This is a recreation of a control I had started to make back in 1999 using Visual Basic 6.0, however that set of tools was not very efficiant for dealing with graphics. From time to time I have had the need for this sort of old style led display, so here it is.

Round elements 10x10

Square elements 20x20

I attempted to address all the possibilities for this type of control and keep it as simple as possible. An "element", think of an element as a single LED, can have separate height and width and can be oval or rectangle. There can be a border color on an element and the border is also an adjustable width and height. I have allowed for an adjustable width between each charactor and I have threaded the process that moves the text value.

In the addition of the standard UserControl properties, Broadway has the following properties:
Base Properties

  • Border Width, int
  • CharactorCount, int16, Is forced to a value greater than 0.
  • ScrollBanner, Boolean. Scrolls the text if set to true.
  • ScrollInterval, Int16. This equals the number of milliseconds between the paint events.
  • Value. String. This is the text of the banner. This includes all the basic charactors on a qwerty keyboard. Letters, number and symbols. Review the code in the function "GetElementData" and compare that with the Photoshop file, template.psd, to view the pattern to the letters or to make your own. The patterns were devised from this page:, however I changed some of the chacators as I felt nessasary.
  • WidthBetweenCharactors, int16. Is forced to a value greater than -1

Element Properties

  • Height, int16, Is forced to a value greater than 0
  • Width, int16, Is forced to a value greater than 0
  • Foreground Color
  • Background Color
  • Shape: Round, Square

Element Border Properties

  • Height, int16
  • Width, int16
  • Color

Download source code. Written in VB.NET 2008.

This code contains the control and a test bed for trying out your changes. The code can be used and modified for non-commercial or non-business related products. If there is a need for this code to be used within a commercial product, or if you have any other questions please contact me at

It is worth noting that this could be made accessable to COM, but really, I think you should move beyound that technology if you can. I have not tested this under those circumstances.