Category Archives: Visual Studio 2013

How to fill a ComboBox using a DataTable in VB.NET

A Combo box has two properties


1.One which displays the items in the combo box called the DISPLAY MEMBER

2. Another one which stores the underlying ID for the Item which is being Displayed.


eg your table may have EmployeeId and EmployeeName.

You would like to display the EmployeeName in the ComboBox and when a user selects an employee name you would like to save the EmployeeID.

Function Fillcombo(ByVal SQL As String, ByVal CBO As ComboBox, ByVal DisplayMember As String, ByVal ValueMember As String)
Dim dt As New DataTable                  'Create a New DataTable
Dim dc As New SqlCommand              'Create a New SQLCommand
Dim da As New SqlDataAdapter         ' Create a New SQL Data Adapter
dc.CommandTimeout = 0
dc.CommandText = sql
da.SelectCommand = dc
dc.Connection = cn

da.Fill(dt)    ‘ Use the DataAdapter to fill the DataTable with the records
CBO.DataSource = dt
CBO.DisplayMember = DisplayMember   ‘ This is the item which will be displayed on the combo box  eg Employee Name
CBO.ValueMember = ValueMember       ‘ This is the value which is stored eg. employeeID

MsgBox(“Unable to Fill the Combobox:” & CBO.Name & ” with values” & “:” & Err.Description)
End Try
End Function


 How to use the above function

Fillcombo(“Select EmployeeID,EmployeeName from Employees”, Me.EmployeeCombo, “EmployeeName”, “EmployeeID”)

How to Validate Australian Tax file number (TFN) in VB.NET

Here is a code snippet to help you validate the Australian Tax File Numbers also known as TFN.

The TFNs are 9  character long Numeric values

Here is a Sample TFN  123456782 which you can use to do your testing.



Function Validate_TFN(ByVal value As String) As Boolean


        Dim bok As Boolean = False
        ‘ the following algorithm is used to calculate the validity of TFN

        ‘ 9 characters
        Dim myTFN As Char()
        Dim checksum As Double

        Dim count As Integer
        myTFN = value.ToCharArray()
        Dim i As Integer
        For i = 0 To 8
            Select Case i

                Case 0
                    checksum += myTFN(0).ToString * 1
                Case 1
                    checksum += myTFN(1).ToString * 4
                Case 2
                    checksum += myTFN(2).ToString * 3
                Case 3
                    checksum += myTFN(3).ToString * 7
                Case 4
                    checksum += myTFN(4).ToString * 5
                Case 5
                    checksum += myTFN(5).ToString * 8
                Case 6
                    checksum += myTFN(6).ToString * 6
                Case 7
                    checksum += myTFN(7).ToString * 9
                Case 8
                    checksum += myTFN(8).ToString * 10

            End Select

        checksum = checksum / 11

        bok = (Math.Floor(checksum) = Math.Ceiling(checksum))
        Return bok
    End Function

How to use ErrorProvider in VB.NET

Error Provider is a cool control which provides visual indications of any errors which you catch.

eg. If you have a text box which is supposed to captured the names of people and if someone leaves it blank you can use Error Provider to provide a visual indication of the error.



Here is a video  to explain the use of the error provider.

Here is a quick sample of how to use the error provider in


If Len(me.txtName.Text) > 50 Then
                Me.ErrorProvider1.SetError(me.txtName, “First Name can not be more than 50 chars”)
                Me.ErrorProvider1.SetError(me.txtName, “”)
End If

How to fill up a ListView from database in VB.NET using a DataTable

You can easily use the following code to fill up your listview control from the data in a datatable using VB.NET


Supply the name of your listview and the datatable to this procedure and it will fill it up your list view.

If you wish to display the ongoing process then you can do that as well. Just create a label and then uncomment the following text in the procedure. Create a label and call it myStatusLabel.

