How to: Create an MDI Form with ToolStripPanel Controls

You can create a multiple document interface (MDI) form that has ToolStrip controls framing it on all four sides.

Example

The following code example demonstrates how to use docked ToolStripPanel controls to frame an MDI window with four ToolStrip controls.

In the example, the Join method attaches the ToolStrip controls to the corresponding ToolStripPanel controls.

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Drawing;
Imports System
Imports System.Collections.Generic
Imports System.Windows.Forms
Imports System.Drawing
// This code example demonstrates how to use ToolStripPanel
// controls with a multiple document interface (MDI).
public class Form1 : Form
{
    public Form1()
    {
        // Make the Form an MDI parent.
        this.IsMdiContainer = true;

        // Create ToolStripPanel controls.
        ToolStripPanel tspTop = new ToolStripPanel();
        ToolStripPanel tspBottom = new ToolStripPanel();
        ToolStripPanel tspLeft = new ToolStripPanel();
        ToolStripPanel tspRight = new ToolStripPanel();

        // Dock the ToolStripPanel controls to the edges of the form.
        tspTop.Dock = DockStyle.Top;
        tspBottom.Dock = DockStyle.Bottom;
        tspLeft.Dock = DockStyle.Left;
        tspRight.Dock = DockStyle.Right;

        // Create ToolStrip controls to move among the 
        // ToolStripPanel controls.

        // Create the "Top" ToolStrip control and add
        // to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
        ToolStrip tsTop = new ToolStrip();
        tsTop.Items.Add("Top");
        tspTop.Join(tsTop);

        // Create the "Bottom" ToolStrip control and add
        // to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
        ToolStrip tsBottom = new ToolStrip();
        tsBottom.Items.Add("Bottom");
        tspBottom.Join(tsBottom);

        // Create the "Right" ToolStrip control and add
        // to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
        ToolStrip tsRight = new ToolStrip();
        tsRight.Items.Add("Right");
        tspRight.Join(tsRight);

        // Create the "Left" ToolStrip control and add
        // to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
        ToolStrip tsLeft = new ToolStrip();
        tsLeft.Items.Add("Left");
        tspLeft.Join(tsLeft);

        // Create a MenuStrip control with a new window.
        MenuStrip ms = new MenuStrip();
        ToolStripMenuItem windowMenu = new ToolStripMenuItem("Window");
        ToolStripMenuItem windowNewMenu = new ToolStripMenuItem("New", null, new EventHandler(windowNewMenu_Click));
        windowMenu.DropDownItems.Add(windowNewMenu);
        ((ToolStripDropDownMenu)(windowMenu.DropDown)).ShowImageMargin = false;
        ((ToolStripDropDownMenu)(windowMenu.DropDown)).ShowCheckMargin = true;

        // Assign the ToolStripMenuItem that displays 
        // the list of child forms.
        ms.MdiWindowListItem = windowMenu;

        // Add the window ToolStripMenuItem to the MenuStrip.
        ms.Items.Add(windowMenu);

        // Dock the MenuStrip to the top of the form.
        ms.Dock = DockStyle.Top;

        // The Form.MainMenuStrip property determines the merge target.
        this.MainMenuStrip = ms;

        // Add the ToolStripPanels to the form in reverse order.
        this.Controls.Add(tspRight);
        this.Controls.Add(tspLeft);
        this.Controls.Add(tspBottom);
        this.Controls.Add(tspTop);

        // Add the MenuStrip last.
        // This is important for correct placement in the z-order.
        this.Controls.Add(ms);
    }

    // This event handler is invoked when 
    // the "New" ToolStripMenuItem is clicked.
    // It creates a new Form and sets its MdiParent 
    // property to the main form.
    void windowNewMenu_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        Form f = new Form();
        f.MdiParent = this;
        f.Text = "Form - " + this.MdiChildren.Length.ToString();
        f.Show();
    }
}
' This code example demonstrates how to use ToolStripPanel
' controls with a multiple document interface (MDI).
Public Class Form1
   Inherits Form
   
