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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  • Nikola Nasev

    Is it possible, and if it is then how, to publish a Winforms app for osx-x64 although it is created on Windows? I was able to publish my app and create an executable for widows but when I try to do the same for osx-x64, I get an error saying: “System.Exception: Publish has encountered an error. We were unable to determine the cause of the error.” Help, please!

  • Richard Green

    Hi, am loving NET 5 and WinForms, I am going to port some user controls as SOON AS you include this ability! Can you give any kind of ball park guesstimate of when that preview will be available? I know we’re on Preview 5 now. Thanks for all of your great work!

  • Jason Penick

    Absolutely freaking useless. Hows about a download link that works.
    It is beyond absurd the amount of time I have spent trying to track down this issue, and how the heck to get this package, only to not be able to find a single freaking working link.

  • César Adriel Airaldo

    Hi, Olivia! I’m getting a little late here. I would like to ask you if there is a possibility that the TableLayoutPanel control comes to support visual inheritance. It is extremely interesting to be able to make base forms, with a generic layout, that can be specialized through inheritance. Currently in the company where I work we use this modality through a trick. In a typical scenario for us, we have forms for CRUD operations that are exactly the same in much of their aesthetics and behavior, and only the controls specific to the treated entity change. On the internet there are several strangers like me, trying to achieve a development similar to that of a web, with the desktop forms 🙂 Thanks for your work!

  • Jason Chow

    Time flies. Now it’s May 14th. I updated my Visual Studio 2019 to version 16.5.5 yesterday, and I found that the [Design] window can be opened!!! BUT, when I tried to open the solution again after I closed it, the [Design] window never showed again… Both two tab windows are the cs code, no Designer again. I believe that the developers under this blog just hope to get a link to download the designer. We don’t want to download a new version of Visual Studio cause it will take a long time and large disk space. If v16.5.5 is not ready for this function, then just wait for the next version.

  • Bogdan Verbenets

    WinForms designer for .NET Core doesn’t work at all for me. I create a new WinForms for .NET Core app. The designer doesn’t show. I am using VS Community 2019 16.5.5. I don’t see any error dialogs. Can I somehow see IDE errors somewhere?

    • Torsten Eineter

      Same Question here. I use 16.5.4, just added a .Net Code WinForm Project and was wondering, why it is only showing code when I try to switch to the designer view. Took me some minutes on Google to find this blog post :-).
      I now understand the background and appreaciate your work on this! One suggestion: Please let Visual Studio show a little info dialog, that the designer is not yet available. Preferable with a link to this post on the dialog. Much better user experience this way.

  • Christian Benner

    Hey Olia,
    it’s a pleasure to see the forms designer support on the actual 16.6 Release.
    I’m looking forward for the support of third party controls (also user controls) especially from DevExpress folks.
    At the moment we’re lagging in our transformation process to make our apps available with Net Core 🙁

    Remember Visual Studio 6.0 – oh my gosh – what a big step in development since that time. Thanks a lot !!!