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Need to add a 'Ruler' to a .Net textbox (windows forms application)

Posted on 2012-03-19
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
Hello,

I need to add a ruler to a textbox in my windows forms project in Visual Studio 2008. The textbox will not accept anything more than 125 characters, hence the ruler above it should go from 0 to 125 with the 10's highlighted.

                     10                  20
|||||||||||||||||||||||||

thats a rather awkward representation of what I want, but you get the idea. I imagine that this ruler will depend somewhat on the font the textbox will use as well.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:CodeWrangler
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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Would it be simpler to have a label next to the box whose text updated with the number of characters remaining (or consumed), like you typically see on the web?
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by:CodeWrangler
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Hi Kaufmed.

Yes, I agree that it would, however, design requirements are design requirements and I need a ruler on top of the textbox :)
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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Are you restricting your available font's to monospaced fonts? I don't know that you can guarantee a proportional scale for non-monspaced fonts. A "w" in a non-monspaced font is going to be much wider than an "i" in that same font.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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...or does the ruler just need to span the width of the TB, disregarding the actual width of the text within the TB?
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by:CodeWrangler
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Yes, monospaced fonts only. The ruler needs to match the text as closely as possible.
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Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
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With the Font set to "Courier New" at a mere 8 Points, the TextBox needs to be about 885 pixels wide to accommodate 125 characters!  Is that acceptable?...
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by:CodeWrangler
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Yes it is. If need be I can have 2 textboxes, and hence 2 rulers. However, at the moment all I need to know is how to create a ruler above a textbox.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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For simplicity (I think), you could create a UserControl that contained a TextBox and a Label. The Label would be used to draw the actual ruler, and it would be positioned just above the TextBox. I started playing around with this code, but it is nowhere near perfect. You will need to play with the math a bit, but I think it would give you a start.

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;

namespace _27639257
{
    public partial class RulerBox : UserControl
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Initializes a new instance of the <see cref="RulerBox"/> class.
        /// </summary>
        public RulerBox()
        {
            InitializeComponent();
            this.label1.Left = this.textBox1.ClientRectangle.Left;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Handles the FontChanged event of the RulerBox control.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="sender">The source of the event.</param>
        /// <param name="e">The <see cref="System.EventArgs"/> instance containing the event data.</param>
        private void RulerBox_FontChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            this.textBox1.Font = this.label1.Font = this.Font;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Handles the Paint event of the label1 control.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="sender">The source of the event.</param>
        /// <param name="e">The <see cref="System.Windows.Forms.PaintEventArgs"/> instance containing the event data.</param>
        private void label1_Paint(object sender, PaintEventArgs e)
        {
            Graphics g = e.Graphics;
            SizeF sizeofW = g.MeasureString("W", this.Font, 0, StringFormat.GenericTypographic);
            float halfWidth = (sizeofW.Width / 2F);
            float halfHeight = (sizeofW.Height / 2F);

            for (float i = (halfWidth + (this.textBox1.Bounds.Left - this.textBox1.ClientRectangle.Left)), x = 1; i < this.ClientRectangle.Width; i += sizeofW.Width, x++)
            {
                if (x % 10 == 0)
                {
                    g.DrawString(x.ToString(), this.Font, Brushes.Black, (i - halfWidth), 1);
                    g.DrawLine(Pens.Black, i, halfHeight + 5, i, this.label1.ClientRectangle.Height);
                }
                else
                {
                    g.DrawLine(Pens.Black, i, halfHeight + 8, i, this.label1.ClientRectangle.Height);
                }
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Performs the work of setting the specified bounds of this control.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="x">The new <see cref="P:System.Windows.Forms.Control.Left"/> property value of the control.</param>
        /// <param name="y">The new <see cref="P:System.Windows.Forms.Control.Top"/> property value of the control.</param>
        /// <param name="width">The new <see cref="P:System.Windows.Forms.Control.Width"/> property value of the control.</param>
        /// <param name="height">The new <see cref="P:System.Windows.Forms.Control.Height"/> property value of the control.</param>
        /// <param name="specified">A bitwise combination of the <see cref="T:System.Windows.Forms.BoundsSpecified"/> values.</param>
        protected override void SetBoundsCore(int x, int y, int width, int height, BoundsSpecified specified)
        {
            base.SetBoundsCore(x, y, width, this.textBox1.Height + this.label1.Height, specified);
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Handles the Resize event of the RulerBox control.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="sender">The source of the event.</param>
        /// <param name="e">The <see cref="System.EventArgs"/> instance containing the event data.</param>
        private void RulerBox_Resize(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            this.label1.Width = this.textBox1.Width = this.Width;
        }
    }
}

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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
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Here's what the above looks like in my designer:

Screenshot
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by:CodeWrangler
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Kaufmed, that is a novel idea!!

Can you show me the code where you are actually using the class RulerBox in Form1?
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Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
Comment Utility
kaufmed created a (really nice) user control. if you add it to your project and compile your project, you should see the new control into your toolbox. just drag-and-drop it on your form
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Author Comment

by:CodeWrangler
Comment Utility
ah yes... my bad. Somewhat of a .Net noob here. I will continue to try this out and report back.

Kaufmed.. again, that is a truly great suggestion!
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Author Comment

by:CodeWrangler
Comment Utility
Kaufmed, may I have the files for the control u created? I cannot seem to get the code to function quite like your screenshot.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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It's what I posted above ( http:#questionCommentsViewInlineCode20-37740539-1 ). You need to add a new UserControl (Project->Add New Item->User Control), then add a Label and a TextBox to the UserControl. You can paste the code above into the code-behind for the UserControl. Note:  You need to change the namespace to match your project.
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by:CodeWrangler
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Appreciate all your help.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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If you still have problems, I'll attach a complete project so you can compare.
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by:CodeWrangler
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Thanks, Kaufman. Unfortunately I haven't been able to test the code again. Probably won't get the chance until next week. If it is not too much trouble could you post the project file, it will make things a lot easier for me.
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by:käµfm³d 👽
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Sure. I can't remember which machine I created it on. If I can't track it down, then I'll recreate it. I'll have something up for you later tonight.
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by:CodeWrangler
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No rush whatsoever. Thanks a ton Kaufmed!!
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Accepted Solution

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käµfm³d   👽 earned 500 total points
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Sorry for not posting it last night. On the bright side, I did find the original code  = )

You can download the zipped project from here: https://filedb.experts-exchange.com/incoming/ee-stuff/8237-27639257.zip
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