Creating A Text Editor In C# And Visual Basic


This tutorial will teach you how to create a text editor in C# or Visual Basic. You should already know either C# or VB and know how to navigate VS 2012. The tutorial will be split into two parts: Part A will focus on design and Part B will focus on coding. We will explain the code, however we will not go into great detail as you should already know the languages.

At the end of this tutorial you should hopefully have something like this:

Tabbed Text Editor C# and Visual Basic

Let’s get started!

[Download Project Files - Visual Basic - C#]


For this we will be using Visual Studio 2012 professional but you can use express if necessary.

For the sake of brevity we have left the control names with their default names.


  1. Open Visual Studio
  2. Create  a new project and choose the programming language of your choice
  3. Select Windows Forms Application and .NetFramework 4
  4. Name the project AdvancedTextEditor
  5. In solution explorer, right click on the Form and click rename, and rename it to AdvancedTextEditor. You will be asked if you wish to rename all references, click “Yes”.
  6. In the properties window set the form size and minimum size  to 651, 445. Set the form text to AdvancedTtextEditor. If you wish you can also set an icon.

Text Editor Properties


  1. From the tool box add a ToolStripContainer and then set the dock style to fill
  2. In the TopToolStripPanel add a MenuStrip and insert the standard items (a white/black arrows shows in the top right, click it)
  3. In the BottomTopStripPanel add a StatusStrip and in the StatusStrip add a Label
  4. In the LeftToolStripPanel add a ToolStrip and insert the standard items
  5. In the TopToolStripPanel add a ToolStrip under the menu and insert the standard items
  6. In the ContentPanel add a TabControl and in the TabControl collection remove the tabs, and then set the dock style of the TabControl to fill
  7. For the two ToolStrips added set the GripStyle to hidden
  8. Your form should look like the following:

Text Editor Controls

Menu Strip

In the Menu Strip remove the Tools and Help menus, and then under File remove Print and Print Preview. Your menu should look like the following:

Text Editor Menu Strip

Side ToolStrip

In the LeftContentPanel from the ToolStrip remove the print and help buttons and add a new button under the New icon.

TextEditor Side ToolStrip

For the new button added, change the following properties:

  • DisplayStyle = Text
  • Text = X
  • Name = RemoveTabToolStripButton (the name is required for this button to avoid conflict)

TextEditor RemoveTab


For the label added to the Status Strip change the text to 0.

Top ToolStrip

For the ToolStrip added near the menu we need to change some things:

  1. Remove all the buttons added
  2. Add 4 buttons and a separator (to add buttons there is a drop down menu)
  3. Add 2 buttons and a separator followed by another 2 and separator
  4. Add 1 button and 1 drop down button followed by a separator
  5. Add two ComboBoxes
  6. For the first ComboBox added, set the following styles

DropDownStyle = DropDownList

FlatStyle = System

Width = 190

Do the same for the other ComboBox, but do not set the width.

  • For all the buttons added set the DisplayStyle to Text
  • The first 4 will be used for B, I, U and S (Bold, Italic, Underline and Strikeout)
  • Set the text of these buttons to the corresponding function you also might want to apply the corresponding styles to. See the image below:

TextEditor Font Styles

Next copy and complete the following, setting the DisplayStyle and Text properties.

Text Editor Font Styling

The buttons will perform the following functions:

  • First two = Casing
  • Second two = Font Size
  • Third two = Foregoroundcolor and Background color

For the drop down list we changed the font to Wingdings (a symbol font) and set the text to !. This shows the pen icon, and we also set the BackColor.

For the drop down button in the collections property and 3 MenuItems set the text property to nothing and set the BackColor property to Green, Orange and Yellow. Also the set name property to HighlightGreen, HighlightOrange and HighlightYellow.

TextEditor Highlight Options


Add the following dialogs:

  • SaveFileDialog
  • OpenFile Dialog
  • ContextMenuStrip
  • Timer
  • ColorDialog


In the properties window set Enabled = True, Interval to 1.

SaveFileDialog  & OpenFileDIalog

Set the FilterIndex to  Text Files|*.txt|VB Files|*.vb|C# Files|*.cs|All Files|*.* Set DefaultExt to txt.


Add these menu items:

TextEditor Context Menu