to help people find, analyze and understand information, trading software for institutional investors and advanced data visualization solutions. He currently works for a company that provides enterprise workforce management solutions to large clients.
His interests include the .NET framework, reasoning systems, financial analysis and algorithmic trading, NLP, HCI and UI design. Ravi holds a BS in Physics and Math and an MS in Computer Science and was a Microsoft MVP (C++ and C# in 2006 and 2007). He is also the co-inventor of 2 patents on software security and generating data visualization dashboards. His claim to fame is that he crafted CodeProject's "joke" forum post icon.
Ravi's biggest fear is that one day he might actually get a life, although the chances of that happening seem extremely remote.
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Comments and Discussions

Questioncool Pinmemberlhcxx15-Mar-13 9:34 
Questionwork perfect on win 7 but not on win xp Pinmemberwalterhuang5-Feb-13 17:12 
AnswerRe: work perfect on win 7 but not on win xp Pinmemberwalterhuang17-Feb-13 17:58 
QuestionWorked perfectly!!! PinmemberMichael Dialogo6-Nov-12 20:30 
AnswerRe: Worked perfectly!!! PinmemberRavi Bhavnani7-Nov-12 2:48 
QuestionDoes not work when textbox is multiline enabled PinmemberMember 119396917-Sep-11 9:40 
AnswerRe: Does not work when textbox is multiline enabled PinmemberRavi Bhavnani17-Sep-11 9:41 
QuestionImplementing with DevExpress.XtraEditors.TextEdit PinmemberBrian, The IT Guy15-Jun-11 7:45 
AnswerRe: Implementing with DevExpress.XtraEditors.TextEdit PinmemberRavi Bhavnani15-Jun-11 8:03 
AnswerRe: Implementing with DevExpress.XtraEditors.TextEdit PinsitebuilderUwe Keim10-Oct-13 5:07 
QuestionCan it work with readonly controls? PinmemberLiko72125-Feb-11 8:26 
AnswerRe: Can it work with readonly controls? PinmemberRavi Bhavnani26-Feb-11 5:56 
GeneralCueProvider and MaskedTextBox Pinmemberzonextrem12-Aug-08 4:47 
GeneralRe: CueProvider and MaskedTextBox PinmemberRavi Bhavnani12-Aug-08 9:16 
GeneralRe: CueProvider and MaskedTextBox Pinmemberzonextrem12-Aug-08 9:19 
GeneralRe: CueProvider and MaskedTextBox PinmemberRavi Bhavnani12-Aug-08 9:22 
GeneralDemo not working :( Pinmemberbaruchl28-Jul-08 23:22 
AnswerRe: Demo not working :( PinmemberRavi Bhavnani29-Jul-08 2:46 
GeneralRe: Demo not working :( PinmemberTobiasP30-Jul-08 4:41 
GeneralRe: Demo not working :( PinmemberRavi Bhavnani30-Jul-08 4:48 
GeneralNot working!!! PinmemberQing Jiang25-Jul-08 5:52 
GeneralRe: Not working!!! PinmemberRavi Bhavnani25-Jul-08 7:39 
GeneralRe: Not working!!! Pinmembercigwork2-Dec-12 11:07 
Generalnot workin Pinmemberpro.rakesh25-Jul-08 0:58 
GeneralRe: not workin PinmemberRavi Bhavnani25-Jul-08 7:40 
GeneralI modified it to do an IExtenderProvider component [modified] PinmemberFabrice CARUSO24-Jul-08 21:11 
GeneralRe: I modified it to do an IExtenderProvider component PinmemberRavi Bhavnani25-Jul-08 7:39 
GeneralA few suggestions... PinmvpScott Dorman24-Jul-08 18:11 
GeneralRe: A few suggestions... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani25-Jul-08 7:38 
GeneralRe: A few suggestions... PinmvpScott Dorman25-Jul-08 15:19 
GeneralRe: A few suggestions... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani25-Jul-08 20:21 
GeneralNot working... Pinmemberhenur22-Jul-08 7:59 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani22-Jul-08 8:51 
GeneralRe: Not working... Pinmemberhenur22-Jul-08 22:48 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani23-Jul-08 7:55 
AnswerRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani24-Jul-08 12:52 
GeneralRe: Not working... Pinmemberhenur26-Jul-08 22:12 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani27-Jul-08 8:26 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberHunterM21-Aug-08 11:47 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani23-Aug-08 12:35 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberHunterM25-Aug-08 8:03 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani25-Aug-08 8:53 
AnswerRe: Not working... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani27-Jul-08 14:05 
GeneralNice Post... PinmemberPankajkumar Nikam22-Jul-08 0:18 
GeneralRe: Nice Post... PinmemberRavi Bhavnani22-Jul-08 8:51 
GeneralUsefull PinmemberHiMik200317-Jul-08 0:50 
GeneralRe: Usefull PinmemberRavi Bhavnani17-Jul-08 4:43 
GeneralNot working in XP - VS 2005 PinmemberJ@@NS16-Jul-08 22:49 
GeneralRe: Not working in XP - VS 2005 PinmemberRavi Bhavnani17-Jul-08 4:42 
GeneralSample doesnot work, Pinmemberring_016-Jul-08 21:44 

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