jhony3 jhony3 - 2 months ago 19
C# Question

Interaction between Forms - How to Change a Control of a Form from Another Form?

I would like to set comboBox.SelectedValue when I select the row in my dataGridView on first form to populate comboBox with that value on another form, on second form in my load event I have `comboBox.DataSource, DisplayMemeber, ValueMemeber set it correctly but nothing is happening when I set selectedValue on first,everything works great when I do it on one form ?

Answer

Form in Windows Forms is a class like other C# classes. The way of communicating between forms are the same as classes. You can consider this options when communicating between classes:

Manipulate second Form from first Form

  • You can add suitable parameters to the constructor of the second form. Then you can pass values to the constructor when creating an instance of the second form. In the second form store parameters in member fields and use them when you nees.

  • You can create public property or method in the second form and set those properties after creating an instance of the second form. This way you can use them when you need in the second form. This option is not limited to passing values when creating the second form. You can even use that property during the execution of second Form. Also it's useful for getting a value from it.

  • As another option you can make the control which you want to manipulate it public and this way you can access to it from other form. Using a method is a more recommended way of doing this.

Manipulate first Form from second form

  • You can create a public method or property in first form and pass an instance of the first form to second form. Then using that method/property on the passed instance, you can manipulate the first form.

  • You can create an event in second form and after creating an instance of second form subscribe for it in first form and put the code for changing the form in the handler. Then it's enough to raise the event in second form.

  • You can define a public property of type Action or some other delegate type in second form and then after creating an instance of second form, assign the property using a custom action. Then in second form, it's enough to invoke the action when you need to manipulate first form.

  • Also here you can make a control of first form to be public and then if you pass an instance of the first form to the second form, you can manipulate the control. It's recommended to use other solutions. It's like creating public property or method, but a method which performs specific task on the control is better that exposing the whole control. But you may need this solution some times.

Here are some useful examples about above solutions.

Manipulate second Form from first Form

Example1 - Using constructor of second Form

Use this example when you need to pass some data to second form, when creating the second form.

public partial class Form2 : Form
{
    int selectedValue;
    public Form2(int value)
    {
        InitializeComponent();
        selectedValue = value;
    }
    private void Form2_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    {
        //Load data
        this.comboBox1.DataSource = new MyDbContext().Categories.ToList();
        this.comboBox1.DisplayMember = "Name";
        this.comboBox1.ValueMember = "Id";
        this.comboBox1.SelectedValue = selectedValue;
    }
}

Then in your first form, it's enough to pass the value to Form2 when you create a new instance of it:

var value = 2; // Or get it from grid
var f = new Form2(value);
f.ShowDialog();

Example2 - using public Property or Method of second Form

Use this example when you need to pass some data to second form, when creating or even after creation of second form.

public partial class Form2 : Form
{
    public Form2()
    {
        InitializeComponent();
    }
    public string SomeValue
    {
        get { return textBox1.Text;}
        set { textBox1.Text = value;}
    }
}

Then in your first form, it's enough to pass the value to Form2 when you need, after creating Form2 or whenever you need to set value of textBox1 on Form2:

var f = new Form2(value);
f.SomeValue = "some value";
f.Show();
//...
f.SomeValue = "some other value";

Example 3 - Making a Control of Second form public

Use this example when you need to change a property of a control on second form, when creating or even after creation of second form. It's better to use public property or method instead of exposing whole control properties.

In your Form, at designer, select the control and in Properties window set the Modifiers property to Public. Also make sure the GenerateMember property is true. Then you can simply access this control using its name from outside of the Form.

var f = new Form2();
f.textBox1= "some value";

Manipulate first Form from second form

Example 4 - Create public Method or Property in first Form and pass an instance of First Form to constructor of second Form

Use this example when you need to change first Form from second Form.

In your Form1, create a property of a method that accepts some parameters and put the logic in it:

public void ChangeTextBox1Text(string text)
{
    this.textBox1.Text = text;
}

Then create a constructor in Form2 which accepts a parameter of type Form1 and keep the passed value in a member field and use it when you need:

Form1 form1;
public Form2 (Form1 f)
{
    InitializeComponent();
    form1 = f; 
}
private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    f.ChangeTextBox1Text("Some Value");
}

Now when creating Form2 you should pass an instance of Form1 to it:

var f = new Form2(this);
f.Show();

Example 5 - Using event of second Form in first Form

Take a look at this post. It's about communication between form and a control, but it's applicable to communication between forms also.

Example 6 - Injection an Action in second Form

Take a look at this post. It's about communication between form and a control, but it's applicable to communication between forms also.

Example 7 - Making a Control of first form public

In this solution you need to make a control in first form public, like example 3. Then like example 4 pass an instance of the first form to second form and keep it in a field and use it when you need. Using a public method or property is preferred.

Form1 form1;
public Form2 (Form1 f)
{
    InitializeComponent();
    form1 = f; 
}
private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    f.textBox1.Text = "Some Value";
}

when creating Form2 you should pass an instance of Form1 to it:

var f = new Form2(this);
f.Show();