About the Object Inspector

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The Object Inspector is the connection between your application's visual appearance and the code that makes your application run.

The Object Inspector enables you to:

  • Set design-time properties for components you have placed on a form (or for the form itself).
  • Create and navigate through event handlers.
  • Filter visible properties and events.

Instance list

The instance list at the top of the Object Inspector is a drop-down list that displays the names of all the components on the active form and (in gray text) the object type, or class, of each component. This information lets you quickly display properties and events for the different components on the current form.

The instance list displays the class name for each object in the list. You can give a component the same name as the form or data module that it is on. For example, you can add a button component to Form1 and rename the button to Form1, so that both names appear in the instance list. The instance list box displays a tooltip for the selected component, which is useful if a component name is wider than the instance list. You can also hide the instance list box or customize its colors by changing the options on the Object Inspector page of the Environment Options dialog box.


You can resize the columns of the Object Inspector by dragging the separator line to a new position.

Properties and events pages

The Object Inspector has two pages:

Object Inspector tabs provide a means to switch between the Property page and the Events page of the Object Inspector. To change pages, click the tab of the page that is not displayed (Properties or Events).

You can display and filter properties and events by category. By filtering the properties, you can reduce the number of properties visible in the Object Inspector and focus on those that are of interest at the time. You can also easily locate related properties by viewing them by category. For example, when localizing your application for other countries, you can display only properties that need to be localized by unchecking all categories except Localizable. See Property and event categories in the Object Inspector.

The Object Inspector also includes expanded inline component references that display the properties and events of a referenced component (or a subcomponent) without having to actually select that component.

You can control the colors in which items appear in the Object Inspector and change options that allow you to display an instance list, a status bar, and show read-only properties. To change these settings for the Object Inspector, choose Tools > Environment Options, and click the Object Inspector tab, or right-click the Object Inspector and choose Properties.

Additional Menus

The Object Inspector also provides some additional menus, located just below the Properties / Events lists. Such a menu is provided for special use with LiveBindings. For more information regarding this menu, see Object Inspector (LiveBindings).

See Also