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Posted 17 Mar 2008


, 17 Mar 2008
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User control for .NET 2.0 extending RichTextBox with various formatting options


The RicherTextBox .NET user control is an extension of the RichTextBox control. It has integrated toolstrips with the most common formatting options - choosing fonts, font style (bold, underline, italic), text alignment, bullets, indentation, zooming in and out and searching and replacing. Each one of the tools in the toolstrip can be hidden or shown in design-time or by using the code. In addition to the toolstrip, most of the functionality is also combined in a context menu. It also contains public methods for managing the format using code when the usage of the toolstrip is not appropriate. Save and load funcionality is also implemented. The RicherTextBox control is ready-to-use and its basic usage is as easy as dragging it from the toolbox into the container.

The toolstrip of RicherTextBox:

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels

The context menu of RicherTextBox:

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels

Using the Code

This control should be used as any other user control - just drag-drop in a designer, or create a new instance using a code editor. The only thing you need to do is to add a reference to the DLL-file of the control or the whole project in your project's references and add a using directive in your code file to the namespace RicherTextBox.

// Include RicherTextBox namespace to be able to access the control's 
// properties and methods
using RicherTextBox;

Without any other code, the control will became available in its full capabilities. If you want to enable or disable some functionality, it can be done in design time using the properties in Toolstrip items visibility and Toolstrip single items visibility categories, or by setting them using C# code.

Here are some examples of hiding items in the toolstrip using code. Let's assume that the control is implemented in a form and its name is set to richerTextBox1 .

Hiding a group of tools:

// To hide the group of buttons for text alignment using the properties
richerTextBox1.GroupAlignmentVisible = false;
// To hide the group of buttons for text alignment using the methods
    (RicherTextBox.RicherTextBoxToolStripGroups.Alignment, false);

The method HideToolstripItemsByGroup is declared as follows...

public void HideToolstripItemsByGroup
   (RicherTextBoxToolStripGroups group, bool visible)

... where RicherTextBoxToolStripGroups is enumeration including the values:

public enum RicherTextBoxToolStripGroups
    SaveAndLoad = 0x1,
    FontNameAndSize = 0x2,
    BoldUnderlineItalic = 0x4,
    Alignment = 0x8,
    FontColor = 0x10,
    IndentationAndBullets = 0x20,
    Insert = 0x40,
    Zoom = 0x80

The values in HideToolstripItemsByGroup's first parameter can be combined using the bitwise or operator (|):

// Hiding more than one group of tools using a combination of enumerable values 
// as a parameter
    RicherTextBoxToolStripGroups.Alignment |

This is what the control looks like after executing this code:

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels

As you can see, the alignment buttons and the bold, italic, underline buttons are now hidden.

Using the Methods for Accessing Functionality (Examples)

Let's say you want to toggle the bold parameter of the selected text from the code, it is done in a very simple way:

// Toggling Bold on the selected text

Setting the size of the used font:

// Setting the font size

The same is used for all of the formatting functionality of the control.

If you don't want the save and load buttons visible (or, even if they're visible), you will probably want to access the text which the user has typed in the control. Two properties are supplied for this purpose:

  • Text is an overriding property which contains the text in the RicherTextBox in plain-text format.
  • Rtf holds the text in rich-text format.

Both properties can be set and read, and the Rtf property also has simple error protection: when a string with invalid format is associated with it, instead of throwing ArgumentException, the invalid text is simply set as plain-text format:

// Setting the text
richTextBox1.Text = "This is an example of setting the text in a RicherTextBox";

// Now, an example of setting the Rtf property to an invalid value:
// The value "Test" is an invalid rich-text format string, but the RicherTextBox
// control will simply read it as plain-text instead of throwing exceptions
richTextBox1.Rtf = "Test";    

Searching and Replacing

All that you need is to show (or, not hide) the toolstrip for finding. All functionality of searching and replacing is integrated in the control.

