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Posted 12 Jun 2016


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VisualStudio-Like TabControl

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4.91/5 (33 votes)
23 Aug 2016CPOL2 min read
Inherits the awesome style of Visual Studio's TabControl for better exploiting

Image 1


Visual Studio IDE has a really awesome theme that everyone likes.

One of its best views is its customized and well-maintained TabControl, and that's why I made this usercontrol that looks like the TabControl used in Visual Studio.


I (on an average) spend more than 10 hours using Visual Studio daily so I fell in love with its theme and wondered why don't I release a similar TabControl.

YouTube Video


Image 2


  • ActiveColor: Highlights the selected TabPage
  • BackTabColor: The color of the background of the TabPage
  • BorderColor: The border color of the control
  • ClosingButtonColor: The color of the closing button "X"
  • HeaderColor: The color of the Header
  • HorizontalLineColor: The color of the horizontal line that passes under the headers
  • SelectedTextColor: The color of the text of the selected page
  • TextColor: The color of the text



Image 3

Using the Code

Using the code is the same for everyone who worked using the normal TabControl before. For more details about the standard TabControl, I suggest you take a look at TabControl MSDN.

Easy Usage

  1. Drag & drop the usercontrol on your Form.
  2. Configure its properties through the properties box:

    Image 4

Advanced Usage

For a better performance and a more dynamic component, you can use many of this control's hidden features, one of them is the CloseButton feature that allows you to close a specific TabPage once you click on the "X" button, but that sounds so familiar and mainstream, so what? Here is the trick. :)

Without writing any line of code, you can make a Yes/No messagebox before closing the TabPage as the following picture shows:

Image 5


Image 6


One of the main tasks of this TabControl is to imitate the theme of Visual Studio IDE.

By default, the control's theme is set to Dark-Theme which is a combination of black, gray, blue and white.

In the samples Form, I did add three themes which are: Dark, Light and blue (they are also the standard themes of Visual Studio IDE).

As I did mention, the control is set to dark by default, but to get the blue, light theme or whatever you prefer, you have to edit the colors on your own using the properties window:

Image 7

Light Theme

Image 8

To create a well-customized theme as the light theme, you have to let go of the mouse and use your hands a bit.

Light theme code:

this.visualStudioTabControl1.HeaderColor = Color.FromArgb(237 , 238 , 242);
this.visualStudioTabControl1.ActiveColor = Color.FromArgb(1, 122, 204);
this.visualStudioTabControl1.HorizontalLineColor = Color.FromArgb(1, 122, 204);
this.visualStudioTabControl1.TextColor = Color.Black;
this.visualStudioTabControl1.BackTabColor = Color.WhiteSmoke;
Blue Theme

Image 9


this.visualStudioTabControl1.HeaderColor = Color.FromArgb(54, 78, 114);
this.visualStudioTabControl1.ActiveColor = Color.FromArgb(247, 238, 153);
this.visualStudioTabControl1.HorizontalLineColor = Color.FromArgb(247, 238, 153);
this.visualStudioTabControl1.selectedTextColor = Color.Black;
this.visualStudioTabControl1.BackTabColor = Color.RoyalBlue;

I preferred writing bare code, but you can accomplish the same task using the properties window as well.

That's all of it, folks ♥ !

Points of Interest

Honestly, when I wrote the code, I used Visual Studio by then, so I was looking at its TabControl and tried my best to copy it. haha :D .


  • 6/14/2016: Added a demonstration video
  • 8/23/2016: Fixed some comments


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


About the Author

Alaa Ben Fatma
France France
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow do i add a control to a vs tabpage? Pin
Member 149000868-Sep-20 17:49
MemberMember 149000868-Sep-20 17:49 
PraiseNice Black Tap Control! Thanks a lot! Pin
Hyongkuk Moon10-Jul-20 3:15
MemberHyongkuk Moon10-Jul-20 3:15 
QuestionThanks! Pin
Ignacioooooo20-Jun-19 14:17
MemberIgnacioooooo20-Jun-19 14:17 
QuestionTrouble with Item.Height?! Pin
Chillchef27-Nov-18 5:56
MemberChillchef27-Nov-18 5:56 
SuggestionMuch better version Pin
Aleksy Ruszała20-Nov-18 16:10
MemberAleksy Ruszała20-Nov-18 16:10 
QuestionVery Nice! Pin
Cees Meijer20-Nov-18 1:12
MemberCees Meijer20-Nov-18 1:12 
QuestionHow to call protected override void OnMouseDown(MouseEventArgs e) Pin
Alex Sigmanor20-Aug-18 8:37
MemberAlex Sigmanor20-Aug-18 8:37 
QuestionChanging Tabs Broken Pin
Member 1370305921-Jul-18 18:47
MemberMember 1370305921-Jul-18 18:47 
QuestionError when closing multiple tabs. Pin
Jov29-Mar-18 10:08
MemberJov29-Mar-18 10:08 
GeneralNice work! I wrote an improved one (source available). Pin
atillabyte23-Feb-18 12:45
Memberatillabyte23-Feb-18 12:45 
GeneralRe: Nice work! I wrote an improved one (source available). Pin
Member 1306802715-Dec-20 11:54
MemberMember 1306802715-Dec-20 11:54 
BugError DLL (VisualStudio-Like TabControl) Pin
Member 134120829-Oct-17 4:52
MemberMember 134120829-Oct-17 4:52 
GeneralRe: Error DLL (VisualStudio-Like TabControl) Pin
Alaa Ben Fatma9-Oct-17 7:34
professionalAlaa Ben Fatma9-Oct-17 7:34 
BugLooks great~ doesn't work so well yet Pin
MAIsw3-Aug-17 0:11
MemberMAIsw3-Aug-17 0:11 
GeneralThank you so much Pin
Member of Code Project :)26-Jul-17 6:58
MemberMember of Code Project :)26-Jul-17 6:58 
Questionright to left problem Pin
lookingforinnerpeace19-Apr-17 6:54
Memberlookingforinnerpeace19-Apr-17 6:54 
AnswerRe: right to left problem Pin
Alaa Ben Fatma9-Oct-17 7:37
professionalAlaa Ben Fatma9-Oct-17 7:37 
QuestionMultyLine Pin
Broker_gm16-Mar-17 5:32
MemberBroker_gm16-Mar-17 5:32 
BugError removing first tab Pin
Disactive14-Nov-16 4:46
MemberDisactive14-Nov-16 4:46 
SuggestionBrush disposing and font scaling Pin
Daniel Leykauf23-Sep-16 7:27
MemberDaniel Leykauf23-Sep-16 7:27 
In your paint method you should always dispose each used brush.
Furthermore are there unexpected header widths due to the font scaling. To get this fixed please read the first answer: UserPaint TabControl does not scale when changing the font.[^].
I would also prefer using of TextRenderer instead of DrawString.
GeneralRe: Brush disposing and font scaling Pin
Alaa Ben Fatma29-Sep-16 8:28
professionalAlaa Ben Fatma29-Sep-16 8:28 
QuestionWinForms? Pin
tlhIn`toq24-Aug-16 9:51
MembertlhIn`toq24-Aug-16 9:51 
AnswerMessage Closed Pin
24-Aug-16 11:56
professionalAlaa Ben Fatma24-Aug-16 11:56 
GeneralRe: WinForms? Pin
tlhIn`toq24-Aug-16 13:14
MembertlhIn`toq24-Aug-16 13:14 
Questionvs like-tab in vc++ Pin
ericyan7116-Jun-16 5:21
Memberericyan7116-Jun-16 5:21 

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