Get Component's Parent Form


I have a non-visual component which manages other visual controls.

I need to have a reference to the form that the component is operating on, but i don't know how to get it.

I am unsure of adding a constructor with the parent specified as control, as i want the component to work by just being dropped into the designer.

The other thought i had was to have a Property of parent as a control, with the default value as 'Me'

any suggestions would be great


To clarify, this is a component, not a control, see here :ComponentModel.Component

12/16/2008 2:48:41 PM

Accepted Answer

[It is important to understand that the ISite technique below only works at design time. Because ContainerControl is public and gets assigned a value VisualStudio will write initialization code that sets it at run-time. Site is set at run-time, but you can't get ContainerControl from it]

Here's an article that describes how to do it for a non-visual component.

Basically you need to add a property ContainerControl to your component:

public ContainerControl ContainerControl
  get { return _containerControl; }
  set { _containerControl = value; }
private ContainerControl _containerControl = null;

and override the Site property:

public override ISite Site
  get { return base.Site; }
    base.Site = value;
    if (value == null)

    IDesignerHost host = value.GetService(
        typeof(IDesignerHost)) as IDesignerHost;
    if (host != null)
        IComponent componentHost = host.RootComponent;
        if (componentHost is ContainerControl)
            ContainerControl = componentHost as ContainerControl;

If you do this, the ContainerControl will be initialized to reference the containing form by the designer. The linked article explains it in more detail.

A good way to see how to do things is to look at the implementation of Types in the .NET Framework that have behaviour similar to what you want with a tool such as Lutz Reflector. In this case, System.Windows.Forms.ErrorProvider is a good example to look at: a Component that needs to know its containing Form.

2/11/2013 7:30:29 PM

I use a recursive call to walk up the control chain. Add this to your control.

public Form ParentForm
    get { return GetParentForm( this.Parent ); }

private Form GetParentForm( Control parent )
    Form form = parent as Form;
    if ( form != null )
        return form;
    if ( parent != null )
        // Walk up the control hierarchy
        return GetParentForm( parent.Parent );
    return null; // Control is not on a Form

Edit: I see you modified your question as I was typing this. If it is a component, the constructor of that component should take it's parent as a parameter and the parent should pass in this when constructed. Several other components do this such as the timer.

Save the parent control as a member and then use it in the ParentForm property I gave you above instead of this.

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