VB comes with 20 built-in controls. In this section of the tutorial I provide a few comments about each one, trying to give some useful pointers on the use of each control. I strongly suggest that you review the control summary chart, which is a zipped Excel spreadsheet that lists the VB controls - along with their properties, methods, and events. The spreadsheet will help you get a "big-picture" overview of the VB controls. I also strongly suggest you read the HELP file content for each of the properties/events/methods for these controls. If you don't know the item exists, then you won't know when to apply it in your applications!


All controls are not equally useful. Some you will use on every application you write. Others you will use only when you have a special need for the features the controls offer.

When you start VB, you'll always find the intrinsic controls displayed in the toolbox. The controls are built-in to the VB files and do not exist in an external file (with a .OCX extension) the way the ActiveX controls do. In the toolbox, each of the controls has its own distinctive icon.


The Most Useful Intrinsic Controls

These nine intrinsic controls are pretty much used on every VB application I've written. Start your learning with these and then branch out. Further down on this page I have a brief comment on each of the controls.

Command Button








Option Button

The Rest of the Intrinsic Controls

The other eleven intrinsic controls are also valuable but I find myself using these less often than the others. Also, you'll find that you use fewer of these within an application than you do of the nine that I listed as the most useful controls.

ADO Data Control

Vertical Scroll









Horizontal Scroll


Database Features

I've put the discussion of databases elsewhere in the tutorial, but you should know right now that several of the intrinsic controls can display or edit data directly out of a database. With VB, the ADO Data Control is used to access the database information and to distribute it on to the other intrinsic controls which can handle database information. VB uses the terminology "databound" to describe controls which have built-in features for handling database access.

Comments on Each Control