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Posted 24 Jan 2012

Creating a Scrollable and Zoomable Image Viewer in C# - Part 3

, 24 Jan 2012
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How to create a scrollable and zoomable image viewer in C#

After part 2 added scrolling support, we are now going to extend this to support keyboard scrolling and panning with the mouse.

Design Support

In order to enable panning, we're going to add three new properties. The AutoPan property will control if the user can click and drag the image with the mouse in order to scroll. Also, we'll add an InvertMouse property to control how the scrolling works. Finally, the IsPanning property; however it can only be read publicly, not set.

As well as the backing events for the above properties, we'll also add extra events - PanStart and PanEnd. The normal Scroll event will be utilized while panning is in progress rather than a custom event.

Mouse Panning

To pan with the mouse, the user needs to "grab" the control by clicking and holding down the left mouse button. As they move the mouse, the control should automatically scroll in the opposite direction the mouse is moving (or if InvertMouse is set, in the same direction). Once the button is released, scrolling should stop.

We'll implement this by overriding OnMouseMove and OnMouseUp, shown below:

protected override void OnMouseMove(MouseEventArgs e)

  if (e.Button == MouseButtons.Left && this.AutoPan && this.Image != null)
    if (!this.IsPanning)
      _startMousePosition = e.Location;
      this.IsPanning = true;

    if (this.IsPanning)
      int x;
      int y;
      Point position;

      if (!this.InvertMouse)
        x = -_startScrollPosition.X + (_startMousePosition.X - e.Location.X);
        y = -_startScrollPosition.Y + (_startMousePosition.Y - e.Location.Y);
        x = -(_startScrollPosition.X + (_startMousePosition.X - e.Location.X));
        y = -(_startScrollPosition.Y + (_startMousePosition.Y - e.Location.Y));

      position = new Point(x, y);


protected override void OnMouseUp(MouseEventArgs e)

  if (this.IsPanning)
    this.IsPanning = false;

protected virtual void UpdateScrollPosition(Point position)
  this.AutoScrollPosition = position;
  this.OnScroll(new ScrollEventArgs(ScrollEventType.ThumbPosition, 0));

UpdateScrollPosition is a common method to set the viewport and refresh the control. The IsPanning property is used to notify the control internally that a pan operation has been started. It will also set a semi-appropriate cursor (we'll look at custom cursors another time), and raise either the PanStart or PanEnd events.

DesignerSerializationVisibility(DesignerSerializationVisibility.Hidden), Browsable(false)]
public bool IsPanning
  get { return _isPanning; }
  protected set
    if (_isPanning != value)
      _isPanning = value;
      _startScrollPosition = this.AutoScrollPosition;

      if (value)
        this.Cursor = Cursors.SizeAll;
        this.Cursor = Cursors.Default;

Keyboard Scrolling

The first two versions of this component effectively disabled keyboard support via the ControlStyles.Selectable control style and TabStop property. However, we now want to allow keyboard support. So the first thing we do is remove the call to disable the selectable style and resetting of the tab stop property from the constructor. We also remove the custom TabStop property we had implemented for attribute overriding.

With this done, we can now add some keyboard support. As the ScrollableControl doesn't natively support this, we'll do it ourselves by overriding OnKeyDown. One of the initial drawbacks is that it won't always capture special keys, such as the arrow keys.

In order for it to do so, we need to let the control know that such keys are required by overriding IsInputKey - if this returns true, then the specified key is required and will be captured in OnKeyDown.

protected override bool IsInputKey(Keys keyData)
  bool result;

  if ((keyData & Keys.Right) == Keys.Right | (keyData & Keys.Left) == Keys.Left | 
      (keyData & Keys.Up) == Keys.Up | (keyData & Keys.Down) == Keys.Down)
    result = true;
    result = base.IsInputKey(keyData);

  return result;

protected override void OnKeyDown(KeyEventArgs e)

  switch (e.KeyCode)
    case Keys.Left:
      this.AdjustScroll(-(e.Modifiers == Keys.None ? 
      this.HorizontalScroll.SmallChange : this.HorizontalScroll.LargeChange), 0);
    case Keys.Right:
      this.AdjustScroll(e.Modifiers == Keys.None ? 
      this.HorizontalScroll.SmallChange : this.HorizontalScroll.LargeChange, 0);
    case Keys.Up:
      this.AdjustScroll(0, -(e.Modifiers == Keys.None ? 
      this.VerticalScroll.SmallChange : this.VerticalScroll.LargeChange));
    case Keys.Down:
      this.AdjustScroll(0, e.Modifiers == Keys.None ? 
      this.VerticalScroll.SmallChange : this.VerticalScroll.LargeChange);

protected virtual void AdjustScroll(int x, int y)
  Point scrollPosition;

  scrollPosition = new Point(this.HorizontalScroll.Value + x, this.VerticalScroll.Value + y);


When the left, right, up or down arrow keys are pressed, the control checks to see if a modifier such as shift or control is active. If not, then the control is scrolled either horizontally or vertically using the "small change" value of the appropriate scrollbar. If a modifier was set, then the scroll is made using the "large change" value.

The AdjustScroll method is used to "nudge" the scrollbars in the given direction, using values read from the HorizontalScroll and VerticalScroll - reading the AutoScrollPosition property didn't return appropriate results in our testing.

Sample Project

You can download the third sample project from the links below. The final article in the series will add autofit, centering and of course, zoom support.

Other Articles in this Series


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


About the Author

Richard James Moss
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
No Biography provided

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