Friday, July 13, 2007

TIP: Masked Textbox

When working with Web forms, you have to put in validation. Some validations are very common—such as Integer only, string only, web address, email address, SSN number, Date, and so forth. For pages that contain such type of validation, you have to do the repeated task of adding a textbox and then the Required field validator and regular expression validator. If you develop a smart control all validation is done by itself. You can save lot of development time. This inspired me to develop this custom control.

Full Size Image)


This control is useful for creating forms that require user data and check that the user has entered valid data. The types of data can be:

  • Integer only
  • String only
  • Email address
  • Date
  • Web Address
  • SSN number
  • US zip code

The basic idea is to put together TextBox, RequiredField validator, and RegularExpressionValidator and hide the complexity from the developer. The developer needs to assign certain properties; the control does all the validation on its own.

Using the Code

Just add the MaskedTextBox.dll in the VS.NET tool bar or add a reference to MaskedTextBox.dll. Assign these properties:

  • DataType (you can select Integer, string,email, web address, date, SSN number, and US zipcode)
  • Display (mode of message display; for example, Dynamic, static, or none)
  • ErrorMessage (message when validation fails)
  • RequiredErrorMessage (message when textbox is empty)
using System;
using System.Text;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.ComponentModel.Design;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Web.UI;
using System.Web.UI.Design;
using System.Web.UI.Design.WebControls;
using System.Web.UI.WebControls;

[assembly: TagPrefix ("MaskedTextBox", "Saifi") ]
namespace controlLib
/// Created By saifi Hasan
public enum DataTypeEnum { IntegerOnly =0,
StringOnly =1,
EmailAddress =2,
WebAddress =3,
SSNNumber =4,
USZipCode =5,
} ;
[ToolboxBitmap(typeof(System.Web.UI.WebControls.TextBox)) ,
ToolboxData("<{0}:MaskedTextBox runat=\"server\"
Required=\"true\" DataType=\"IntegerOnly\" >
Designer( "System.Web.UI.Design.WebControls" ,

public class MaskedTextBox :
System.Web.UI.WebControls.WebControl ,INamingContainer

#region Private Members
private RegularExpressionValidator _emailFormatValidator;
private RequiredFieldValidator _emailRequiredValidator;
private TextBox _emailTextBox;
private DataTypeEnum _DataType ;
private string _ErrorMessageCssClass;
private string _ErrorMessage= string.Empty;
private string _RequiredErrorMessage = string.Empty;
private bool _Required =false;
private ValidatorDisplay _Display = ValidatorDisplay.Dynamic;

string[] arrRegEx = {
"^([-]|[0-9])[0-9]*$", //integer Only
"[^a-zA-Z]", //string Only
//Email address
//Internet Email Only
@"http://([\w-]+\.)+[\w-]+(/[\w- ./?%&=]*)?",
@"\d{3}-\d{2}-\d{4}", //SSN No
@"\d{5}(-\d{4})?", //US Zip Code
@"(0[1-9]|1[012])[- /.](0[1-9]|[12][0-9]|3[01])
[- /.](19|20)\d\d", //Date in MM-DD-YYY format
@"(19|20)\d\d[- /.](0[1-9]|1[012])[- /.](0[1-9]|[12]
[0-9]|3[01])" //Date in YYY-MM-DD format


#region Properties
Description ("Text box DataType") ]
public DataTypeEnum DataType
get { return _DataType ;}
set { _DataType = value;}

Description ("Display Mode") ]
public ValidatorDisplay Display
get { return _Display ;}
set { _Display = value;}

Description ("Text box DataType") ]
public bool Required
get { return _Required ;}
set { _Required = value;}

Description ("Error Message format") ]
public string ErrorMessage
get { return _ErrorMessage ;}
set { _ErrorMessage value ;}

Description ("Error Message for Required Validation") ]
public string RequiredErrorMessage
get { return _RequiredErrorMessage ;}


#region Constructor
public MaskedTextBox()


protected override void OnInit(EventArgs e)

base.OnInit (e);

protected override void CreateChildControls()


_emailTextBox = new TextBox();
_emailTextBox.ID = "emailTextBox";

_emailRequiredValidator = new RequiredFieldValidator();
_emailRequiredValidator.ID = "emailRequiredValidator";
_emailRequiredValidator.ControlToValidate =

_emailRequiredValidator.ErrorMessage = _RequiredErrorMessage;
_emailRequiredValidator.Display = _Display;

_emailFormatValidator = new RegularExpressionValidator();
_emailFormatValidator.ID = "emailFormatValidator";
_emailFormatValidator.ControlToValidate = _emailTextBox.ID;
int iValidExp = _DataType.GetHashCode();

_emailFormatValidator.ValidationExpression =

_emailFormatValidator.ErrorMessage = _ErrorMessage;
_emailFormatValidator.Display = _Display;


/*end validator*/


#region Render Method
protected override void Render(System.Web.UI.HtmlTextWriter writer)

base.Render (writer);



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