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, 31 Aug 2002
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A .NET component that creates pie and bar charts in the system tray

Sample Image


This component will help you to create a little chart in the System Tray. This is useful in applications like GetRight, which show progress of an operation (eg downloading). It can also show some system information (like CPU usage). NotifyIconChart provides three types of charts: single bar, two bars, and pie.

Using NotifyIconChart

First, add NotifyIconChart.cs to your project. The NotifyIconChart is placed in System.Windows.Forms namespace, so it won’t make any trouble with namespaces in your solution.

You have to add to your form class a System.Windows.Forms.NotifyIcon object. I would like to inherit NotifyIconChart from the NotifyIcon, but it’s sealed (you can’t inherit from the sealed class). So I decided that NotifyIconChart would have a member pointer to a NotifyIcon object.

In the form constructor or Load event, set the NotifyIconChart’s NotifyIconObject property:

private NotifyIconChart notifyChart = new NotifyIconChart();
NotifyIcon notifyIcon = new NotifyIcon();
notifyChart.NotifyIconObject = notifyIcon;

Now set values. There are two properties that you can use: Value1 and Value2. The first bar, single bar or the pie will be drawn using the first value. The Value2 is used only when drawing the second bar. The values take integers between 0 and 100.

notifyChart.Value1 = 75;
notifyChart.Value2 = 43;

How does it work?

The NotifyIconChart uses a NotifyIcon object, which is responsible for displaying the chart. It gets only System.Drawing.Icon. That mean that NotifyIconChart has to create the icon. The .Net framework uses GDI+ for drawing. The Graphics object can’t draw on an Icon, but it can draw on a Bitmap. The NotifyIconChart draws on a bitmap (size 16x16) bars or a pie. It uses Graphics’ functions FillRectangle and FillPie. At the end it convert the Bitmap to an Icon and pass it to the NotifyIcon object:

// Convert Bitmap to an Icon
Icon icon = Icon.FromHandle(bitmap.GetHicon());
notifyIcon.Icon = icon;

Changing type of the chart

As I said, there are three types of charts provided by NotifyIconChart: single bar, two bars, and pie. To change the type, just change the ChartType value:

notifyChart.ChartType = NotifyIconChart.ChartTypeEnum.singleBar; // Draw one only bar
notifyChart.ChartType = NotifyIconChart.ChartTypeEnum.twoBars; // Draw two bars
notifyChart.ChartType = NotifyIconChart.ChartTypeEnum.pie; // Draw pie chart


There are four properties that you can use to change colors:

Color1 and Color2 are responsible for the bars’ colors. The pie will be drawn using Color1.

FrameColor is responsible for frames around bars and pie.

BackgroundColor is the color of the background. NotifyIconChart draws rectangular background when it draws bars, and circular when it draws pie.

If you don’t want the NotifyIconChart to draw any of these element’s set it’s value to Color.Transparent.

notifyChart.FrameColor = Color.Black;
notifyChart.Color1 = Color.Yellow;


System Tray isn’t the best place for charts, because it is rather small. But sometimes chart can be very useful there. Thanks to GDI+ functions like anti-aliasing, even a pie chart looks great. If you want any other type of chart in your System Tray, just give me a sign.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Maciej Pirog
Web Developer
Poland Poland
I've been programming since I was really young. Started with HTML and Basic, looked at Pascal and Java, keen on Visual Basic and Visual C++, thinking about .NET and C#.

Comments and Discussions

General16 bars one for each vertical row in the icon PinmemberMember #277097710-Jan-07 7:01 
GeneralnotifyIcon.Visible = true; PinmemberToothRobber9-Jan-07 5:14 
GeneralTidying up PinmemberDrew Noakes7-Apr-05 7:18 
GeneralRe: Tidying up PinmemberdzCepheus4-Sep-05 12:48 
GeneralNice Pinmemberngna19-Sep-04 21:35 
GeneralRe: Nice PinmemberMaciej Pirog1-Oct-04 8:51 
GeneralCopy cursor into Bitmap - C# Pinmemberjayakarthikeyan17-Jun-04 2:45 
GeneralCopy cursor into Bitmap Pinmemberjayakarthikeyan17-Jun-04 2:40 
GeneralThis is excellent! PinmemberCavaradossi21-Aug-03 1:44 
GeneralRe: This is excellent! PinmemberMaciej Pirog21-Aug-03 3:36 
GeneralAlles klar Pinsusslukasz stypka4-Mar-03 3:16 
GeneralUse composition to create NotifyIcon. PinmemberPeter Rilling25-Jan-03 5:06 
GeneralRe: Use composition to create NotifyIcon. PinmemberMaciej Pirog2-Feb-03 0:37 
GeneralScrolling Chart like DuMeter PinsussAnonymous9-Nov-02 11:13 
GeneralGetHicon - A general error occurred in GDI+ PinmemberIngram Leedy18-Oct-02 22:03 
GeneralRe: GetHicon - A general error occurred in GDI+ PinmemberMaciej Pirog19-Oct-02 6:42 
GeneralRe: GetHicon - A general error occurred in GDI+ PinmemberNewtonTroy3-Nov-03 10:08 
GeneralRe: GetHicon - A general error occurred in GDI+ Pinmembermrblueguy11-Nov-03 1:14 
GeneralRe: GetHicon - A general error occurred in GDI+ Pinmemberparagvt27-Jun-05 14:01 
GeneralRe: GetHicon - A general error occurred in GDI+ Pinmemberorumcektr2-Aug-06 5:26 
GeneralNice! PinmemberTim Hodgson3-Sep-02 4:55 
GeneralRe: Nice! PinmemberMaciej Pirog3-Sep-02 8:26 
Generalcześć PinsussARTUR PIRÓG18-Oct-03 3:12 

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