Sample Image - maximum width is 600 pixels


  • Version 1.0 - 16 March, 2008: First released version


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


About the Author

Svetoslav Savov
Software Developer Interconsult Bulgaria
Bulgaria Bulgaria
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionOpening a string - fails Pin
Member 1298335820-Apr-17 0:00
memberMember 1298335820-Apr-17 0:00 
Questionabraham Pin
Abraham Molina12-Oct-16 10:34
memberAbraham Molina12-Oct-16 10:34 
QuestionNeed additional properties Pin
Srikanth Anandateertha18-Oct-13 9:42
memberSrikanth Anandateertha18-Oct-13 9:42 
QuestionTextChanged Pin
Member 895029330-Jul-13 4:27
memberMember 895029330-Jul-13 4:27 
QuestionUse on Multiple RichTextBoxes? Pin
ndennisv27-May-13 3:13
memberndennisv27-May-13 3:13 
QuestionRead-Only Text Pin
Member 20294347-Jan-13 4:37
memberMember 20294347-Jan-13 4:37 
AnswerRe: Read-Only Text Pin
ndennisv27-May-13 2:35
memberndennisv27-May-13 2:35 
QuestionHow to get the selected text Pin
The_F2-May-12 0:58
memberThe_F2-May-12 0:58 
QuestionProblem with adding multiple instance of RicherTextBox to a form Pin
FernandoUY6-Mar-12 5:46
memberFernandoUY6-Mar-12 5:46 
AnswerRe: Problem with adding multiple instance of RicherTextBox to a form Pin
FernandoUY6-Mar-12 5:53
memberFernandoUY6-Mar-12 5:53 
Questionhow to give html input? Pin
Joyalg16-Feb-10 3:21
memberJoyalg16-Feb-10 3:21 
GeneralI added a ValueChanged event to the control... Pin
Steve McKenna1-Feb-10 7:42
memberSteve McKenna1-Feb-10 7:42 
Questionis it possible to open a specific *.rtf file by parameter ? Pin
Bernd Pfeiff6-Dec-09 4:47
memberBernd Pfeiff6-Dec-09 4:47 
QuestionHow to numbering a line Pin
laduc1-Dec-09 16:35
memberladuc1-Dec-09 16:35 
Generalsave RicherTextBox Content to DB Pin
Bernd Pfeiff3-Sep-09 7:39
memberBernd Pfeiff3-Sep-09 7:39 
QuestionHtml export Pin
Member 351717930-May-08 6:01
memberMember 351717930-May-08 6:01 
Generalmultiple font attributes Pin
Gary O'Neal25-Mar-08 5:54
memberGary O'Neal25-Mar-08 5:54 
QuestionTables? Pin
georani25-Mar-08 3:48
membergeorani25-Mar-08 3:48 
GeneralGood control - perhaps the article needs a bit extra... Pin
robvon24-Mar-08 0:04
memberrobvon24-Mar-08 0:04 
QuestionVS 2005 version available ? Pin
BillWoodruff22-Mar-08 5:26
memberBillWoodruff22-Mar-08 5:26 
AnswerRe: VS 2005 version available ? Pin
Célio30-Mar-08 9:08
memberCélio30-Mar-08 9:08 
Generalfao Celio Re: VS 2005 version available ? Pin
BillWoodruff30-Mar-08 20:50
memberBillWoodruff30-Mar-08 20:50 
Generalre RicherTextBox Pin
BillWoodruff17-Mar-08 15:38
memberBillWoodruff17-Mar-08 15:38 
GeneralRe: re RicherTextBox Pin
leppie18-Mar-08 2:17
member leppie 18-Mar-08 2:17 
GeneralRe: re RicherTextBox Pin
Svetoslav Savov18-Mar-08 22:21
memberSvetoslav Savov18-Mar-08 22:21 
GeneralRe: re RicherTextBox Pin
BillWoodruff19-Mar-08 0:07
memberBillWoodruff19-Mar-08 0:07 

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Article Copyright 2008 by Svetoslav Savov
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