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Posted 27 Nov 2008

Custom Numeric Edit Elements for DataGridView

, 27 Nov 2008
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Get a numeric edit DataGridView by customized elements supporting mouse context menu and shortcut input.

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Figure 1. Demo screenshot.


This article will discuss how to customize elements such as edit control, column and cell for DataGridView in a numeric edit application, which has the functions listed below:

  • Can set decimal length in the customized column (0 indicates integer, maximum decimal length can be 6).
  • Can set whether negative sign is allowed or not when editing.
  • Can set whether to show null when cell value is zero or not.
  • Supports mouse Cut, Copy, Paste, Clear in context menu when editing.
  • Supports shortcut keys Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V when editing.
  • Supports sort operations built in DataGridView.


There are already many solutions for customizing column, cell or DataGridView in numeric edit applications, and the classic one is Build a Custom NumericUpDown Cell and Column for the DataGridView Control, which describes in a deep, detailed and step by step manner, the implementation of edit control, column and cell for DataGridView based on the standard NumericUpDown control. However, it has some shortcomings as stated below:

  • Can input decimal separator more than one
  • Can input negative sign more than one
  • Can paste nondigit char in context menu by mouse or shortcuts
  • Sort may cause exception when assigned integer and decimal to cells directly

Most solutions behave like the article above, which handle keyboard input only, few support mouse Cut, Copy, Paste and Clear in context menu, few process conventional shortcut keys such as Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C or Ctrl+V too.

Main Steps

Here we customize edit control, column and cell according to Build a Custom NumericUpDown Cell and Column for the DataGridView Control, and we use the open source TNumEditBox control as the numeric edit control instead of NumericUpDown, which is my open source control published on The Code Project. The core implementation is that we must build an edit control based on TNumEditBox, and then customize the column and cell for DataGridView.

The main steps include:

  1. Derive TNumEditDataGridViewEditingControl class from TNumEditBox and standard IDataGridViewEditingControl:

    • Implement all methods and properties defined in standard IDataGridViewEditingControl interface.

    • Override OnKeyPress() of TNumEditBox to notify value change to DataGridView when keys input.

    • Override OnTextChanged() of TNumEditBox to notify text changed to DataGridView.

  2. Derive TNumEditDataGridViewColumn class from standard DataGridViewTextBoxColumn to expose three properties of the customized cell: DecimalLength, AllowNegative, and ShowNullWhenZero.

  3. Derive TNumEditDataGridViewCell class from DataGridViewTextBoxCell:

    • Override two properties: EditType and ValueType.
      The EditType property indicates the type of edit control, i.e. typeof(TNumEditDataGridViewEditingControl). The ValueType property indicates the type of cell value, i.e. typeof(Decimal).

    • Override five methods: InitializeEditingControl, DetachEditingControl, SetValue, Clone, and GetFormattedValue.
      InitializeEditingControl and DetachEditingControl methods handle the initialization and clear work of edit control. SetValue method can convert value to decimal when assigned directly to cells. GetFormattedValue method provides formatted value text as need. Clone method is used when not sharing cells.

    • Define three properties: DecimalLength, AllowNegative, and ShowNullWhenZero

In fact, the steps and implementation have been discussed in detail in the article above, but we need not follow them exactly as stated, since the edit control is TNumEditBox instead of NumericUpDown, which is derived from TextBox like the standard DataGridViewTextBoxEditingControl. Furthermore, we need not handle shortcut keys and context menu in customized edit control too, because this work has been done by the TNumEditBox control.

Key Points

We explain some key points different from the article above.

1) Override SetValue Method in TNumEditDataGridViewCell Class

When we assign values to DataGridView cells directly, for example, dataGridView1.Rows[0].Cells[0].Value = 1, SetValue method will be called. This method can deduce automatically the type of value assigned, that is to say, it takes value as integer if 1 is assigned, and value is double if 1.1 is assigned. So, one DataGridView column will have integer and double value when we assign 1 and 1.1 to its cells, then it will throw an exception when we sort by clicking the column header, since we do not implement IComparer for integer and double/decimal.

We must override the SetValue method, since the property Value does not expose in the DataGridViewTextBoxCell:

protected override bool SetValue(int rowIndex, object value)
    decimal val = 0.0m;
        val = Math.Round(System.Convert.ToDecimal(value), m_decimalLength);
    catch { }
    return base.SetValue(rowIndex, val);

We convert all type of values assigned to decimal. We need not care about the performance of the overriding method above, since it is called only when values are assigned directly to cells, and does not bring it up when we edit text or bind datasource.

2) Define ShowNullWhenZero Property in TNumEditDataGridViewCell Class

DataGridView shows usually 0 or 0.00, etc. when cell values are zero, and we hope no number displayed as null value does, especially in the case of great many zeros in DataGridView. Here we define the ShowNullWhenZero property in the TNumEditDataGridViewCell class, which handles zero as null, and then we need to override the GetFormattedValue method:

protected override object GetFormattedValue(object value,
                                            int rowIndex,
                                            ref DataGridViewCellStyle cellStyle,
                                            TypeConverter valueTypeConverter,
                                            TypeConverter formattedValueTypeConverter,
                                            DataGridViewDataErrorContexts context)
    object baseFormattedValue = base.GetFormattedValue(value, rowIndex, ref cellStyle,
        valueTypeConverter, formattedValueTypeConverter, context);
    string formattedText = baseFormattedValue as string;

    if (value == null || string.IsNullOrEmpty(formattedText)) // behave like null
        return baseFormattedValue;

