Add a Splitter to a WinForm

By Fons Sonnemans, posted on
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I used to program in Visual Basic 6.0. It is a great tool but not perfect. It was lacking some crucial controls. A Splitter control was one of them. Microsoft has added it to the .NET framework (thanks) but forgot to make it easy to use. You must place it on a Form, set some properties for it and then also some (Dock) properties of the other two controls. Then you have to set the order of the controls correctly by using 'Bring to Front' or 'Send to Back'.

This article demonstrates the use of a simple AddSplitter() method which simplifies the use of splitters.

AddSplitter() method

/// <summary>
/// Add a splitter between the two given controls
/// </summary>
/// <param name="control1">Control 1</param>
/// <param name="control2">Control 2</param>
/// <param name="vertical">Vertical orientation</param>
/// <returns>The created Splitter</returns>
public static Splitter AddSplitter(Control control1, Control control2,bool vertical)
    Control parent =control1.Parent;

    // Validate
    if (parent!=control2.Parent)
        thrownew ArgumentException(
                "Both controls must be placed on the same Containter");

    if(parent.Controls.Count > 2)
        thrownew ArgumentException(
                "There may only be 2 controls on the Container");


    // Move control2 before control1
    if (parent.Controls.IndexOf(control2) > parent.Controls.IndexOf(control1))

    // Create splitter
    Splitter splitter=new Splitter();
    splitter.Dock = System.Windows.Forms.DockStyle.Left;

    // Set controls properties
    control2.Dock = DockStyle.Fill;
        control1.Dock = DockStyle.Left;
        splitter.Dock = DockStyle.Left;
        splitter.Width = 6;
        control1.Dock = DockStyle.Top;
        splitter.Dock = DockStyle.Top;
        splitter.Height = 6;
        splitter.Cursor = Cursors.HSplit;

    // Add splitter to the parent in the middle

    return splitter;


I will explain how you can create a Form with two Spitters as shown above. Create a Windows Form and a a ListBox and a Panel to it. Add another ListBox and TextBox and place them in the Panel.

Do not place any Spliters on the Form, they will be added using the AddSplitter() method. Modify the constructor of the Form.

public FormBoth()
    // Required for Windows Form Designer support

    // Add Splitter
    ControlUtil.AddSplitter(listBox1,panel1, true);

The vertical splitter is added between Listbox1 and the panel. The horizontal splitter is added between ListBox2 and TextBox1.


Splitters are great but not easy to use, the AddSplitter() method solves this.

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29-Jun-2014 4:21