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Posted 18 Apr 2007

An easy way to add a Ribbon Panel Office 2007 style

, 18 Apr 2007
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GNU code of RibbonPanel, free software for personal and nonlucrative use, for rest please contact me
Screenshot - overview.jpg


A picture is worth a thousand words, well it was a really cute work at the end. Before explaining how to add it to your applications, I will show you the main features.

Features of RibbonStyle Namespace

  • RibbonButton: Transparency, Autosizable image, AutoForecolor, AutoInfoForm (see InfoForm, OnBackImage and ClickBackImage).
  • TabPanel: Transparency, BaseColor, BaseColorOn (Highlighted), Caption, Resizable.
  • TabStrip: Has inside:
    1. Tab: With Autowidth, BaseColor, HaloColor and Enable work.
    2. TabStripProffesionalRenderer: Controls the Tab Style (hard to work)
    3. TabStripPage: BaseColor, inherits my RibbonPanel.
    4. TabPageSwitcher: Controls the link between Tab and TabStripPage. Design functionality as the tabcontrol.
  • InfoForm (with Shadow): Depending on Title, Comment, and Image of Info.. Properties of RibbonButton resizes itself.

Using the controls

I hope that if you have understood the Features, the next will be easy for you.

  1. Make a new C# App.
  2. Add all the classes to your app.
  3. Now Rebuild the project.
  4. In the toolbox you will have many new controls:

    Screenshot - toolbox.jpg

  5. Now Add a Windows.Forms.Panel to the Form and dock to the top, adjust it like you want.
  6. Add the TabStrip inside the Panel.
  7. With the TabStripPageSwitcher you can add TabStrip. If you find it difficult to click on it, you can click in the properties window:
  8. Screenshot - tabpageswitcher.jpg

  9. With a TabStrip and some tabs and TabStrip pages, add TabPanels inside the TabStripPages (Check the TabPanel has BackColor.Transparent) . I recommend you to add a few of them to the form and copy and paste inside the tabStripPage (it is easy to dock them later). With the Tabpanels added, dock them to the left.
  10. Now add the RibbonButton inside the TabPanel, adjust its size and its images, copy and paste as you want and change the image. Don't worry about the text colors, they will be processed at runtime.
  11. If everything is ok and if you run it, you will see something like this (Azure Style):

    Screenshot - tabs.jpg

Creating your custom style

As you could see in the demo zip, it is possible to change the colors at runtime. Let's analyze the code. If you look at the Form1 code, there's a method SetStyle:

public void SetStyle(string Name)
    Color HaloColor = Color.White;
    switch (Name)
        case "Dark":
        this.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(88,77,69);
        HaloColor = Color.FromArgb(200,200,200);

You find out that you have to change only three colors! I hope you find it useful. The rest are sum or subs from the color components. So to avoid color errors, I recommend taking a look at my other article which has a color selector, only for the basecolor, HaloColor is the brightness over the tabs and the Backcolor is for the form.

Points of Interest

I have to say that I use the base of CustomTabstrip for the part of tabstrip. I was annoyed with the tabcontrol and after looking for something, the best was to inherit from a ToolStrip.

There's a lot of code in the project and I have written this with a lot of effort. If you need an explanation of any part, please ask me. It's .NET 2.0 code I put in a Windows 2000 machine and it works really well in XP and Vista too.

To design a better software, please vote the value of the code for you and if you vote, please tell me the pros and cons.


  • 1.0: The first version of the control library.


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


About the Author

Juan Pablo G.C.
Software Developer Expediteapps
Spain Spain
I'm Electronic Engineer, I did my end degree project at Astrophysical Institute and Tech Institute. I'm HP Procurve AIS and ASE ,Microsoft 3.5 MCTS
I live in Canary Islands ,developing customized solutions

Deeply involved in Xamarin Forms LOB (including Azure Cloud with offline support, custom controls, dependencies) projects, WP8.1 & W10 projects, WPF modern styled projects. Portable libraries like portablePDF, portableOneDrive, portableReports and portablePrinting (using Google Printing API).

Web and apps showcase at:

Take a look to my blog

You may also be interested in...


