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Posted 21 Apr 2005

InputBox in C#

, 21 Apr 2005
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This is owner's own InputBox in C#, with only one function. So this InputBox do not inherit from a WinForm.

Sample Image - InputBox.gif


Visual Basic 6.0 has an InputBox() function, Visual Basic .NET has one but in C# you don't. You can easily solve this by adding a reference to 'Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll' and using the static method 'Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction.InputBox()'.

See reference to MSDN 2001 in VB help.

InputBox Function

Displays a prompt in a dialog box, waits for the user to input text or click a button, and returns a string containing the contents of the text box.

InputBox(prompt[, title] [, default] [, xpos] [, ypos] [, helpfile, context])

The InputBox function syntax has these named arguments: see the help file MSDN\2001OCT\1033.

In the VB 6.0, there were the title, default, xpos and ypos optional values to the call of InputBox function. It is the same thing I have made.

But in this example we make ours own.

InputBox Class

The InputBox class is a public class there are not inherited from System.Windows.Forms.Form class. You use it by calling the static function name 'Show' like we also do in MessageBox. This method is returning a public InputBoxResult. This object has two public properties one called Text with a string and a ReturnCode.

There is an enum. It the same as the MessageBox returns, but the InputBox only returns these two parameters, DialogResult.OK or DialogResult.Cancel.

See the class header:

InputBox Class Image


You activate the InputBox by calling the static Show() method. It has one required and four optional arguments (using overloading).

Why there are so many new lines in the prompt argument is that, the old VB 6.0 made the InputBox form bigger after the size of the prompt argument.

private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    // This test that the InputBox can handle more newline than one.
    InputBoxResult test = InputBox.Show("Prompt" + "\n" + "DDDD" + 
                  "Prompt" + "\n" + "DDDD" +
                  "Prompt" + "\n" + "DDDD" + "Prompt" + "\n" + "DDDD" +
                  "Prompt" + "\n" + "DDDD" +
                  "Prompt" + "\n" + "DDDD"

    if( test.ReturnCode == DialogResult.OK )

The best of all is that the drop down list there comes from the InputBox is very small. If we have inherited from Windows.Form then it will have been bigger.

InputBox drop down list Image

This is one of the methods in the InputBox class where we assign values to all the properties in the control. It regulates the InputBox size and the prompt textbox size based on the size of the prompt input string.

static private void LoadForm()
    OutputResponse.ReturnCode = DialogResult.Ignore;
    OutputResponse.Text = string.Empty;

    txtInput.Text = _defaultValue;
    lblPrompt.Text = _formPrompt;
    frmInputDialog.Text = _formCaption;

    // Retrieve the working rectangle from the Screen class
    // using the PrimaryScreen and the WorkingArea properties.
    System.Drawing.Rectangle workingRectangle = 

    if((_xPos >= 0 && _xPos < workingRectangle.Width) && 
         (_yPos >= 0 && _yPos < workingRectangle.Height))
        frmInputDialog.StartPosition = FormStartPosition.Manual;
        frmInputDialog.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(_xPos, _yPos);
        // InputBox in the center if not specifier or out of screen size
        frmInputDialog.StartPosition = 

    string PrompText = lblPrompt.Text;

    int n = 0;
    int Index = 0;
    // Counting the new line in the Prompt string
    while(PrompText.IndexOf("\n",Index) > -1)            
        Index = PrompText.IndexOf("\n",Index)+1;

    if( n == 0 )
        n = 1;

    // Down here making the form bigger.
    System.Drawing.Point Txt = txtInput.Location; 
    Txt.Y = Txt.Y + (n*4);
    txtInput.Location = Txt; 
    System.Drawing.Size form = frmInputDialog.Size; 
    form.Height = form.Height + (n*4);
    frmInputDialog.Size = form; 

    txtInput.SelectionStart = 0;
    txtInput.SelectionLength = txtInput.Text.Length;


The InputBox a simple static class which you can use in Windows Forms application to prompt for a text. It can also be used from Visual Basic .NET when you compile it in a library and refer this library from your VB project.

If we will make our own MessageBox, then we have to make in the same way as we made the InputBox. Then we will support other languages with our own MessageBox.

Have fun!


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

Software Developer (Senior) Lessor A/S
Denmark Denmark
I have working with C since 1988, and updates to VC++ in 1998. The first software I was making in VC++ was Fan calculation program with graph. This Fan Was integrated with the Oracle system.
I've been working almost exclusively with C# and .NET since
beginning of the technology.
Now I am working with Web API and CRM, MVC 5.0, SQL Server, C# and .NET. The company Lessor A/S is a IT/Finans house.
In my work, I have gained extensive experience with web security. ADFS etc..
Have also gained experience with DevOps CI and automatic deployment

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionRe: InputBox Pin
Jayakishor.r10-Jan-13 1:24
memberJayakishor.r10-Jan-13 1:24 
GeneralJavier Daza Pin
Javier Daza19-Sep-09 4:00
memberJavier Daza19-Sep-09 4:00 
Generalno need for this Pin
eagles81213-Sep-07 0:52
membereagles81213-Sep-07 0:52 
GeneralRe: no need for this Pin
Jordanwb31-Mar-08 14:02
memberJordanwb31-Mar-08 14:02 
GeneralRe: no need for this Pin
bhains17-Jul-08 10:43
memberbhains17-Jul-08 10:43 
GeneralRe: no need for this Pin
hestol31-Jul-08 21:37
memberhestol31-Jul-08 21:37 
GeneralRe: no need for this Pin
Riz Thon14-Sep-08 23:20
memberRiz Thon14-Sep-08 23:20 
GeneralRe: Good One Pin
manas25-Sep-08 5:29
membermanas25-Sep-08 5:29 
Nice oye .

Manas Patnaik

AnswerRe: no need for this Pin
Clifford Nelson26-Jun-12 15:02
memberClifford Nelson26-Jun-12 15:02 
GeneralIt was useful to me Pin
Paul Reynolds15-Oct-09 10:05
memberPaul Reynolds15-Oct-09 10:05 
AnswerRe: It was useful to me Pin
hestol15-Oct-09 22:43
memberhestol15-Oct-09 22:43 
GeneralRe: It was useful to me Pin
Clifford Nelson26-Jun-12 15:03
memberClifford Nelson26-Jun-12 15:03 
GeneralRe: no need for this Pin
Midax23-Apr-10 7:30
memberMidax23-Apr-10 7:30 
GeneralProblems with this code Pin
David Piepgrass3-May-05 15:30
memberDavid Piepgrass3-May-05 15:30 
GeneralRe: Problems with this code Pin
David Piepgrass3-May-05 15:36
memberDavid Piepgrass3-May-05 15:36 
GeneralRe: Problems with this code Pin
hestol3-May-05 22:20
memberhestol3-May-05 22:20 
GeneralRe: Problems with this code Pin
David Piepgrass4-May-05 15:16
memberDavid Piepgrass4-May-05 15:16 
GeneralRe: Problems with this code [modified] Pin
Bajotumn.com15-Sep-09 17:39
memberBajotumn.com15-Sep-09 17:39 
AnswerRe: Problems with this code Pin
hestol15-Sep-09 22:38
memberhestol15-Sep-09 22:38 
AnswerRe: Problems with this code Pin
Clifford Nelson26-Jun-12 15:15
memberClifford Nelson26-Jun-12 15:15 

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