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User Customizable ToolStrip with Drag and Drop

, 21 May 2010 CPOL 52.8K 1.5K 70
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With this .NET library, you can implement a customize toolbar function in your application.


With this library, written in VB.NET, you can add a 'Customize Toolbar' function to your application.


I needed a customize toolbar function in my application, but I really couldn't find any library for .NET to implement this. So, I decided to write my own and share it to help others.

Using the Code

Add a reference to the DLL file. In the DLL, there is a class named CustomizeToolStrip. To use the library, you should make an instance of this class. Then you can set three things:

  • ToolStrip - The ToolStrip you want a customize function for
  • LanguageStrings - A Dictionary with strings used in the dialog
  • DefaultSetting - A String containing the code which is used when the user clicks the Reset button

To show the customize dialog, use ShowDialog(). This is a function which returns a String which you can save in your settings.
The second function is to reload the ToolStrip if you have saved the result of the ShowDialog() function. The ToolStrip is reloaded with the buttons/separators as the code in the String says.

Implementing the Customize Toolbar Function

If you just want to add the functionality with the basic functions, this code will do the complete job. Add it to the handler of a button, for example.

Dim t As UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizeToolStrip
t.ToolStrip = ToolStrip1
Dim chosenSetting = t.ShowDialog()

Then, you can save chosenSetting in My.Settings, for example. When loading your application, you can reload the ToolStrip again (assuming your Setting is called ToolStripSetting):

Dim t As UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizeToolStrip
t.ToolStrip = ToolStrip1

Adding a DefaultSetting to Enable the Reset Button

If you wish to add a Reset button, you obviously need to supply a default value in case the Reset button is clicked. This is a code as described above.

Adding a LanguageStrings to Use Another Language

In case you need to change the wording in the dialog, you can set other Strings in the LanguageStrings, which is a Dictionary. For example, a Dutch version would be:

Dim lang As New Dictionary_
	(Of UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings, String)

lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.Add, _
	"Toevoegen ->")

	AvailableToolBarButtons, "Beschikbare items:")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.Cancel, _
	CurrentToolBatButtons, "Huidige items:")

    (UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.MoveDown, "Omlaag")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.MoveUp, "Omhoog")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.OK, "OK")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.Remove, _
	"<- Verwijderen")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.Reset, _
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.Separator, _
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.TitleBar, _
	"Werkbalk aanpassen")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.WarningText, _
	"Weet u zeker dat u de werkbalk wilt herstellen naar de beginwaarden?")
lang.Add(UserCustomizableToolStrip.CustomizableToolStripLanguageStrings.WarningTitle, _
	"Werkbalk aanpassen")

t.LanguageStrings = lang

More About the Code of the Chosen Setting

The code that the ShowDialog function returns (and which you have to supply for the Reset button) has a very simple lay-out:


Each item (Item1, ...) corresponds to either a ToolStripItem or equals the word Separator. The order of the items is the order of which the buttons and separators appear in the ToolStrip.

Points of Interest

I'm only 14 years old, and I'm happy I managed to write this code. If you use this component in your application, please let me know about it. I'd love to see my component in action.


  • Please do not use the word 'Separator' as the name of any of your ToolStripItems
  • Not implemented - Nothing



  • 21-05-2010
    • Rewritten most of the code, enhancing the simplicity of the use
  • 06-02-2009
    • Reset button
    • .Name used instead of .Tag (you don't have to specify the .Tag properties anymore)
    • Fixed some issues with the demo
  • 02-02-2009
    • First release


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


About the Author


Netherlands Netherlands
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralAwesome Pin
Sajjad Altahan1-Aug-13 16:28
groupSajjad Altahan1-Aug-13 16:28 
QuestionDownload but reset button is missing Pin
AACINC5-Jan-12 10:46
memberAACINC5-Jan-12 10:46 
AnswerRe: Download but reset button is missing Pin
pimb25-Jan-12 12:05
memberpimb25-Jan-12 12:05 
GeneralRe: Download but reset button is missing Pin
AACINC6-Jan-12 3:37
memberAACINC6-Jan-12 3:37 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Member 840416715-Nov-11 22:33
memberMember 840416715-Nov-11 22:33 
GeneralNice work - suggestions for improvements Pin
TobiasP15-Feb-09 10:27
memberTobiasP15-Feb-09 10:27 
GeneralRe: Nice work - suggestions for improvements Pin
pimb215-Feb-09 10:37
memberpimb215-Feb-09 10:37 
GeneralRe: Nice work - suggestions for improvements Pin
TobiasP15-Feb-09 11:39
memberTobiasP15-Feb-09 11:39 
GeneralRe: Nice work - suggestions for improvements Pin
pimb216-Feb-09 5:29
memberpimb216-Feb-09 5:29 
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.

However, I still have a question, I'm afraid. Labels, textboxes and other controls can already be placed on the toolstrip with my component (see the demo, for example).

Usually, separators are only used to show a separator. All other kinds of controls have events and specific properties and are therefore only used once and are put in the Buttons() parameter. With your code, the separators also need to be in the Buttons() parameter. This is not very practical as a specific separator (like ToolStripSeparator1) will behave itself as a button or label if you do so. This is not very handy and to add them is also more complicated. As separators are only used to show them without specific properties and no events at all I have handled them separately.

To cut a long story short, I'm afraid your suggested code:
For Each spItem In splittedstringtoload
For Each AItem As ToolStripItem In Buttons
If AItem.Name = spItem Then
Exit For
End If

does not work as separators need to be placed in the Buttons() parameter with this code. That is not a very good idea since they can only be added once then, like buttons or labels. Please correct me if I am wrong Wink | ;) .
GeneralGreat job! Pin
Shane Story6-Feb-09 5:03
memberShane Story6-Feb-09 5:03 

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