‘ myStatusLabel.text = “Displaying Record ” & i + 1 & “/” & iRowCount



Sub FillListViewByTable(ByVal listView As ListView, ByVal dt As DataTable)
        Dim ii As Integer
        Dim iColCount As Integer = dt.Columns.Count
        Dim iRowCount As Integer = dt.Rows.Count
        For ii = 0 To iColCount – 1
            listView.Columns.Add(dt.Columns(ii).ColumnName, 250, HorizontalAlignment.Left)
        Dim i As Integer
        Dim x As Integer
        For i = 0 To iRowCount – 1  ‘ for each row in the table
            Dim lst As New ListViewItem
            lst.Text = dt.Rows(i).Item(0)
            lst.UseItemStyleForSubItems = True
            For x = 1 To iColCount – 1 ‘ for each column in the row of the table

           ‘    If you want to display the progress then you can do it here
           ‘ myStatusLabel.text = “Displaying Record ” & i + 1 & “/” & iRowCount
            lst = Nothing
    End Sub

How to duplicate a winform in Visual Studio easily

You start with a new project and you have created a winform with graphics and the functionality which you want to use in all your other forms in the same project.

One would think that it is easily done as we can simply copy and paste the existing form and rename it and then suddenly all will be well.

That is not the case when you Control C and Control V to copy the form. You will try to rename it but you might gets lots of errors. I have struggled with this may times.

I have discovered a fool proof way which works well.

There is an Export Functionality in Visual Studio which is handy. This functionality allows you to create a template and resuse the template form in your project .

Step 1

Go to File> Export Template in Visual Studio

Step 1
Step 1


Step 2

Step 2
Step 2

Select ITEM Template, You can also choose Project Template ( which will appear only in  your existing project).

where as ITEM template would be universally available for all new  or existing projects.

Step 3


Select the form which you want to clone

Step 3
Step 3


Step 4


You might need to select the references which you want to be included, select the ones which you think will need. You can always add them later using the code in your project  using the USING command  in C# or IMPORTS command in VB.NET after you have cloned a form.

Step 4
Step 4


Step 5


Provide a new name and some useful description to your new template.

Step 5
Step 5

Step 6


when you click on Finish in Step 5 the new template will be created in the Windows Folder as you can see below.

Step 6
Step 6


Step 7


When you click on ADD NEW ITEM in your Visual Studio project you should be able to see you newly created Template. You can use this template whenever there is a need . I found this approach simpler and safer than merely copying and pasting an existing form.

Step 7
Step 7

How to restrict free Data Entry in ComboBox in Visual Studio

When you create a Combo Box in Visual Studio  , the default behaviour is that it will show the list and it will also allow the data entry. So a user can type something in instead of selecting the options listed in the Combo Box. This can cause issues as you might want the user to only select the valid options which are listed in your combo box.


Here is a simple way to achieve this behavior. Highlight the Combo Box on your form. The properties window will be show.

Change the Drop Down Style to  DropDownList as shown below.

Your combo box will not allow the users to type in any free text. they will have to select the options listed in your combo box.



How to make all labels backcolor as transparent in VB.NET in Visual Studio

If you have a winform with a background image then you would notice that the label background colour will not match the background so it will look like this.



NB: You can also use the properties to make the label Transparent. The Transparent option is available in the Web colors.


Step 1

But you can easily do it in the code by this code

tlblName.BackColor= Color.Transparent

Step 2

If you have a number of labels on the form then you can loop through each and make the background  colour transparent.








Here is a code to make the background of the label as transparent.

For Each formLabel As Label In Me.Controls.OfType(Of Label)()
            formLabel.BackColor = Color.Transparent
        Next formLabel








How to Validate an Email Address in VB.NET using REGEX

If you have a need to validate a user input or string to ensure that only a valid email is entered , then you can use Regular Expressions or REGEX  to handle that easily.

REGEX expressions appear to be quite complicated but once you have a valid syntax then it is simply a matter of using the proper syntax of REGEX in the following function and you should also be able to use the same function block to handle other types of inputs as well. eg. Numeric


The following function will validate your input against a valid email address.

Step 1

At the top of your module or form add the following line of code

Imports System.Text.RegularExpressions

Step 2
Add the following function in your form

Function Validate_Email(ByVal value As String) As Boolean
Dim bok As Boolean = False
Dim s As String
s = LCase(value)

Dim myMatch As Match = System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex.Match(s, “^[a-zA-Z][\w\.-]*[a-zA-Z0-9]@[a-zA-Z0-9][\w\.-]*[a-zA-Z0-9]\.[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z\.]*[a-zA-Z]$”)

If myMatch.Success Then
bok = True

Return bok
bok = False
Return bok
End If
End Function

Step 3

How to use the function

Dim bok as boolean

bok = Validate_Email( YourInputTextHere)

If the user input is a valid email then bok will be true else false.