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How to Register a Control for Application-Wide Use

Most users know that if you want to use a custom server or user control on an ASP.NET page, you need to register it first. This is normally done via a <%@ Register %> directive at the top of the page. You're probably familiar with the syntax:

  <%@ Register TagPrefix="asp101" TagName="SampleControl" Src="Controls/SampCtrl.ascx" %>

This method works well, but can be somewhat cumbersome if you'll be using the control on a number of pages. If you'll be using the same control throughout your application, you can actually register it in your web.config file. This alleviates the need to register the control on each and every page and makes management much easier if you ever decide to move the control's source file.

The web.config section we'll be using is: configuration -> system.web -> pages -> controls

  <?xml version="1.0"?>
  <configuration>
    <system.web>
      <pages>
        <controls>
          <add tagPrefix="asp101" tagName="SampleControl" src="~/Controls/SampCtrl.ascx" />
        </controls>
      </pages>
    </system.web>
  </configuration>

Once you register a control here, you can then use it on any page within your application without the need to include the <%@ Register %> directive at the top of the page. This works on ASP.NET 2.0 and later and trust me... once you start using it you won't look back.


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