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The Top .NET C# UI Controls You Should be Using

Last time, we wrote about the Top Five WinForms Controls software developers use in their .NET desktop applications. This post will share the five best C# WinForms controls you are not using. The reason is that you probably didn’t know they existed! Or you may not have known everything they can do.

Some of the best WinForms controls deliver niche functionalities, like ComponentOne Scheduler or GanttView, but these controls listed below are versatile enough that they will add value to any business application.

The Five Best WinForms Controls You Are Not Using

  1. Pivot Grid - FlexPivot
  2. InputPanel
  3. “Super” Tooltips & Labels
  4. MultiSelect
  5. Gauges

Ready to Start Using these Controls? Download ComponentOne Today!

Pivot Grid - FlexPivot

FlexPivot delivers a pivot grid similar to Microsoft Excel Pivot tables. If your application delivers data to end-users as a datagrid, then why not upgrade to a pivot grid? A pivot grid-like ComponentOne FlexPivot includes a configurable panel that lets users modify the data view. Users can build their own reports on the fly. No more needing to request reports or sliced data views from your developers or CRM managers. It saves time in the long run and will make your users happy.

Flex Pivot Pivot Grid

We use pivot tables to analyze business data almost every day.


Regarding third party controls, you typically ignore the input controls at first because the essential ones are already included in .NET itself. ComponentOne InputPanel takes input form generation to the next level by identifying the pain points and problems with just using standard .NET input controls. Quick and easy data form management. Yes, InputPanel provides essential input controls like textboxes, checkboxes, and comboboxes, but the true value lies in the form generation and management. You can quickly generate an input form and promptly make changes later without rearranging everything and adjusting padding, order, wrapping, etc.

WinForms InputPanel

“Super” Tooltips and Labels

The ComponentOne SuperTooltip is a classic component library that has been around for nearly 20 years. It includes three components: C1SuperTooltip, C1SuperLabel, and C1SuperErrorProvider. All three components enable you to display “super” rich, html-based text inside your tooltips, labels, and error providers. This is such a basic necessity for high-end WinForms applications. If you aren’t using SuperTooltip yet, consider this your introduction to SuperTooltip (and friends). Upgrade your apps today by adding super-rich text with bold elements, underlines, images, gradient backgrounds, and multi-colored labels.

WinForms SuperTooltip


A multi-select control lets users choose any number of items from a list. Checkboxes and checked lists have been around for a while, but they usually are a hassle to data bind to a single field in your data source. ComponentOne MultiSelect makes it easy to data bind, and it can even be used as a tag editor.

Similar to SuperTooltip, this is three components in one, as you can also use it as a flat-checked listbox. The magic is in the two-way conversion between a comma-delimited string and a checked list. As our data evolves and gets more complicated, it’s useful to store comma-delimited values in a single database field that can easily be converted to UI both for display and input purposes.

WinForms MultiSelect


Gauges are considered the eye candy of a business dashboard. They provide a visual display of numerical values. While they are sometimes unnecessary, they can also convey information better than plain text or a chart. The main reason gauges make this list is specifically for ComponentOne Gauges for WinForms.

The C1Gauge control is incredible - it’s like an image generator that can produce virtually any gauge imaginable. They move and animate too! If you can imagine a gauge, you can make the gauge without any coding or graphic design skill (though having a designer's eye certainly helps).

WinForm Gauges

The GrapeCity (formerly ComponentOne) team who worked on this control are geniuses, so you have to try this out for yourself.

Honorable Mention - PDF Viewer

When we developed a document viewer for our FlexReport component, we created FlexViewer. Its primary purpose is to display reports. But did you know it can also be used to display PDFs? You can load any arbitrary PDF document, and the viewer lets users copy text, search the document, print, and export to a wide variety of different file formats. By using a component like FlexViewer, you can deliver document viewing right within your application rather than requiring the user to use a browser or some other application. FlexViewer also supports embedded fonts in the PDF.

The ComponentOne toolkit was a pioneer in PDF viewers for WPF and Silverlight before PDF was supported by .NET. We originally wrote our own PDF parser, but we no longer rely on it. So, for that reason, this control gets an honorable mention.


Are there any .NET controls you need but can’t find? Let us know in the comments.

Ready to Start Using these Controls? Download ComponentOne Today!

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