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Easily Add a Ribbon Into WinForm Application

, 11 Apr 2012 Ms-PL
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Easily add ribbon to WinForm Application for .NET Framework 2.0
This is an old version of the currently published article.






The ribbon that is going to be used in this article is an open source project created by Jose Menendez Poo and SpiderMaster ).  

Main development platform: .NET Framework 2.0.  

Might not compatible with .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.0. 

The author has posted an article explaining what is this ribbon all about at here: A Professional Ribbon You Will Use (Now with orb!) 

However, in that article doesn't describe about how to use it in your project. Therefore, this article will show how to use it. 

I have posted another article explaining how to use this ribbon with MDI Client Enabled WinForm at here:  Using Ribbon with MDI in WinForm Application

How to Use This Ribbon Control 

1. Download the Ribbon Source Code and obtain System.Windows.Forms.Ribbon.dll.

2. Create a blank WinForm Project.

3. Add a Reference of System.Windows.Forms.Ribbon.dll to your project.
4. Right click on Reference at the Solution Explorer, choose Add.

5. Locate the System.Windows.Forms.Ribbon.dll.

6. Open the designer of the Main Form. In this example, Form1.Designer.cs.

7. This is the initial code for Form1.Designer.cs:

namespace WindowsFormsApplication1
    partial class Form1
        /// <summary>
        /// Required designer variable.
        /// </summary>
        private System.ComponentModel.IContainer components = null;

        /// <summary>
        /// Clean up any resources being used.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="disposing">true if managed resources should be disposed; otherwise, false.</param>
        protected override void Dispose(bool disposing)
            if (disposing && (components != null))

        #region Windows Form Designer generated code

        /// <summary>
        /// Required method for Designer support - do not modify
        /// the contents of this method with the code editor.
        /// </summary>
        private void InitializeComponent()
            this.components = new System.ComponentModel.Container();
            this.AutoScaleMode = System.Windows.Forms.AutoScaleMode.Font;
            this.Text = "Form1";


8. Add three lines of code into Form1.Designer.cs.
private System.Windows.Forms.Ribbon ribbon1;
this.ribbon1 = new System.Windows.Forms.Ribbon();

9. Save and close Form1.Designer.cs.

10. Double click and open Form1.cs, and now the Ribbon control is added into the main form.

11. Click on the Ribbon and Click Add Tab.

12. Click on the newly added RibbonTab, then click Add Panel.

13. Click on the newly added RibbonPanel, go to Properties. A set of available controls that can be added to the RibbonPanel.

14. Try add some buttons into the RibbonPanel.

15. Click on the RibbonButtons, go to Properties. Lets try to change the image and the label text of the button.

16. This is how your ribbon looks like now.
17. Now, create the click event for the buttons. Click on the RibbonButton, go to Properties, modify the Name of the button.

18. Open the code of Form1.cs.

19. This is what we have initially:
using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Text;
using System.Windows.Forms;

namespace WindowsFormsApplication1
    public partial class Form1 : Form
        public Form1()

20. Add the Button Clicked event for the RibbonButton.
public Form1()
    cmdNew.Click += new EventHandler(cmdNew_Click);
    cmdSave.Click += new EventHandler(cmdSave_Click);

void cmdNew_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    MessageBox.Show("Button \"New\" Clicked.");

void cmdSave_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    MessageBox.Show("Button \"Save\" Clicked.");

21. Press F5 to run the application. Done.

22. You might want to inherit your Main Form into a RibbonForm to have extra feature. Such as:
Note: Inherit the Main Form to RibbonForm will have some compatible problems with some of System.Windows.Forms controls.

23. At the code of Form1.cs, change this line:
public partial class Form1 : Form

to this line:
public partial class Form1 : RibbonForm

A sample project that used to explained in this article is downloadable at top.

Cautious While Using With Visual Studio 2010 

ALWAYS SAVE AND CLOSE straight away after you have finished designing the GUI editing of Main Form (The form that contains the ribbon control).

Don't Run (Press F5) The Application while the Main Form is open in Visual Studio 2010.

Or else, you might experience that the ribbon control has disappeared. You will end up redesigning/redraw the ribbon and reconnect all the events that associated with the ribbon.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL)


About the Author

Software Developer
Malaysia Malaysia
Writing programs is an art.

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QuestionRibbonTextBox - Lost Focus? Pinmembercolkaih6-Dec-14 5:14 
QuestionNot working... PinmemberMember 1081612225-Nov-14 0:01 
AnswerRe: Not working... PinmembertoATwork25-Nov-14 0:04 
GeneralRe: Not working... PinmemberMember 1081612228-Nov-14 8:49 
QuestionPanel position PinmemberMatko23817-Nov-14 21:56 
AnswerRe: Panel position Pinprofessionaladriancs17-Nov-14 22:29 
QuestionDuda [modified] PinmemberMember 109644669-Oct-14 11:50 
BugHighlight on button stays after showing dialog PinmemberSaint1468-Oct-14 1:30 
QuestionHow to Display Ribbon Form Quick Access toolbar with Windows Form Icon PinmemberVenthan B31-Aug-14 4:51 
QuestionTab Selection Not Display in Office 2007 Theme PinmemberVenthan B30-Aug-14 21:50 
Questionin Righttoleft mode resize problem Pinmembersaber rezaii magham14-Jul-14 3:10 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembernoorashegh6-Jul-14 1:54 
Questionhow to make the button like paste, paste special and paste as link appear? Pinmemberthedinesh0124-Jun-14 20:23 
AnswerRe: how to make the button like paste, paste special and paste as link appear? PinmembertoATwork24-Jun-14 21:34 
BugRibbonForm gets black when hiding and showing form Pinmemberoware10-Jun-14 6:24 
GeneralRe: RibbonForm gets black when hiding and showing form PinmembertoATwork13-Jun-14 3:47 
GeneralRe: RibbonForm gets black when hiding and showing form Pinmemberoware13-Jun-14 13:01 
QuestionRibbon Panel Visible Problems PinprofessionalRHodgettUK25-Apr-14 4:16 
AnswerRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinmembertoATwork25-Apr-14 22:11 
GeneralRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinprofessionalRHodgettUK30-Apr-14 0:59 
NewsRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinmembertoATwork30-Apr-14 1:03 
GeneralRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinprofessionalRHodgettUK30-Apr-14 1:14 
GeneralRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinprofessionalRHodgettUK30-Apr-14 6:35 
GeneralRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinmembertoATwork30-Apr-14 21:50 
GeneralRe: Ribbon Panel Visible Problems PinprofessionalRHodgettUK30-Apr-14 23:53 

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