How To Insert TAB Characters in RichTextBox Control in VB

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Article ID: 143273 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

The RichTextBox control allows you to create RTF documents from within your Visual Basic program. If you press the TAB key while a RichTextBox control has the focus, the focus is moved to the next control in the tab order rather than inserting a tab character into the RichTextBox control. This article explains how you can insert the TAB character into the RichTextBox control itself.

MORE INFORMATION

At run-time, a user must press CTRL+TAB to insert a TAB character in a RichTextBox control. However, most people are accustomed to just simply pressing the TAB key. Whenever the TAB key is pressed from within a RichTextBox control, the focus is immediately set to the next control on the form.

In the demonstration program below, we change the TabStop property of all controls on the form to False. While the RichTextBox control has the focus, the TAB key is prevented from setting the focus to another control. This is because the TabStop property is set to False. Therefore, the TAB control character is correctly inserted into the text of the RichTextBox control.

How to Create the Demonstration Program

The demonstration program below shows how to insert a TAB control character in the RichTextBox control provided in Visual Basic.
  1. Create a new project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add a RichTextBox control to Form1.
  3. Add the following code to Form1:
          Dim arrTabStop() As Boolean
    
          Private Sub RichTextBox1_GotFocus()
                'Store the TabStop property for each control on the
                'form and then set the TabStop property of each
                'control to False
                ReDim arrTabStop(0 To Controls.Count - 1) As Boolean
                For i = 0 To Controls.Count - 1
                   arrTabStop(i) = Controls(i).TabStop
                   Controls(i).TabStop = False
                Next
          End Sub
    
          Private Sub RichTextBox1_LostFocus()
                'Restore the Tabstop property for each control on the form
                For i = 0 To Controls.Count - 1
                   Controls(i).TabStop = arrTabStop(i)
                Next
          End Sub
    
    						
  4. Add two Command Buttons control to Form1.
Execute the demonstration program by pressing the F5 function key. The focus is set to the RichTextBox control. Type some text into the RichTextBox control. Whenever desired, you can press the TAB key to insert that control character into the text you are typing. Notice that pressing TAB does not move the focus to the Command Button control; you must click the mouse pointer on the command button itself to move the focus to it.

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Article ID: 143273 - Last Review: July 1, 2004 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
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