Click here to Skip to main content
14,971,215 members
Articles / Desktop Programming / Windows Forms
Posted 18 Apr 2007


517 bookmarked

An easy way to add a Ribbon Panel Office 2007 style

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
4.93/5 (251 votes)
18 Apr 2007CPOL3 min read
GNU code of RibbonPanel, free software for personal and nonlucrative use, for rest please contact me
Screenshot - overview.jpg


A picture is worth a thousand words, well it was a really cute work at the end. Before explaining how to add it to your applications, I will show you the main features.

Features of RibbonStyle Namespace

  • RibbonButton: Transparency, Autosizable image, AutoForecolor, AutoInfoForm (see InfoForm, OnBackImage and ClickBackImage).
  • TabPanel: Transparency, BaseColor, BaseColorOn (Highlighted), Caption, Resizable.
  • TabStrip: Has inside:
    1. Tab: With Autowidth, BaseColor, HaloColor and Enable work.
    2. TabStripProffesionalRenderer: Controls the Tab Style (hard to work)
    3. TabStripPage: BaseColor, inherits my RibbonPanel.
    4. TabPageSwitcher: Controls the link between Tab and TabStripPage. Design functionality as the tabcontrol.
  • InfoForm (with Shadow): Depending on Title, Comment, and Image of Info.. Properties of RibbonButton resizes itself.

Using the controls

I hope that if you have understood the Features, the next will be easy for you.

  1. Make a new C# App.
  2. Add all the classes to your app.
  3. Now Rebuild the project.
  4. In the toolbox you will have many new controls:

    Screenshot - toolbox.jpg

  5. Now Add a Windows.Forms.Panel to the Form and dock to the top, adjust it like you want.
  6. Add the TabStrip inside the Panel.
  7. With the TabStripPageSwitcher you can add TabStrip. If you find it difficult to click on it, you can click in the properties window:
  8. Screenshot - tabpageswitcher.jpg

  9. With a TabStrip and some tabs and TabStrip pages, add TabPanels inside the TabStripPages (Check the TabPanel has BackColor.Transparent) . I recommend you to add a few of them to the form and copy and paste inside the tabStripPage (it is easy to dock them later). With the Tabpanels added, dock them to the left.
  10. Now add the RibbonButton inside the TabPanel, adjust its size and its images, copy and paste as you want and change the image. Don't worry about the text colors, they will be processed at runtime.
  11. If everything is ok and if you run it, you will see something like this (Azure Style):

    Screenshot - tabs.jpg

Creating your custom style

As you could see in the demo zip, it is possible to change the colors at runtime. Let's analyze the code. If you look at the Form1 code, there's a method SetStyle:

public void SetStyle(string Name)
    Color HaloColor = Color.White;
    switch (Name)
        case "Dark":
        this.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(88,77,69);
        HaloColor = Color.FromArgb(200,200,200);

You find out that you have to change only three colors! I hope you find it useful. The rest are sum or subs from the color components. So to avoid color errors, I recommend taking a look at my other article which has a color selector, only for the basecolor, HaloColor is the brightness over the tabs and the Backcolor is for the form.

Points of Interest

I have to say that I use the base of CustomTabstrip for the part of tabstrip. I was annoyed with the tabcontrol and after looking for something, the best was to inherit from a ToolStrip.

There's a lot of code in the project and I have written this with a lot of effort. If you need an explanation of any part, please ask me. It's .NET 2.0 code I put in a Windows 2000 machine and it works really well in XP and Vista too.

To design a better software, please vote the value of the code for you and if you vote, please tell me the pros and cons.


  • 1.0: The first version of the control library.


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


About the Author

Juan Pablo G.C.
Software Developer Expediteapps
Spain Spain
I'm Electronic Engineer, I did my end degree project at Astrophysical Institute and Tech Institute. I'm HP Procurve AIS and ASE ,Microsoft 3.5 MCTS
I live in Canary Islands ,developing customized solutions

Deeply involved in Xamarin Forms LOB (including Azure Cloud with offline support, custom controls, dependencies) projects, WP8.1 & W10 projects, WPF modern styled projects. Portable libraries like portablePDF, portableOneDrive, portableReports and portablePrinting (using Google Printing API).

Web and apps showcase at:

Take a look to my blog

Comments and Discussions

QuestionIcons question Pin
Member 124293182-Sep-19 17:09
MemberMember 124293182-Sep-19 17:09 
QuestionRibbon specifically in Visual Basic 2010 Pin
Member 1042217013-Aug-15 17:11
MemberMember 1042217013-Aug-15 17:11 
QuestionProblem using it with VB 2008 Pin
Member 167529430-Jun-15 16:36
MemberMember 167529430-Jun-15 16:36 
QuestionRibbonButton Image not displaying Pin
Marlon Baldo11-Feb-15 15:40
MemberMarlon Baldo11-Feb-15 15:40 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Vladimir Svyatski20-Jan-14 22:48
professionalVladimir Svyatski20-Jan-14 22:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Member 1006277126-May-13 7:42
MemberMember 1006277126-May-13 7:42 
Questionhow to use in mdi form Pin
Arvindraga19-Oct-12 5:18
MemberArvindraga19-Oct-12 5:18 
AnswerRe: how to use in mdi form Pin
Juan Pablo G.C.19-Oct-12 5:47
MemberJuan Pablo G.C.19-Oct-12 5:47 
GeneralRe: how to use in mdi form Pin
Arvindraga20-Oct-12 20:24
MemberArvindraga20-Oct-12 20:24 
QuestionCreate office 2010 Tabs Pin
Asif Raza3-Oct-12 3:15
MemberAsif Raza3-Oct-12 3:15 
QuestionCommercial use of Ribbon Panel Control Pin
Vladimir Rech11-Apr-12 3:28
MemberVladimir Rech11-Apr-12 3:28 
Questioncool Pin
Member 871442126-Mar-12 4:07
MemberMember 871442126-Mar-12 4:07 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
sportlife27-Feb-12 18:04
Membersportlife27-Feb-12 18:04 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
jraju1142123-Nov-11 22:15
Memberjraju1142123-Nov-11 22:15 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
SI_SHEN_00125-Sep-11 21:22
MemberSI_SHEN_00125-Sep-11 21:22 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
vahidmir29-Jul-11 19:30
Membervahidmir29-Jul-11 19:30 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Saumitra Kumar Paul31-May-11 20:22
MemberSaumitra Kumar Paul31-May-11 20:22 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
noreply-thephoenixprod11-May-11 20:31
Membernoreply-thephoenixprod11-May-11 20:31 
QuestionRight to left layout Pin
salimdz200230-Apr-11 4:57
Membersalimdz200230-Apr-11 4:57 
AnswerRe: Right to left layout Pin
behnam_jan6-Oct-11 2:16
Memberbehnam_jan6-Oct-11 2:16 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
hruday123456711-Feb-11 20:30
Memberhruday123456711-Feb-11 20:30 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Mehdi Ghiasi9-Aug-10 1:07
MemberMehdi Ghiasi9-Aug-10 1:07 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
kiumarskahoori30-Jun-10 3:14
Memberkiumarskahoori30-Jun-10 3:14 
GeneralContent Pin
dave5280327-Jun-10 5:49
Memberdave5280327-Jun-10 5:49 
GeneralHandling enablig/disabling button Pin
lkrfan16-Jun-10 10:11
Memberlkrfan16-Jun-10 10:11 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.