Comments and Discussions

GeneralNice! Pin
Gustavo Calonio8-Jul-09 2:33
memberGustavo Calonio8-Jul-09 2:33 
QuestionAdding to the toolbox [modified] cannot find assembly error: Pin
stixoffire24-Apr-09 1:47
memberstixoffire24-Apr-09 1:47 
QuestionRe: Adding to the toolbox [modified] cannot find assembly error: Pin
stixoffire17-May-09 19:18
memberstixoffire17-May-09 19:18 
GeneralA first chance exception of type 'System.ArgumentNullException' occurred in System.Drawing.dll Pin
fuzz00722-Apr-09 19:31
memberfuzz00722-Apr-09 19:31 
QuestionHow can I convert this instruction in VB net? Pin
uastasi20-Apr-09 6:02
memberuastasi20-Apr-09 6:02 
AnswerRe: How can I convert this instruction in VB net? Pin
stixoffire20-Apr-09 19:04
memberstixoffire20-Apr-09 19:04 
QuestionRe: How can I convert this instruction in VB net? Pin
uastasi20-Apr-09 22:23
memberuastasi20-Apr-09 22:23 
AnswerRe: How can I convert this instruction in VB net? Pin
stixoffire21-Apr-09 4:54
memberstixoffire21-Apr-09 4:54 
There are a couple things I do when I get errors.

1: Search for the Complete Error "SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault must be called before the first IWin32Window object is created in the application" - man there are a million hits on that one! but if I do not get a hit or they are confusing - just add the VB NET to your search criteria... this answers most of my questions - right away.. some take more searching.. and a little head banging..

2: Put the offending code inside a Try / Catch statement
myoffending code here

catch ex as exception
Dim myBreakpoint as string = ex.message.tostring()
Dim i as integer = 0

End Try

In your case I would change the ordering - enable visualstyles after SetCompatibleTextRenderingDefault

Application.Run(new Form1())

I normally do not use a stub to call my form - I usually either set a startup object or in the case of an MDI project - I call the form like this
Dim myShadowedMDIForm as System.Windows.Form = new MDIForm

You can call this method in the Application Settings - Application Startup code - you will need to select view code on the settings file - there you should see some things for begin application .

Where is this code located in your application ?

look here Load an EXE File and Run It from Memory[^]

AnswerRe: How can I convert this instruction in VB net? Pin
stixoffire21-Apr-09 5:00
memberstixoffire21-Apr-09 5:00 
QuestionVB.Net version? Pin
Tim8w3-Apr-09 8:52
memberTim8w3-Apr-09 8:52 Pin
hackreet18-Feb-09 15:01
memberhackreet18-Feb-09 15:01 
GeneralPainting Problems Pin
XaZaM18-Nov-08 9:53
memberXaZaM18-Nov-08 9:53 
Generali found how to add the control to toolbox Pin
hyunki8522-Oct-08 3:25
memberhyunki8522-Oct-08 3:25 
Questionhow disable tooltip? Pin
vinycc116-Oct-08 11:22
membervinycc116-Oct-08 11:22 
AnswerRe: how disable tooltip? Pin
Jaime Stuardo8-Jan-10 16:24
memberJaime Stuardo8-Jan-10 16:24 
QuestionQAT?? Pin
kapil bhavsar24-Sep-08 21:33
memberkapil bhavsar24-Sep-08 21:33 
QuestionCan i use this in... Pin
Amrykid19-Sep-08 15:40
memberAmrykid19-Sep-08 15:40 
Questiondo it has VB.NET version? Pin
limsoochen29-Aug-08 0:33
memberlimsoochen29-Aug-08 0:33 
AnswerRe: do it has VB.NET version? Pin
kaschimer19-Nov-08 6:55
memberkaschimer19-Nov-08 6:55 
GeneralThe name 'TabStripControlLibrary' does not exist in the current context Pin
jacobjordan23-Aug-08 13:29
memberjacobjordan23-Aug-08 13:29 
Generalits really cool Pin
farshadfaraji17-Aug-08 5:32
memberfarshadfaraji17-Aug-08 5:32 
QuestionThis control not update anymore? Pin
ivanchain@hotmail.com16-Aug-08 4:07
memberivanchain@hotmail.com16-Aug-08 4:07 
Generalthanks Pin
samispeed3-Aug-08 22:08
membersamispeed3-Aug-08 22:08 
QuestionShortCut key on ribbonButton? Pin
TaiZhong30-Jul-08 6:09
memberTaiZhong30-Jul-08 6:09 
Generalcustom ribbon ready for cute app Pin
radioman.lt3-Jul-08 20:36
memberradioman.lt3-Jul-08 20:36 

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