This is the first part in a series of articles that will result in a component for viewing an image. The final component will support zooming and scrolling.
In this first part, we're going to create a basic image viewer, without the scrolling and zooming. Rather than having a plain background however, we're going to create a two tone checker box effect which is often used for showing transparent images. We'll also allow this to be disabled and a solid colour used instead.
Creating the Component
The component inherits from
Control rather than something like
Panel as we want to provide a lot of our own behaviour.
The first thing we'll do is override some properties - to hide the ones we won't be using such as
Font, and to modify others, such as making
AutoSize visible, and changing the default value of
Next is to add some new properties. We'll create the following properties and respective change events:
BorderStyle - A standard border style
GridCellSize - The basic cell size
GridColorAlternate - The colors used to create the checkerboard style background
GridScale - A property for scaling the
GridCellSize for user interface options
Image - The image to be displayed
ShowGrid - Flag to determine if the checkerboard background should be displayed
As we are offering auto size support, we also override some existing events so we can resize when certain actions occur, such as changing the control's padding or parent.
Setting Control Styles
As well as setting up default property values, the component's constructor also adjusts several control styles.
AllPaintingInWmPaint - We don't need a separate
OnPaint will do fine.
UserPaint - As we are doing entirely our own painting, we disable the base
OptimizedDoubleBuffer - Double buffering means the painting will occur in a memory buffer before being transferred to the screen, reducing flicker.
ResizeRedraw - Automatically redraw the component if it is resized.
Selectable - We disable this flag as we don't want the control to be receiving focus.
this.SetStyle(ControlStyles.AllPaintingInWmPaint | ControlStyles.UserPaint |
ControlStyles.OptimizedDoubleBuffer| ControlStyles.ResizeRedraw, true);
this.BackColor = Color.White;
this.TabStop = false;
this.AutoSize = true;
this.GridScale = ImageBoxGridScale.Small;
this.ShowGrid = true;
this.GridColor = Color.Gainsboro;
this.GridColorAlternate = Color.White;
this.GridCellSize = 8;
this.BorderStyle = BorderStyle.FixedSingle;
Creating the Background
CreateGridTileImage method creates a tile of a 2x2 grid using many of the properties listed above which is then tiled across the background of the control.
protected virtual Bitmap CreateGridTileImage(int cellSize, Color firstColor, Color secondColor)
scale = 1.5F;
scale = 2;
scale = 1;
cellSize = (int)(cellSize * scale);
width = cellSize * 2;
height = cellSize * 2;
result = new Bitmap(width, height);
using (Graphics g = Graphics.FromImage(result))
using (SolidBrush brush = new SolidBrush(firstColor))
g.FillRectangle(brush, new Rectangle(0, 0, width, height));
using (SolidBrush brush = new SolidBrush(secondColor))
g.FillRectangle(brush, new Rectangle(0, 0, cellSize, cellSize));
g.FillRectangle(brush, new Rectangle(cellSize, cellSize, cellSize, cellSize));
Painting the Control
As described above, we've disabled all default painting, so we simply need to override
OnPaint and do our custom painting here.
protected override void OnPaint(PaintEventArgs e)
if (_gridTile != null && this.ShowGrid)
for (int x = 0; x < this.ClientSize.Width; x += _gridTile.Size.Width)
for (int y = 0; y < this.ClientSize.Height; y += _gridTile.Size.Height)
e.Graphics.DrawImageUnscaled(_gridTile, x, y);
using (SolidBrush brush = new SolidBrush(this.BackColor))
if (this.Image != null)
e.Graphics.DrawImageUnscaled(this.Image, new Point(this.Padding.Left +
this.GetBorderOffset(), this.Padding.Top + this.GetBorderOffset()));
ControlPaint.DrawBorder3D(e.Graphics, this.ClientRectangle, Border3DStyle.Sunken);
First, we either draw a solid background using the
BackColor property if
false, otherwise we tile the grid image created earlier.
Next, we draw the actual image, if one has been set. The image is offset based on the border style and padding.
Finally, we draw the border style to ensure it appears on top of the image if autosize is disabled and the control is too small.
You can download the first sample project from the link at the top of this article. The next article in the series will look at implementing scrolling for when the image is larger than the display area of the control.
Other Articles in this Series