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Posted 29 Aug 2008

A C# 2008 Advanced Customizable PropertyGrid Control

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This user control is similar to the standard Microsoft .NET 2.0 PropertyGrid control with several additional features


This property grid control has been developed in Visual Studio C# 2008. This user control is similar to the standard Microsoft .NET 2.0 PropertyGrid control with several additional features:

  • Gets/sets any property item at runtime (e.g. change property’s help text)
  • New property items (Date and Time, Date, Time, File, Directory, ProgressBar, ...)
  • Multi-language support
  • Image Preview
  • Date calendar
  • Numeric interval automatic validation
  • Customizable Boolean type (yes/no, true/false, ..)
  • Customizable engineering unit for numeric values
  • Use .NET standard dialog box, text title, new buttons (show text, apply), ...

This control is fully customizable at runtime. Property items can be added and changed at any time.


The main problem of the Microsoft .NET 2.0 standard Property Grid Control is that it is not easy to control at run-time. Using this control is possible, for example, to change the language at runtime or to change a property that normally is read-only using the standard control.

Using the Code

To run the example project:

  1. Extract all files from ZIP into a folder
  2. Run Visual Studio C #2008 and select the command "File" > "Open project"
  3. Select the file "\Test\Test_mbrPropertyGrid\Test_mbrPropertyGrid.sln"
  4. Select the command "Build" > "Rebuild solution"
  5. Press the [F5] keyboard button to run the program

To build your new test project:

  1. Run Visual Studio C #2008 and create a new project (standard Windows form application)
  2. Add a reference to the .NET DLL "mbrPropertyGrid.dll"
  3. Right-click in toolbox windows and select the command "Choose Items..."
  4. Select the browse button and select the .NET DLL "mbrPropertyGrid.dll"
  5. Drag and drop the new PropertyGrid icon from the toolbox to your project form to add the control to your project
  6. Set the control properties to customize it
  7. Write code to add/manage property items

To logically group the various item objects, at first, add a category item:

mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemCategory catItem;
catItem = new mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemCategory("Main Category");
PropertyGrid1.CategoryAdd("CatMain", catItem);

To add property items to a category use the .ItemAdd method like the following example :

mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemInt32 intItem;
intItem = new mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemInt32("Line02 - Age (Int32)", 0);
intItem.SetValidationRange(0, 120, 1);
intItem.SetHelpCaptionText("Age", "Tell me your age (valid range : 0..120)");
PropertyGrid1.ItemAdd("CatMain", "MyAge", intItem);

mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemString strItem;
strItem = new mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemString
	("Line01 - Name (String)", "Jak", "Jak Smith");
strItem.HelpCaption = "Name";
strItem.HelpText = "Tell me your name...";
PropertyGrid1.ItemAdd("CatMain", "YourName", strItem);

To disable a property item, set the item property .Enabled to false like in the following example:

strItem = new mbrPropertyGrid.PropertyItemString
	("Line03 - Job (String)", "A software developer");
strItem.HelpText = "Tell me about your job";
strItem.Enabled = false;
PropertyGrid1.ItemAdd("CatMain", "K03", strItem);

When you have completed the addition of item objects to force the complete control repaint, run the .RefreshControl(true) method like in the following code:

// Full control repaint

A quick screen shot control preview. Please note that the standard dialog box will be shown in the same language of the operating system.














Points of Interest

To change the language at runtime, simply change the following properties of the property items: Text, HelpCaption, HelpText (and Description for a Directory Item).


  • Version - 28/08/2008: This is the first version. Some points have to be accommodated. For example, there is a known bug on a video refresh of the .Text property. I suggest, at the moment, to disable the Text property view by setting .TextVisible = false;

About Me

My name is Massimiliano Brugnerotto and I'm an Italian C# software developer. I believe that open source software is a useful resource and with this article, I will give my contribution to this site that on many occasions gave me interesting development solutions.


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


About the Author

Massimiliano Brugnerotto
Software Developer (Senior) Palladio Software House s.r.l.
Italy Italy
My main experience as software developer in short

17/03/2008-today : WinForm C# 2005-2008 developer and Web developer (HTML, PHP, MySQL), QlikView Business Intelligence Developer
14/03/2001-15/03/2008 : WinForm VisualBasic 6.0, C#2003, C# 2005 developer and finally, in the 2007-8, also web developer (HTML, PHP, MySQL)
01/11/1992-13/03/2001 : MS-DOS Turbo Pascal 7.0 (OOP), Quick Basic 4.5 developer and WinForm Visual Basic 3.0 / 5.0 developer.

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Comments and Discussions

SuggestionRTL problem Pin
Member 1151927623-Oct-15 11:10
memberMember 1151927623-Oct-15 11:10 
BugItem Select - Scroll Not Working Pin
MainOp18-Aug-15 7:41
memberMainOp18-Aug-15 7:41 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Maxwolf Goodliffe14-Dec-14 17:43
memberMaxwolf Goodliffe14-Dec-14 17:43 
QuestionNubom, Russia Pin
nubom7-Nov-14 3:25
membernubom7-Nov-14 3:25 
QuestionPropertyGrid.SelectedObject ? Pin
krysiu_2417-Sep-13 19:55
memberkrysiu_2417-Sep-13 19:55 
QuestionHierachical Categories Pin
BrasilBrasil21-Feb-13 2:05
memberBrasilBrasil21-Feb-13 2:05 
Hi Massimiliano,

I like your control and want to use it!

Is it possible to put categories under categories? I mean, can you have hierachical categories?

Thanks in advance

QuestionCategoriesClear ?? Pin
IMikeO30-Sep-11 7:54
memberIMikeO30-Sep-11 7:54 
QuestionAm I missing something? Pin
Brad Yinger21-Aug-09 11:56
memberBrad Yinger21-Aug-09 11:56 
AnswerRe: Am I missing something? Pin
Brad Yinger21-Aug-09 12:10
memberBrad Yinger21-Aug-09 12:10 
GeneralIterate over added items Pin
Schmullus13-Mar-09 1:35
memberSchmullus13-Mar-09 1:35 
GeneralRe: Iterate over added items Pin
SlingBlade25-Mar-09 20:43
memberSlingBlade25-Mar-09 20:43 
GeneralHyperlinks Pin
Mark Storen21-Jan-09 19:34
memberMark Storen21-Jan-09 19:34 
GeneralSelectedObject Pin
netJP12L2-Dec-08 7:42
membernetJP12L2-Dec-08 7:42 
QuestionHow to move with one Main heading by using tab key? Pin
73amit11-Nov-08 20:25
member73amit11-Nov-08 20:25 
GeneralFantastic!! Pin
Steve Stamm7-Nov-08 9:29
memberSteve Stamm7-Nov-08 9:29 
QuestionVery interesting Pin
E! Ray K6-Nov-08 5:51
memberE! Ray K6-Nov-08 5:51 
GeneralExcellent Pin
netJP12L27-Oct-08 18:30
membernetJP12L27-Oct-08 18:30 
GeneralValue Changed Event Pin
Member 281764113-Oct-08 14:18
memberMember 281764113-Oct-08 14:18 
AnswerRe: Value Changed Event Pin
Massimiliano Brugnerotto18-Oct-08 5:11
memberMassimiliano Brugnerotto18-Oct-08 5:11 

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