Updates on .NET Core Windows Forms designer


We released a preview version of Visual Studio 16.6 – Visual Studio 2019 version 16.6 Preview 1 and with it a new version of .NET Core Windows Forms designer.

.NET Core Windows Forms designer in Visual Studio

This release contains

  • Support for the following controls:

    • FlowLayoutPanel,
    • GroupBox,
    • ImageList,
    • MenuStrip (via the PropertyBrowser and context menu),
    • Panel,
    • SplitContainer,
    • Splitter,
    • TabControl,
    • TableLayoutPanel,
    • ToolStrip (via the PropertyBrowser, context menu and designer actions).
  • Local resources and localized forms were enabled in the designer.

  • Support for LayoutMode and ShowGrid/SnapToGrid settings via Tools->Options.

  • Reliability and performance improvements.

  • Other minor fixes and tweaks.

Coming next

In the future releases we will be working on User Controls and third-party controls support, integration with popular controls vendors, support for Data Controls and related scenarios, performance improvements and other features.

How to use the designer

  • You need to use Visual Studio Preview channel
  • You need to enable the designer in Visual Studio. Go to Tools > Options > Environment > Preview Features and select the Use the preview Windows Forms designer for .NET Core apps option.

Enabling .NET Core Windows Forms designer in Visual Studio Settings

How to report issues

Your feedback is important to us! Please report issues and send feature requests via the Visual Studio Feedback channel. Use the “Send Feedback” icon in Visual Studio top-right corner as shown below and specify that it is related to the “WinForms .NET Core” area.

Visual Studio Feedback channel


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    • Olia GavryshMicrosoft employee

      The current version is missing: Dialogs, Components, Data, User Controls and a few other controls (NotifyIcon, PropertyGrid, HScrollBar, VScrollBar, DomainUpDown, TrackBar)

      The next version will have many of them in.

        • Tyler

          Why would it be available for Linux? Visual Studio isn’t available for Linux and Windows Forms is Windows-only.

          • Joey Alonzo

            If Winform will work only in Windows, then what difference it will make if I will just stay in .Net Framework.

      • Bancroft, Matt

        Any news on whether ListView and TreeView support is being added?

  • Nick

    So what version of the designer ships with 16.5? I had a test project I was using without the designer and after the 16.5 update double clicking on a form in the Solution Explorer launches a designer of some sort without adding any extensions or turning on any preview features (it’s the 16.5 release, not a preview). Before the update double clicking a form went directly to code view. The containers don’t seem to work right though, I can’t add anything to group boxes and when controls on tab pages seem to snap back to the top left.

    • Olia GavryshMicrosoft employee

      The preview version was enabled by mistake in 16.5 and fixed in the 16.5.1 update. Now the release channel of VS (16.5.1 and up) has .NET Framework WinForms designer for .NET Framework apps and no designer (yet) for .NET Core apps. And in the VS 16.6 Preview 1 there is a preview .NET Core WinForms designer for .NET Core apps and .NET Framework WinForms designer for .NET Framework apps.

  • Pachara Rodphaya

    Nice work!! Keep it up.

    Anyway. . .Will this version of Windows Form support a Crystal Report Viewer and Report Viewer (or any new tools for creating report) ??

    • Philip Njoroge

      If only you all knew how happy devs are to see this comment in our start-up… Crystal report is the only thing tieing us to .net Framework

  • Irakli Lomidze

    When we could expect final completed version of designer ?

    is it planed until .net 5 ?
    when third parties will be supported ?

    • Olia GavryshMicrosoft employee

      We expect to have a mature version by mid of May.
      We are already working with the control vendors, we might have some support by May, but fully supported they should be by .NET 5

  • russ lunn


    will this now properly support hidpi screens and scaling in the ide without having to restart in 100% scaling mode?

  • Reelix

    I’m using the newly released 16.5.0 on a .NET Core Project. All the mentioned controls (Except the MenuStrip, TableLayoutPanel, and Toolstrip) are already there. You might need to update what is actually coming in 16.6 and what is already available in the existing version 🙂

  • Larry Meadows

    Very nice,

    How about NATIVE support for the menu tray, using windows form and WPF.

    We should also be able to create custom style menus and radial menus.

  • John Dekker

    Olia, I am really grateful for all work being done and look forward to it’s completion. I have tried converting some of my existing apps to .net core but have decided to wait until the designer is finished.
    I know this doesn’t help you much as far as feedback goes but I guess I could start using the designer in the later previews when all the components are at least implemented.