How to achieve transparency effect in Winforms cotrols


Product Version Product Author
2020.2.512 RadPanel for WinForms Nadya Karaivanova


A common requirement is to achieve transperancy effect in Winforms control.

Windows Forms controls do not support true transparency. The background of a transparent Windows Forms control is painted by its parent. More information is available here.

This is why if you want to achieve some transparency effect on the control you should simulate it.


If your requirement is to achieve a transparent RadForm it is suitable to use TransparancyKey property. It gets or sets the color that will represent transparent areas of the form.

public RadForm1()
    this.BackColor = Color.Red;
    this.TransparencyKey = this.BackColor;

Public Sub New()
    Me.BackColor = Color.Red
    Me.TransparencyKey = Me.BackColor
End Sub


If your requirement is to achieve transparency effect on contols there are two approaches that you can use. The first approach is to specify the alpha component of the Color. One of the overloads of the Color.FromArgb method reates a Color structure from the four ARGB component that includes alpha, red, green, and blue values. The alpha component has valid values from 0 to 255 that indicates the opacity/transparency effect.

The following example demonstrated three different transparency effects in RadPanel:

public RadForm1()

    // transparent
    this.radPanel1.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(0, 127, 124, 127);

    //semi transparent
    this.radPanel2.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(120, 127, 127, 127);

    // not transparent
    this.radPanel3.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(255, 127, 127, 127);

Public Sub New()

    ' transparent
    Me.radPanel1.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(0, 127, 124, 127)

    ' semi transparent
    Me.radPanel2.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(120, 127, 127, 127)

    ' not transparent
    Me.radPanel3.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(255, 127, 127, 127)
End Sub


The second approach is to create associate panel and assign a custom image to the BackgroundImage property. Then, add the associate panel to the Controls collection by using the SetChildIndex and BringToFront methods:

public RadForm1()
    this.radPanel1.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(120, 127, 127, 127);

protected override void OnLoad(EventArgs e)
public void AddAssociateCoverPanel()
    RadPanel associatedPanel = new RadPanel();
    associatedPanel.Size = this.ClientSize;
    associatedPanel.Location = new Point(0, 0);
    Bitmap controlImage = new Bitmap(this.ClientSize.Width, this.ClientSize.Height);
    this.DrawToBitmap(controlImage, new Rectangle(Point.Empty, this.ClientSize));
    SolidBrush semiTransBrush = new SolidBrush(Color.FromArgb(128, 255, 255, 255));
    Graphics g = Graphics.FromImage(controlImage);
    g.FillRectangle(semiTransBrush, new Rectangle(Point.Empty, controlImage.Size));
    associatedPanel.BackgroundImage = controlImage;
    RadButton button = new RadButton();
    button.ThemeName = this.ThemeName;
    button.Text = "Button on panel";
    button.Location = new Point(290, 120);
    this.Controls.SetChildIndex(associatedPanel, 0);

Class SurroundingClass
    Public Sub New()
        Me.radPanel1.BackColor = Color.FromArgb(120, 127, 127, 127)
    End Sub

    Protected Overrides Sub OnLoad(ByVal e As EventArgs)
    End Sub

    Public Sub AddAssociateCoverPanel()
        Dim associatedPanel As RadPanel = New RadPanel()
        associatedPanel.Size = Me.ClientSize
        associatedPanel.Location = New Point(0, 0)
        Dim controlImage As Bitmap = New Bitmap(Me.ClientSize.Width, Me.ClientSize.Height)
        Me.DrawToBitmap(controlImage, New Rectangle(Point.Empty, Me.ClientSize))
        Dim semiTransBrush As SolidBrush = New SolidBrush(Color.FromArgb(128, 255, 255, 255))
        Dim g As Graphics = Graphics.FromImage(controlImage)
        g.FillRectangle(semiTransBrush, New Rectangle(Point.Empty, controlImage.Size))
        associatedPanel.BackgroundImage = controlImage
        Dim button As RadButton = New RadButton()
        button.ThemeName = Me.ThemeName
        button.Text = "Button on panel"
        button.Location = New Point(290, 120)
        Me.Controls.SetChildIndex(associatedPanel, 0)
    End Sub
End Class


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