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Show control hierarchy in the WinForms designer

Posted by: admin November 29, 2017 Leave a comment


One of our clients has an old WinForms application that contains forms with a lot of controls on them. Some of those controls have a deep hierarchy and that makes it to hard to select them in the designer.

I need to understand this hierarchy to make modifications to the application to correct some bugs. Is there a way to see this hierarchy clearly? For example, is there something available that is similar to what can be seen in an .aspx source file when you have a breadcrumb of where you are in the HTML hierarchy (HTML > Body > div > etc.)? Or something more visual maybe?


You need to use the Document Outline

View > Other Windows > Document Outline

Or via hotkey

Ctl + ALT + T


Click on View > Other Windows > Document Outline in Visual Studio.

That should show the control hierarchy.


Visual Style Builder for UI Customization – Download this tool and use it…

Another tool is present which is “Control Spy Tool for Easier Development”

You will find the solution easily..

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