The CMSTabControl control displays a one-level tab menu based on data from Kentico. The control reads the specified Kentico pages and renders the menu according to their values.

Inherits from: BasicTabControl
Web part equivalent (portal engine): Tab menu

Getting started

The following is a step-by-step tutorial that shows how to display a tab menu using the CMSTabControl control:

  1. Create a new Web form somewhere in your web project.

  2. Drag the CMSTabControl control from the toolbox onto the form.

  3. Set the following properties for the control:

    • MaxRelativeLevel: 1
    • SelectFirstItemByDefault: True

These properties ensure that the tab menu only displays pages from the first level of the website, and selects the first tab by default.

<cms:CMSTabControl ID="CMSTabControl1" runat="server" MaxRelativeLevel="1" SelectFirstItemByDefault="True" />

  1. Add the following style definitions inside the page’s <head> element:

     <style type="text/css">
     /* Tab menu class definitions */    
     .TabControlTable { FONT-SIZE: 14px; FONT-FAMILY: Arial,Verdana }
     .TabControlRow { }
     .TabControl { BORDER-RIGHT: black 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: black 1px solid; FONT-WEIGHT: bold; BACKGROUND: #e7e7ff; BORDER-LEFT: black 1px solid; CURSOR: hand; COLOR: black }
     .TabControlSelected { BORDER-RIGHT: black 1px solid; BORDER-TOP: black 1px solid; FONT-WEIGHT: bold; BACKGROUND: #4a3c8c; BORDER-LEFT: black 1px solid; CURSOR: default; COLOR: white }
     .TabControlLinkSelected { COLOR: white; TEXT-DECORATION: none }
     .TabControlLink { COLOR: black; TEXT-DECORATION: none }
     .TabControlLeft { WIDTH: 1px }
     .TabControlRight { WIDTH: 0px }
     .TabControlSelectedLeft { WIDTH: 1px }
     .TabControlSelectedRight { WIDTH: 0px }

    These CSS styles modify the appearance of the tab menu. The CMSTabControl renders tabs even without any CSS classes, but they are extremely basic. To learn how the control applies CSS classes, see the CMSTabControl section.

    The example uses the local <head> element only for convenience. If you wish to use the control on a Kentico website, it is recommended to define the CSS classes in the website’s stylesheet in the CSS stylesheets application.

  2. Add the following code just after the <cms:CMSTabControl> element to display a stripe under the tabs:

      <hr style="width:100%; height:2px; margin-top:0px;" />
  3. Save the web form.

  4. Right-click the web form in the Solution explorer and select View in Browser.

The resulting page displays the following tab menu:


You can set the following properties for the CMSTabControl control:

CMSTabControl properties


Sample value


Indicates whether the control HTML encodes the captions of menu items. Enable if you need to display pages whose names contain HTML code.


Hides the control when no data is loaded. Default value is false. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Path of the menu item that the control highlights. If empty, the control automatically uses the page’s current alias path.



Indicates whether the control automatically loads page data. True by default.

If you set this property to false, you need to assign a custom DataSet into the DataSource property and then call the control’s ReloadData method.


Allows you to get or set the HTML code rendered by the control. You need to set this property before the Render event - e.g. in the OnLoad event.

(Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Indicates whether the control renders ALT attributes for images in the menu (for XHTML compatibility).


Indicates whether the control renders TITLE tags for the tab links. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Index of the selected tab. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Indicates whether the first tab should be selected by default. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Prefix that the BasicTabControl uses for all element IDs in the rendered HTML code. Allows you to avoid conflicts when using multiple tab controls on the same page. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)



Specifies the layout orientation of the tab control. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)



Specifies the target frame for all URLs. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)



Indicates if client script should be generated for each tab. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Indicates if the control causes a postback when a users clicks a tab. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)


Text shown when the control is hidden by the HideControlForZeroRows property. (Inherited from BasicTabControl)

“No records found.”

Common navigation properties


Sample value


Indicates whether the control applies page menu design settings. True by default.


Contains the names of columns that the control loads for pages (menu items) in addition to the default columns. If you need data from other columns, type their names separated by commas.

Note: To find a full list of the default navigation columns, use the SQL queries debuggingtool and inspect the query performed by your navigation control.



Indicates whether the control should be hidden when no data is loaded. Default value is False.


Indicates whether the control highlights all items on the visitor’s current path.


Path to an image displayed next to every menu item that contains sub-items.


Indicates whether the control uses alternating styles for even and odd items on the same menu level.


Indicates whether the control uses the item image if the highlighted image is not specified.