   Public Sub New()
      ' Make the Form an MDI parent.
      Me.IsMdiContainer = True
      
      ' Create ToolStripPanel controls.
      Dim tspTop As New ToolStripPanel()
      Dim tspBottom As New ToolStripPanel()
      Dim tspLeft As New ToolStripPanel()
      Dim tspRight As New ToolStripPanel()
      
      ' Dock the ToolStripPanel controls to the edges of the form.
      tspTop.Dock = DockStyle.Top
      tspBottom.Dock = DockStyle.Bottom
      tspLeft.Dock = DockStyle.Left
      tspRight.Dock = DockStyle.Right
      
      ' Create ToolStrip controls to move among the 
      ' ToolStripPanel controls.
      ' Create the "Top" ToolStrip control and add
      ' to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
      Dim tsTop As New ToolStrip()
      tsTop.Items.Add("Top")
      tspTop.Join(tsTop)
      
      ' Create the "Bottom" ToolStrip control and add
      ' to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
      Dim tsBottom As New ToolStrip()
      tsBottom.Items.Add("Bottom")
      tspBottom.Join(tsBottom)
      
      ' Create the "Right" ToolStrip control and add
      ' to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
      Dim tsRight As New ToolStrip()
      tsRight.Items.Add("Right")
      tspRight.Join(tsRight)
      
      ' Create the "Left" ToolStrip control and add
      ' to the corresponding ToolStripPanel.
      Dim tsLeft As New ToolStrip()
      tsLeft.Items.Add("Left")
      tspLeft.Join(tsLeft)

      ' Create a MenuStrip control with a new window.
      Dim ms As New MenuStrip()
      Dim windowMenu As New ToolStripMenuItem("Window")
      Dim windowNewMenu As New ToolStripMenuItem("New", Nothing, New EventHandler(AddressOf windowNewMenu_Click))
      windowMenu.DropDownItems.Add(windowNewMenu)
      CType(windowMenu.DropDown, ToolStripDropDownMenu).ShowImageMargin = False
      CType(windowMenu.DropDown, ToolStripDropDownMenu).ShowCheckMargin = True
      
      ' Assign the ToolStripMenuItem that displays 
      ' the list of child forms.
      ms.MdiWindowListItem = windowMenu
      
      ' Add the window ToolStripMenuItem to the MenuStrip.
      ms.Items.Add(windowMenu)
      
      ' Dock the MenuStrip to the top of the form.
      ms.Dock = DockStyle.Top
      
      ' The Form.MainMenuStrip property determines the merge target.
      Me.MainMenuStrip = ms
      
      ' Add the ToolStripPanels to the form in reverse order.
      Me.Controls.Add(tspRight)
      Me.Controls.Add(tspLeft)
      Me.Controls.Add(tspBottom)
      Me.Controls.Add(tspTop)
      
      ' Add the MenuStrip last.
      ' This is important for correct placement in the z-order.
      Me.Controls.Add(ms)
    End Sub
   
   ' This event handler is invoked when 
   ' the "New" ToolStripMenuItem is clicked.
   ' It creates a new Form and sets its MdiParent 
   ' property to the main form.
    Private Sub windowNewMenu_Click(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As EventArgs)
        Dim f As New Form()
        f.MdiParent = Me
        f.Text = "Form - " + Me.MdiChildren.Length.ToString()
        f.Show()
    End Sub
End Class

Compiling the Code

This example requires:

  • References to the System.Drawing and System.Windows.Forms assemblies.

For information about building this example from the command line for Visual Basic or Visual C#, see Building from the Command Line or Command-line Building With csc.exe. You can also build this example in Visual Studio by pasting the code into a new project. Also see How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio.

See Also

ToolStrip
ToolStripPanel
Join
ToolStripItem
ToolStripMenuItem
ToolStrip Control