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Save and restore Form position and layout with this component

, 25 Feb 2004
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A component that allows to save and restore layout of any Form without coding.

Sample Image - Tester.gif


Finally there is no more need to write even a single line of code to persist your window's size, location and state. This article presents a component, which automatically saves these properties to the system registry. In addition, this component allows to save the location and size of any control on a form, including splitters and docked controls.

When the RealPosition component is added to a Form, it gives 2 new boolean properties to visible controls. The first property, RestoreLocation, indicates whether the control's position and size should be persisted. If set to true, the control's position and size are saved when the main form closes. The position and size are restored when the .Load event occurs. The second property, RestoreColumnsWidth, applies only to ListView and inherited controls. It allows saving widths of all columns.

Using the code

Add RestoreState.dll to your designer toolbox. Put the RealPosition component into your form. You will see something like this:

Control testing application

For the main form, the RestoreLocation will be set to true by default. Thus, the position and size of the form will be persisted by default. You can set RestoreLocation=true manually for any other controls which you want to persist.

The data is stored in the system registry. Registry key is represented by realPosition1.RegistryPath. You might want to configure this property for your application.

How it works

RealPosition implements IExtenderProvider, which allows it to "provide" new properties to existing controls at design-time.

[ProvideProperty("RestoreLocation", typeof(Control))] 
[ProvideProperty("RestoreColumnsWidth", typeof(ListView))] 
public class RealPosition : Component, IExtenderProvider 
    // implementation

When RestoreLocation is set to true, the development environment generates the following code, which gives realPosition1 references to objects in InitializeComponent().

this.realPosition1.SetRestoreLocation(this.panel11, true);         
this.realPosition1.SetRestoreLocation(this.panel12, true);
this.realPosition1.SetRestoreLocation(this, true);

RealPosition attaches to .Load and .Closed events in SetRestoreLocation. It performs save and restore operations in the event handler.

f.Closed += new System.ComponentModel.CancelEventHandler(OnClosed);
f.Load += new System.EventHandler(OnLoad);

Known issues

Suppose that a ListView is contained on a Panel and has Left and Right Anchors enabled. In that case, ListView will resize whenever Panel is resized. On startup, RealPosition resizes all linked controls. First, it restores the size of ListView. Then it restores the Panel. Resizing Panel causes ListView to be resized again, thus giving wrong result. Solution: do not enable RestoreLocation in child controls.


This is my first post, so please rate this article and let me know what you think. I hope a few people will find this class useful. Have fun with it...


15 February 2004

Now the RealPosition component can be placed on any UserControl. Many thanks to Paul J for his suggestion. The following code finds the parent Form of the UserControl and then attaches to its .Closed event.

while(!(parent is Form) && parent != null)
    parent = parent.Parent;
m_parentForm = parent as Form;
if(m_parentForm != null)
    m_parentForm.Closed += new EventHandler(OnClosed);

Another update prevents restoration of the Form's position, if the Form is located outside of the visible area of the screen.

A ComponentDesigner class is now used to retrieve a reference to a container Control. Thanks to Alvaro Mendez for this technique.

The solution file and compiled RestoreState.dll now require VS2003 and .NET Framework 1.1


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

I G 198

United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralSmall change for app with multiple forms Pinmemberhatton18-May-07 0:31 
GeneralRealPosition, DataGridView Extensions PinmemberMartinus Keller14-May-07 4:40 
GeneralHelp needed Pinmemberpankaj0dm7-May-07 4:20 
GeneralSave/restore datagrid settings PinmemberAndrusM27-Nov-06 9:29 
General.NET 2.0 version PinmemberJohnZonie25-Nov-06 6:29 
GeneralWorks fine in vs 2005 Pinmemberszuwar19798-May-06 10:23 
GeneralCongratulations Pinmembermig1630-Apr-06 19:10 
GeneralHELP Pinmembermattp1214846-Dec-04 13:52 
Hey i was wondering if you could give me some help on a project that i have due Wednesday December 8th.

1.What code is required for within an mdi interface, open a form first off. secondly, when that form is open, we will enter the data in text boxes and then click the save button on the mdi window. i need when its clicked, to save the form data and save it in a file with a designated name. when mdi loads the next time...if that file has been saved once, i don't want it to load again. it then needs to proceed to loading the next form windows. if that form has never been saved, it needs to load that form.

2.I need to figure out how to backup and load backup files. those above are what im worried most about. also, i need to somehow figure out how to load a flash window within the mdi interface. and i dont' know if you would know how, but is there a way to make like a calendar, where i could click on a day, and it displays all the information in the form window that is saved on that day?

i know this may be a lot, but i would really appreciate the help...thanks very much
Generalhello Igor PinmemberHera Malik24-Sep-04 21:25 
QuestionHas anbody converted to Pinmembersasijrao8-Sep-04 6:35 
QuestionWhat about when the screen resolution changes PinmemberRodgerB12-Jul-04 10:18 
GeneralShowdialog error PinsussShyless13-Apr-04 0:43 
GeneralComplex controls issue... PinsussAnonymous26-Feb-04 7:57 
GeneralModify for UserControl composite controls PinsussPaul J5-Feb-04 8:43 
GeneralRe: Modify for UserControl composite controls PinmemberIgor Gribanov15-Feb-04 0:50 
GeneralMaximized form restore size/position not saved PinmemberQDefender2-Oct-03 7:15 
GeneralRe: Thank you PinmemberIgor Gribanov2-Oct-03 11:14 
QuestionUsing a file instead of registry? PinsussEto25-Sep-03 21:10 
AnswerRe: Using a file instead of registry? PinmemberIgor Gribanov25-Sep-03 21:37 
GeneralRe: Using a file instead of registry? PinmemberAttila Hajdrik25-Sep-03 22:10 
AnswerRe: Using a file instead of registry? PinsitebuilderUwe Keim25-Sep-03 22:09 
GeneralRe: Using a file instead of registry? PinmemberIgor Gribanov26-Sep-03 3:27 
GeneralRe: Using a file instead of registry? PinsitebuilderUwe Keim26-Sep-03 4:01 

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