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Posted 17 Nov 2009

Zeta HTML Edit Control

, 9 Jul 2013
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A small wrapper class around the Windows Forms 2.0 WebBrowser control


This article presents you a small wrapper class around the Windows Forms 2.0 WebBrowser control.


The wrapper is no rocket science but provides some features I struggled with in the past. We use the control in several of our own (internal and external) applications, e.g. our Test Management tool

Some of the features include:

  • Enable the setting of text even when the control is not yet fully initialized
  • Allow pasting of images from the clipboard
  • Allows for resizing the images within the editor with the mouse 
  • Provide an alternative context menu for applying formatting options
  • Optionally directly edit the underlying HTML source code
  • Translated resources in English and German
  • Interface IExternalInformationProvider for externally persisting and restoring settings
  • Provide standard CSS in the control; usually you do not need to define your own CSS

Using the Code

To include the code in your own project, simply include the "ZetaHtmlEditControl.dll" assembly into your project.

Add the assembly to your Visual Studio .NET 2008 Windows Forms Designer Toolbox if you want to be able to drag the ExtendedWebBrowser control to your forms. Alternatively create and initialize an instance of the ExtendedWebBrowser control by code.

Setting HTML

To put HTML from your code into the control, assign the HTML code to the ExtendedWebBrowser.DocumentText property. You do not have to pass a complete HTML document with HEAD and BODY tags but only the actual content that you would write inside the BODY tag.

Getting the HTML 

To read out the HTML from the control, call the ExtendedWebBrowser.GetDocumentText(string folderPath) method. The method takes one parameter "folderPath" that tells the control where to store newly passed images from the clipboard. 


This article quickly introduced a wrapper around the Windows Forms 2.0 WebBrowser control that adds some extra functions to make it more usable in a real-world-application. Feel free to copy, modify or extend the control to match your own requirements.

To ask questions, suggest features or provide other comments, please use the comments section at the bottom of this article.


  • 2013-07-09 - You now also find the project on GitHub
  • 2013-05-20 - Images inside the edit control can now be resized proportionally to make them smaller. When persisting the images, they are actually resized on disk, too.
  • 2011-06-02 - Added support for inserting and editing tables. Added new user control that has a toolbar (see screenshot) that you can switch on and off from code.
  • 2011-03-16 - Updated for and tested with the latest Internet Explorer 9 (RTM). If you do experience AccessViolation exceptions when working with this control, please read this MSDN blog posting that suggests to add a custom build step
    editbin.exe /NXCOMPAT:NO "$(TargetPath)"
  • 2011-02-26 - Update to (hopefully) make the control work with Internet Explorer 9 RC work again. See this Stack Overflow posting for details. I've included a mini web server with the control to serve the texts from this server, instead of setting it directly. It should be 100% transparent to the user of the code.
  • 2009-11-18 - First public release to


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


About the Author

Uwe Keim
Chief Technology Officer Zeta Producer Desktop CMS
Germany Germany
Uwe does programming since 1989 with experiences in Assembler, C++, MFC and lots of web- and database stuff and now uses ASP.NET and C# extensively, too. He has also teached programming to students at the local university.

In his free time, he does climbing, running and mountain biking. Recently he became a father of a cute boy.

Some cool, free software from us:

German Developer Community  
Free Test Management Software - Intuitive, competitive, Test Plans. Download now!  
Homepage erstellen - Intuitive, very easy to use. Download now!  
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionException thrown when deleting all text in the source editor Pin
Member 398234515-Jan-13 16:03
memberMember 398234515-Jan-13 16:03 
AnswerRe: Exception thrown when deleting all text in the source editor Pin
Uwe Keim15-Jan-13 19:36
sitebuilderUwe Keim15-Jan-13 19:36 
Questionspecial character Pin
sir_Arthur300013-Dec-12 7:12
membersir_Arthur300013-Dec-12 7:12 
QuestionSpecial characters Pin
comtric22-Oct-12 3:56
membercomtric22-Oct-12 3:56 
AnswerRe: Special characters Pin
sir_Arthur300013-Dec-12 7:14
membersir_Arthur300013-Dec-12 7:14 
GeneralRe: Special characters Pin
comtric14-Dec-12 2:23
membercomtric14-Dec-12 2:23 
GeneralRe: Special characters Pin
giova28-Mar-13 11:47
membergiova28-Mar-13 11:47 
QuestionHow we can change font? Pin
karamih3-Oct-12 11:08
memberkaramih3-Oct-12 11:08 
Thank you for this editor,
How we can change font?
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Engone14-Dec-11 10:40
memberEngone14-Dec-11 10:40 
QuestionFont Change Pin
ezbUltra3-Nov-11 1:30
memberezbUltra3-Nov-11 1:30 
QuestionAssembly load issue Pin
Eric Legault13-Oct-11 6:51
memberEric Legault13-Oct-11 6:51 
AnswerRe: Assembly load issue Pin
Uwe Keim13-Oct-11 7:43
sitebuilderUwe Keim13-Oct-11 7:43 
Question2 Questions (httpserver.dll) Pin
Martin Poehler21-Jul-11 6:21
memberMartin Poehler21-Jul-11 6:21 
AnswerRe: 2 Questions (httpserver.dll) Pin
Uwe Keim22-Jul-11 22:29
sitebuilderUwe Keim22-Jul-11 22:29 
GeneralSome questions about the control Pin
greg_quinn13-Jun-11 1:55
membergreg_quinn13-Jun-11 1:55 
GeneralRe: Some questions about the control Pin
Uwe Keim13-Jun-11 19:58
sitebuilderUwe Keim13-Jun-11 19:58 
GeneralRe: Some questions about the control Pin
greg_quinn15-Jun-11 3:59
membergreg_quinn15-Jun-11 3:59 
GeneralRe: Some questions about the control Pin
Uwe Keim18-Jun-11 4:02
sitebuilderUwe Keim18-Jun-11 4:02 
GeneralRe: Some questions about the control Pin
greg_quinn15-Jun-11 4:13
membergreg_quinn15-Jun-11 4:13 
QuestionHow to insert an image? Pin
seanzcan7-Jun-11 4:53
memberseanzcan7-Jun-11 4:53 
GeneralGo Zeta Go Pin
sam.hill2-Jun-11 11:27
membersam.hill2-Jun-11 11:27 
GeneralRe: Go Zeta Go Pin
Uwe Keim2-Jun-11 19:43
sitebuilderUwe Keim2-Jun-11 19:43 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Filip D'haene2-Jun-11 6:42
memberFilip D'haene2-Jun-11 6:42 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 Pin
Uwe Keim2-Jun-11 6:43
sitebuilderUwe Keim2-Jun-11 6:43 
GeneralThis is cool Pin
Sacha Barber15-Mar-11 23:43
mvpSacha Barber15-Mar-11 23:43 

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