Quickstart Tutorial: Windows Ribbon for WinForms

Here I will show you how you can start using the Windows Ribbon from CodePlex.

Prepare your developer machine
Installation of Windows 7 SDK is required to create and modify the ribbon on a developer machine.

1. Download latest version of RibbonLib from CodePlex

You can find the library here: http://windowsribbon.codeplex.com/

2. Build the RibbonGenerator setup and install it.

Start the Visual Studio 2010 Solution of RibbonGenerator, set the build configuration to Release and build it twice!
After the second build it will compile without errors! This is an official Visual Studio 2010 bug and we have to live with it.


Now you can install the new setup file that you will find here…


3. Compile a Ribbon.dll

To get a compiled version of Ribbon.dll start the sample solution and build it using Visual Studio


4. Create a new Windows Forms application containing the Ribbon Control.

Add the Ribbon to your Toolbox doing a right-click on Toolbox / Choose Items

Drag/Drop the Ribbon to your form

For your body you can add a Panel control and set the DockStyle property to Fill

Add a new Xml file to your Project and rename to Ribbon.xml

Add the following content to the file.

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>
<Application xmlns='http://schemas.microsoft.com/windows/2009/Ribbon'>



Set the CustomTool of the Ribbon.xml in the File Properties to RibbonGenerator to generate a .ribbon file.

Now you need to specify the .ribbon file in the Ribbon control properties on your form. The name must be the full name including the namespace.

That’s all. So have a lot of fun playing with the samples included in the download package too.

Other Ribbon Posts

RibbonGenerator Details: Windows Ribbon for WinForms
RibbonGenerator for Visual Studio 2010 Express Editions: Windows Ribbon for WinForms
Windows Ribbon for WinForms in Visual Studio 2013
This guidance was written for Visual Studio 2010. If you want to use Visual Studio 2012 you should also read the posts from above.


37 thoughts on “Quickstart Tutorial: Windows Ribbon for WinForms

  1. Ribbon for WinForms: Quick Start Tutorial…

    Due to popular demand on instructions for how to use the new version of the Ribbon for WinForms project…

  2. Denis R says:

    hi guys…nice article and control I might add…I just have one question: an application build with this control is able to run on WinXp machines or just Vista and 7?

    Denis R.

  3. Stan Williams says:

    Just wondering if you have to build the Ribbon control with VS10 or if you could use VS08?

  4. The answer to “Why VS10” is not so easy. First I don’t want to use old technology in my spare time. Second I have to read a registry value to discover the Windows SDK 7 installation path. With .NET 4.0 it’s easy also on 64bit machines. Look into the DetectAppropariateWindows7SdkPath method of RibbonGenerator.

  5. Pac-Man says:

    What am I doing wrong? VS never finds the ribbon resource in the assembly. The name of my project is, let’s say “ExampleProj” and the XML file is named “Ribbon.xml”, so the ResourceName property of the ribbon control needs to be set to “ExampleProj.Ribbon.ribbon” or what? I don’t get it, I’m too stupid probably^^

  6. VB needs the name without namespace, C# needs it with namespace. You can look into the Ribbon samples. Check that .ribbon file does exists. The .xml file is the ribbon XAML file, the .ribbon file is the compiled file generated by the RibbonGenerator custom tool.

    • Pac-Man says:

      Thanks for the fast reply. Looks like the .ribbon file isn’t generated. I’m sorry, previously I thought I still had the Windows 7 SDK installed, but I had a look in my software list after I posted my comment and saw that I must’ve uninstalled it some day. I try again with the SDK installed… then the file should be generated too, I think.

    • Pac-Man says:

      Ok, I just tried it with installed Win7 SDK. Still doesn’t create the ribbon-file. Also not for sample projects if I remove the ribbon file from the project to force its recreation from the xml one.

    • Pac-Man says:

      Sorry to spam up the comments section, delete my old comments if you want to. I fixed it. The ribbon generator tool wanted to start UICC.exe and RC.exe from a non existant “v7.1” SDK folder! The Windows 7 SDK just installed a “v7.0” folder on my pc (and UICC.exe is only installed if you check Win32 components in the SDK setup). I simply created the path to the “imaginary” v7.1 folder and copied the needed exes there and now it works fine.

  7. Andrew VIR says:

    Hi there!
    I have 1 small question. Does You planned build for Express Versions???

  8. Andrew VIR says:

    Compile not work! It prompt Authorization Data from CodePlex! May be I must use another solution file???

  9. Gonzalo Garcia says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I was following this instructions and I have complied and installed the RibbonGeneretor tool,when I specify the name of the Custom Tool property for the XML file, it says that it cannot find the tool, I have tried this several times with no success. What could I be doing wrong?


  10. Swetha S says:

    When I am tryint o compile RibbonGeneratoe.Setup in X64 mode it is giving the following error

    Error 1 File ‘rgc.exe’ of project output ‘Primary output from RibbonGenerator.Console (Active)’ targeting ‘AMD64’ is not compatible with the project’s target platform ‘x86’ F:\RibbonLib_v2.6\RibbonGenerator\RibbonGenerator.Setup\RibbonGenerator.Setup.vdproj RibbonGenerator.Setup

  11. Hi, you don’ need the setup. Please use manual registration of the tool…

    Best regards, Bernhard

    • Swetha S says:

      I think the manual registration of the tool is tallking about Express edition of Visual Studio. But I am using Ultimate. How can i get my problem solved?


  12. Célio says:

    How can I create normal Tabs, contextual Tabs, Commands, etc, programmatically?
    I am working with C# but if anyone has a C++ library to make that, it’s ok.

    Thanks in advance

  13. Glory says:

    I get pleasure from, result in I discovered just what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  14. Wow, worked great!
    Just missing a Ribbon Designer… 😉

  15. javO says:

    Hi. I just can’t get this to work with C# VS2010 Ultimate. It doesn’t generate the .ribbon file. Watching the log I notice that there was a problem with uicc.exe file. My guess is that Visual Studio is working with the old Windows SDK 7.0A, and not with the 7.1 that I just installed. How can I change the default to 7.1?? I’ve read several posts that shows how to do it in the C++ environment, but not C#. Thanks!

  16. Eduardo says:

    Hi Bernhard,
    I do not understand what exactely I have to put in the ribbon file in the Ribbon control properties of my form. I mean in the ResourceName. For instance : I have created a program named “Teste1”, what should i put in the field ResourceName ?

    Best Regards,

  17. tonielro says:

    Absolutely wonderful and fantastic ribbon. I am having serious problem making use of this control. When I tried using this control, I got an error “RibbonGenerator not found in your machine”. I compiled and installed the RibbonGenerator as directed and I have windows SDK 7.0A installed on my computer. What do I do to correct this error?

  18. […] Quickstart Tutorial: Windows Ribbon for WinForms RibbonGenerator Details: Windows Ribbon for WinForms RibbonGenerator for Visual Studio 2010 Express Editions: Windows Ribbon for WinForms Windows Ribbon for WinForms in Visual Studio 2013 […]

  19. […] Quickstart Tutorial: Windows Ribbon for WinForms RibbonGenerator Details: Windows Ribbon for WinForms Windows Ribbon for WinForms in Visual Studio 2013 […]

  20. King JOT says:

    I am lost as to how to carry on with the step 2 thus how to Build the RibbonGenerator setup and install it. Need help please.

  21. hi,
    i am getting a lot of errors and i cant build the project.
    any idea why?

  22. Shabber says:


    After download it is asking me for credentials to connect to tfs.codeplex.com

    which i dont have and project doesn’t load….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: