Click here to Skip to main content
13,044,766 members (42,377 online)
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version


83 bookmarked
Posted 27 Jan 2008

Visual Studio 2005 ToolBox Clone

, 3 May 2008
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
A simple clone of the Visual Studio 2005 toolbox using a standard treeview


This control is a very simple Visual Studio ToolBox control clone. The control itself is just a owner drawn TreeView. Because it is based on a standard treeview, it supports only one style of the Visual Studio Toolbox - the list style.


Many weeks ago, I needed a simple control that looks like the ToolBox in Visual Studio 2005. There're some controls on CodeProject doing stuff like this. But all these controls are too oversized for me. So I wrote my own one...

To create the look and feel of the toolbox, I have just overridden the OnDrawNode method. Depending on the node level, the OnDrawNode method will call the method for root items or sub items. As you can see, there're only two levels possible in this control. An item on level 0 will be a root item and drawn as the darker header items. All subitems (level > 0) will be drawn on level 1 as sub item.

Adding advanced tool tips to the toolbox was a little tricky, because the standard treeview does not support such tool tips. First I had to disable the standard tool tip functionality of the treeview like this:

private const int TVS_NOTOOLTIPS = 0x80;

/// <summary>
/// Disables the tooltip activity for the treenodes.
/// </summary>
protected override CreateParams CreateParams
    CreateParams p = base.CreateParams;
    p.Style = p.Style | TVS_NOTOOLTIPS;
    return p;

After that, I have implemented a tool tip control which supports the advanced look and feel of the modern tool tips (also used in the original Visual Studio ToolBox).

Using the Code

The handling of this control is quite easy. If you have ever worked with the .NET TreeView control, you should not have any problems with it. But you have to set some properties at this time to let the control look like the Visual Studio ToolBox:

  • Set the DrawMode to OwnerDrawAll
  • Set the FullRowSelect to true
  • Set the HideSelection to false
  • Set the HotTracking to true
  • Set the ItemHeight to 20
  • Add an ImageList

Adding New Groups

// To support the custom tool tips, we
// have to add an enhanced node type to the toolbox.
ToolBox.VSTreeNode newGroup = new ToolBox.VSTreeNode();

newGroup.Text = String.Format("Sample Node {0}", toolBox1.Nodes.Count + 1);


Adding New Items to a Group

ToolBox.VSTreeNode newSubItem = new ToolBox.VSTreeNode();

newSubItem.Text =  String.Format("Sample SubItem {0}",
        toolBox1.SelectedNode.Nodes.Count + 1);

// Assuming, that a image list is set.
newSubItem.ImageIndex     = 0;
newSubItem.ToolTipCaption = "Look atg this!";
newSubItem.ToolTipText    = "This is an example ToolTip.";

// It's also possible to add a context menu to a node (root or subitem)
newSubItem.ContextMenuStrip = cmsExample;

// Add the new subitem to the toolbox.



  • Fixed bug with editing textbox which was displayed over the left blue border in edit mode
  • Fixed bug with wrong behaviour by clicking on the +/- of a group item
  • Added feature to display an item as disabled


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


About the Author

Software Developer
Germany Germany
Nothing to say about me..

You may also be interested in...


Comments and Discussions

GeneralNice control - but you might want to make a couple small changes Pin
PRMan!!!8-Feb-10 12:52
memberPRMan!!!8-Feb-10 12:52 
GeneralRe: Nice control - but you might want to make a couple small changes Pin
Popangler9-Feb-10 5:25
memberPopangler9-Feb-10 5:25 
QuestionTreeview control with varying item height, Pin
prakash Invent1-Jul-09 0:36
memberprakash Invent1-Jul-09 0:36 
AnswerRe: Treeview control with varying item height, Pin
Popangler9-Feb-10 5:26
memberPopangler9-Feb-10 5:26 Pin
eallenpjcc21-Jun-09 17:32
membereallenpjcc21-Jun-09 17:32 
QuestionHow do i connect the attribute and data of the sql database to tree Pin
MillaniaSnow3-Jun-09 0:50
memberMillaniaSnow3-Jun-09 0:50 
GeneralToolbox at design time in VS2008 Pin
Angelo DeFusco21-Mar-09 6:33
memberAngelo DeFusco21-Mar-09 6:33 
AnswerRe: Toolbox at design time in VS2008 Pin
Popangler22-Mar-09 1:48
memberPopangler22-Mar-09 1:48 
Generalexpanding with reluctance... Pin
Petru6616-Oct-08 4:44
memberPetru6616-Oct-08 4:44 
GeneralPlease Column more more more Pin
Xess15-Jul-08 2:49
memberXess15-Jul-08 2:49 
GeneralMake a group bigger Pin
cakirhal26-Jun-08 19:20
membercakirhal26-Jun-08 19:20 
GeneralRe: Make a group bigger Pin
Popangler2-Nov-08 1:06
memberPopangler2-Nov-08 1:06 
QuestionCan i display a full Tree under each group member? Please help Pin
shagunk6514-Feb-08 3:32
membershagunk6514-Feb-08 3:32 
GeneralRe: Can i display a full Tree under each group member? Please help Pin
Popangler14-Feb-08 20:40
memberPopangler14-Feb-08 20:40 
GeneralRe: Can i display a full Tree under each group member? Please help Pin
shagunk6515-Feb-08 8:06
membershagunk6515-Feb-08 8:06 
AnswerRe: Can i display a full Tree under each group member? Please help Pin
Popangler16-Feb-08 1:02
memberPopangler16-Feb-08 1:02 
GeneralRe: Can i display a full Tree under each group member? Please help Pin
shagunk6517-Feb-08 20:00
membershagunk6517-Feb-08 20:00 
GeneralRe: Can i display a full Tree under each group member? Please help Pin
shagunk6524-Feb-08 17:12
membershagunk6524-Feb-08 17:12 
GeneralVery nice... Pin
PawJershauge28-Jan-08 20:49
memberPawJershauge28-Jan-08 20:49 
AnswerRe: Very nice... Pin
Popangler29-Jan-08 10:31
memberPopangler29-Jan-08 10:31 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

Permalink | Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web02 | 2.8.170713.1 | Last Updated 3 May 2008
Article Copyright 2008 by Popangler
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2017
Layout: fixed | fluid