    Decimal unformattedDecimal = System.Convert.ToDecimal(value); // 123.1 to "123.1"
    // 1.1 to "1.12" if DecimalLength is 2
    Decimal formattedDecimal = System.Convert.ToDecimal(formattedText); 

    if (unformattedDecimal == 0.0m && m_showNullWhenZero)
        return base.GetFormattedValue(null, rowIndex, ref cellStyle,
            valueTypeConverter, formattedValueTypeConverter, context);

    if (unformattedDecimal == formattedDecimal)
        return formattedDecimal.ToString("F" + m_decimalLength.ToString());
    return formattedText;

Using the Code

After unzipping, we can double click the solution file TNumEditDataGridViewElements.sln to view the demo project if we have Visual Studio 2005/2008, or we can run TNumEditDataGridViewElementsDemo.exe in subfolder \bin\ to take a view and test them. Below are some notes about the class files and steps for creating columns in DataGridView control.

1) Two C# Class Files

There are two C# class files in the zip file:

  1. TNumEditBox.cs contains the customized TextBox control for numeric edit, whose introduction can be located here, and it works as the edit control in DataGridView.
  2. TNumEditDataGridViewElements.cs contains the three customized element classes for DataGridView, i.e. TNumEditDataGridViewEditingControl, TNumEditDataGridViewColumn and TNumEditDataGridViewCell.

2) Usage Steps

We can use the customized DataGridView elements in our application projects according to the steps below:

  1. Create a new application solution or project, and include TNumEditBox.cs and TNumEditDataGridViewElements into the project.
  2. Add one standard DataGridView control onto one form control.
  3. Add and select customized TNumEditDataGridViewColumns as shown in figure 2:
  4. Figure 2. Select the customized column in DataGridView.
  5. Define property values for customized TNumEditDataGridViewColumn, i.e. define the values of DecimalLength, AllowNegative and ShowNullWhenZero as shown in figure 3:
  6. Figure 3. Define property values for customized column.

Ok, let us test, run and enjoy the customized elements for DataGridView in our applications!


In Windows Forms, DataGridView is a powerful control for displaying and editing data, and, we hope, a more convenient and standard kind to handle and show numeric data in it. We often customize one or more core elements in DataGridView. Based on TNumEditBox control, here we provide a solution to customize elements such as edit control, column and cell for DataGridView according to the methods and steps introduced by Build a Custom NumericUpDown Cell and Column for the DataGridView Control. The key features of our solution are that of supporting mouse context menu and shortcut input. The Chinese counterpart will be published at my csdn blog. Any comments will be appreciated.


  • 25th November, 2008: First published


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


About the Author

HU Lihui
Instructor / Trainer CSUST
China China
College teacher and free programmer who expertises application sofwares for statistics reports,finance data handling,and MIS using Visual C#, Delphi, SQL, etc..

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionCTRL_V is not Working. Pin
endidy2-Oct-16 3:13
memberendidy2-Oct-16 3:13 
QuestionThanks Pin
mrpopat793-Jan-16 9:11
membermrpopat793-Jan-16 9:11 
QuestionSuperb !!!!!!!!! Pin
Amith Sanjaya Ananda16-Mar-15 18:38
memberAmith Sanjaya Ananda16-Mar-15 18:38 
QuestionDecimal Pin
endidy11-Aug-12 0:22
memberendidy11-Aug-12 0:22 
BugIs It a bug ? Pin
Mazen el Senih26-Apr-12 9:40
memberMazen el Senih26-Apr-12 9:40 
GeneralRe: Is It a bug ? Pin
Member 1095227627-Mar-16 2:57
memberMember 1095227627-Mar-16 2:57 
GeneralThanks Pin
Mazen el Senih25-Apr-12 9:16
memberMazen el Senih25-Apr-12 9:16 
QuestionThanks Pin
sagar savsani16-Mar-12 4:21
membersagar savsani16-Mar-12 4:21 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
nicu197628-Jun-11 2:06
membernicu197628-Jun-11 2:06 
GeneralMaximum and Minimum property Pin
Francesco Giossi8-Apr-11 4:49
memberFrancesco Giossi8-Apr-11 4:49 
GeneralGreat Solution Pin
mogano8-Dec-10 4:20
membermogano8-Dec-10 4:20 
GeneralExcellent DGV extension Pin
thookerov26-Mar-10 11:41
memberthookerov26-Mar-10 11:41 
GeneralEdit values during runtime in dropdown list Pin
elci7-Jul-09 19:39
memberelci7-Jul-09 19:39 
GeneralGood work, but need something else Pin
rodrilobo021-Jun-09 11:27
memberrodrilobo021-Jun-09 11:27 
GeneralRe: Good work, but need something else Pin
HU Lihui13-Jun-09 23:28
memberHU Lihui13-Jun-09 23:28 
GeneralOhh thanks! Pin
pimb221-Apr-09 4:15
memberpimb221-Apr-09 4:15 
GeneralRe: Ohh thanks! Pin
HU Lihui13-Jun-09 23:29
memberHU Lihui13-Jun-09 23:29 
GeneralVery nice work! Pin
Mike Eby26-Jan-09 3:03
memberMike Eby26-Jan-09 3:03 
GeneralMy vote of 2 Pin
AxelM27-Nov-08 20:24
memberAxelM27-Nov-08 20:24 

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