How to locate control nested inside of another control

Finding controls within a Page's control hierarchy can be painful but if you know how the controls are nested you can use the lesser known "$" shortcut to find controls without having to write recursive code. The following example shows how to use the DefaultFocus property to set the focus on a textbox that is nested inside of a FormView control. Notice that the "$" is used to delimit the nesting:

<form id="form1" DefaultFocus="formVw$txtName" runat="server">


       <asp:FormView ID="formVw" runat="server">








This little trick can also be used on the server-side when calling FindControl():

TextBox tb = this.FindControl("form1$formVw$txtName") as TextBox;

if (tb != null)


    //Access TextBox control



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