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Posted 8 Jan 2008

Advanced Text Editor with Ruler

, 20 Mar 2008
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Extending RichTextBox with ruler and much more


About two years ago I was creating a project for university. It was a complex of five programs that were related to testing (checking knowledge I mean). One of them contained a text editor. But unfortunately, I didn't know how to do that, that's why it was very simple. So, after these two years, I decided to rewrite my program in C# .NET (initially, it was written in VB.NET) and create a new powerful text editor. You can see part of it here.


I spent a lot of time(!) searching the Internet for controls like this, but the best ones are shareware and others did not fit my needs. So, what does this control have? I tried to make it look like Microsoft Word and I think that there are some similarities. The ruler lets you change the following: left and right margins, left indent, hanging indent and right indent. You also can disable margins (their values are set to 1). You can see how it looks in the picture above.

Also, you can add tabs by clicking on the control with the left mouse button. But it is allowed only inside the area bounded by margins. If you want to remove a tab, just drag it off from the control.

The editor lets you use lists, underline styles, advanced char styles (you can create your own links, that are not words starting with "http://" or even "www"), OLE functionality is also available. I want to thank Oscar Londoño for his article Inserting Images into a RichTextBox Control (The OLE Way). It helped me a lot to deal with OLE. This project contains his code.

Using the Code

You can use the code according to the CPOL.

Projects are created as Windows Applications, but you can easily convert them into *.dll or just embed code into your project.

Unfortunately, I removed Visual Studio 2005, so, sorry but I can't create and upload a Visual Studio 2005 project. But you can import all required files into a Visual Studio 2005 project without any problems. However, note that Visual Studio 2008 added some new namespaces (like LINQ) that Visual Studio 2005 does not "understand". Just remove them. That's all. You are ready.

Points of Interest

One thing that shocked me is that Microsoft has released RichTextBox 6.0! (It is distributed with Microsoft Office 2007) but... with one exception. There is no documentation about its features. All that I've found is a list of added functions. You can find it here. There are also descriptions for all released versions of RichTextBox.


  • 7 January 2008: Initial release
  • 16 January 2008: Projects for Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 posted instead of standalone control.
  • 26 January 2008: Posted completed AdvancedTextEditor project. It is available for Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008.
  • 10 February 2008: Fixed PrintDialog bug. It didn't receive focus when shown. Now it's OK. Thanks to Chris Schucker for bug report and recommendations.
  • 22 February 2008: Added new functionality (full text justification, underline styles and colors and other)
  • 24 February 2008: Fixed bug with conversion from millimeter to pixel and vice versa Thanks to Chris Schucker. Also corrected bug which caused incorrect display of the indents.
  • 19 March 2008: Version 2.0 released. A lot of changes including lists, OLE, underline styles, etc.


I understand that I am not able to include everything into the control, that's why you can freely add something useful or change code to fit your needs. But, please inform me about that, just email me at It's just to let anyone use an upgraded (and corrected) version of that control. Of course, advisors will be mentioned.


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


About the Author

Aleksei Karimov
Kazakstan Kazakstan
Currently I am studying at East Kazakhstan State Technical University. My future occupation is engineer-programmer.

I use Visual Basic, C#, Delphi and a little C++. Also I am interested in using SQL and Perl.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRefresh OLE object Pin
marekpr4-Mar-10 21:01
membermarekpr4-Mar-10 21:01 
GeneralRe: Refresh OLE object Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh4-Mar-10 21:50
memberAleksei Krassovskikh4-Mar-10 21:50 
GeneralAdvanced Text Editor with Ruler right to left Pin
nyt19722-Mar-10 20:28
membernyt19722-Mar-10 20:28 
GeneralRe: Advanced Text Editor with Ruler right to left Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh2-Mar-10 20:56
memberAleksei Krassovskikh2-Mar-10 20:56 
GeneralRe: Advanced Text Editor with Ruler right to left Pin
nyt19723-Mar-10 0:14
membernyt19723-Mar-10 0:14 
GeneralRe: Advanced Text Editor with Ruler right to left Pin
nyt197229-Nov-10 21:31
membernyt197229-Nov-10 21:31 
GeneralAdvanced Text Editor with Ruler for Pin
nyt197223-Feb-10 20:38
membernyt197223-Feb-10 20:38 
GeneralRe: Advanced Text Editor with Ruler for Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh24-Feb-10 8:33
memberAleksei Krassovskikh24-Feb-10 8:33 

Actually, I did not provide VB.NET version due to the free time limits (currently working on new version). But, you can easily compile that control to DLL and add a reference to your VB project. Also, you may use converters to achieve that.

Well known way to convert between .NET languages is using Reflector (hope you know that one). Just compile assembly, open it in Reflector and export sources in required language.

Hope that will help you.

Alex KraS

GeneralRe: Advanced Text Editor with Ruler for Pin
nyt197224-Feb-10 20:18
membernyt197224-Feb-10 20:18 
QuestionFixed: Doesn't work in X64 and Windows 7 Pin
Alva Chien11-Oct-09 5:36
memberAlva Chien11-Oct-09 5:36 
GeneralRe: Bug found: Doesn't work in X64 platform Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh12-Oct-09 1:37
memberAleksei Krassovskikh12-Oct-09 1:37 
GeneralRe: Bug found: Doesn't work in X64 platform Pin
Alva Chien12-Oct-09 3:36
memberAlva Chien12-Oct-09 3:36 
AnswerRe: Bug found: Doesn't work in X64 platform Pin
Alva Chien1-Nov-09 6:43
memberAlva Chien1-Nov-09 6:43 
GeneralRe: Bug found: Doesn't work in X64 platform Pin
Aleksei Karimov5-Oct-10 21:43
memberAleksei Karimov5-Oct-10 21:43 
GeneralGreat job just one thing... Pin
ccr0520-Sep-09 8:17
memberccr0520-Sep-09 8:17 
QuestionRuler & Zoom Pin
Ant210019-Aug-09 2:26
memberAnt210019-Aug-09 2:26 
QuestionGreat project, but... Spell check?? Pin
Ant210011-Aug-09 11:01
memberAnt210011-Aug-09 11:01 
AnswerRe: Great project, but... Spell check?? Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh12-Aug-09 7:42
memberAleksei Krassovskikh12-Aug-09 7:42 
GeneralRe: Great project, but... Spell check?? Pin
Ant210013-Aug-09 1:02
memberAnt210013-Aug-09 1:02 
GeneralGood project Pin
aldo hexosa13-Jul-09 18:16
memberaldo hexosa13-Jul-09 18:16 
GeneralRe: Good project Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh12-Aug-09 7:43
memberAleksei Krassovskikh12-Aug-09 7:43 
QuestionVB2005 Pin
alpedo2-Apr-09 7:47
memberalpedo2-Apr-09 7:47 
AnswerRe: VB2005 Pin
alpedo3-Apr-09 15:14
memberalpedo3-Apr-09 15:14 
QuestionA minor bug in your control any idea how to fix Pin
Brian Cohen25-Mar-09 6:09
memberBrian Cohen25-Mar-09 6:09 
AnswerRe: A minor bug in your control any idea how to fix Pin
Aleksei Krassovskikh27-Mar-09 5:07
memberAleksei Krassovskikh27-Mar-09 5:07 

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