Indicates whether text displayed by the control uses word wrapping. If disabled, text that is too long is replaced by ‘nbsp’.


Text shown when the control is hidden by the HideControlForZeroRows property.

“No records found.”

Page filtering properties


Sample value


Indicates if the control checks the permissions of the user viewing the page. If the value is false (default value) no permissions are checked.

If true, the control only loads pages for which the user viewing the page has read permissions.


Specifies which page types the control loads and displays. Identify page types through their code names, separated by semicolons (;).

You can use the * wildcard as a substitute for any number of characters. For example Product.* includes the page types Product.Camera, Product.CellPhone, Product.Computer etc.

If the property is left empty, the control retrieves all page types by default. In the case of menu and navigation controls, only CMS.MenuItem pages are loaded by default.

Note: If the control loads all page types (empty value), only the common data columns from the View_CMS_Tree_Joined view are available in the retrieved data. The specific fields of individual page types are not included. You need to keep this in mind when writing the code of transformations, WHERE conditions, ORDER BY expressions etc.



Indicates whether the control loads pages from the website’s default culture version if the required pages are not available in the user’s selected culture.

Only applies if you do not set the TreeProvider property manually.


Specifies the culture code of the pages that the control loads. If not specified, the control automatically uses the preferred culture of the user viewing the page.



Allows you to manually assign a DataSet or DataTable containing the pages that the control displays. You do not need to set this property for standard scenarios.


Indicates if the control filters out duplicated (linked) pages from the data.


Specifies the maximum number of content tree sub-levels from which the control displays pages. This number is relative, i.e. counted from the location of the page where the control is placed, not from the root of the website.

Enter -1 to load all child pages.


Path of the pages that the control loads.

See: Writing page path expressions


If enabled, the control only loads published pages.


Gets or sets the TreeProvider object used by the control to access page data. If you do not assign a TreeProvider object, the control automatically creates a new instance.

CMS Base control properties


Sample value


List of the cache keys on which the control’s cached data depends. When the specified cache items change, the control clears its cache.

Each item (dependency) must be on one line.

If you leave this property empty, the control uses default dependencies.

See also: Setting cache dependencies, Configuring caching



Sets the name of the cache key used to store the control’s content. If you leave the value empty, the system generates a default name containing variables, such as the control ID, the selected culture and the name of the user who loaded the page.

The system cache is shared by all pages in your application, so cache item names representing different data must be unique globally. If you have multiple controls that load the same data, you can share the cache keys between the controls (optimizes loading of content and avoids redundant data in the cache).

If the content displayed by the control depends on variables, such as URL parameters, you can set a custom name dynamically in the page’s code behind.

See also: Caching the data of page components, Configuring caching

“CMSRepeaterNews” +


Sets the number of minutes for which the control caches content retrieved from the database.

  • 0 indicates that control does not cache content
  • -1 indicates that the control uses the site-level content caching settings

Allows you to set up caching of content so that the control doesn’t have to retrieve content from the database on each request.

The caching mechanism uses absolute expiration time. This means that cache items expire after a specified time period even if the page containing the control wasn’t requested.

See also: Caching the data of page components, Configuring caching


Gets or sets the filter control used to limit the data read by the control.


Gets or sets the code name of the filter control used to limit the data read by this control.


Gets or sets the ORDER BY clause of the SQL query that the control uses to load data.

“NewsReleaseDate DESC”


Database table columns that the control loads for pages, separated by commas ( , ). If null or empty, the control loads all available columns.


Specifies the code name of the Kentico website for which the control loads data.


If true, the control stops all processing — does not load or display any data or other HTML output.


Specifies the maximum number of database records that the control loads.


Gets or sets the WHERE clause of the SQL query that the control uses to loads data.

“ProductPrice > 100”

Appearance and styling

The appearance of the CMSTabControl is determined by CSS classes. You can use the following CSS classes to modify the design of the control:

CSS class name

Applies to


Table that contains the tabs (<TABLE> tag).


Table rows (<TR> tags).


Tab items (<TD> tags).


The selected tab item (<TD> tag).


Tab item links - if a URL is specified (<A> tags).


Selected tab item link - if a URL is specified (<A> tag).


Left side of the tab items (<TD> tags).


Right side of the tab items (<TD> tags).


Left side of the selected tab item (<TD> tag).


Right side of the selected tab item (<TD> tag).

The recommended place to define these classes is in a Kentico stylesheet using the CSS stylesheets application.

You can apply stylesheets to:

  • Entire websites
  • Individual pages that contain the control