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By appliance the accoutrement and controls in Beheld Studio .NET, apprentice how to address convenient Windows Forms by exploring forms, controls, events, and inheritance.

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The adeptness to rapidly advance and arrange forms-based applications is what led to the astounding success of Beheld Basic. Beheld Basic enables you to build enterprise-level applications at lightning acceleration afterwards acute you to fully acquire what the basal basement of the operating arrangement is doing. With .NET, this adeptness is taken to the aing level. The Windows Forms archetypal for .NET is absolutely chip into the .NET Framework. The development archetypal is fully article oriented, enabling you to actualize bigger applications faster appliance Visual Studio .NET. The accelerated in Accelerated Appliance Development (RAD) has never been truer aback developing with Windows Forms. Today, you apprentice about

Using forms and controls

How to handle contest in Windows Forms

Adding controls to forms

Dynamically abacus controls to Forms

Creating MDI applications with Windows Forms

Inheriting Windows Forms

Using accepted dialogs in Windows Forms

Every accession to autograph applications needs to alpha with the Hello World blazon application. This isn’t because it’s such a cool cliché. It’s to get you accustomed with the ambiance you’re alive in and to bigger explain what’s activity on aback you’re running the application. To get you started with Beheld Studio .NET development, you’re activity to actualize the HelloNET application.

To begin, alpha Beheld Studio .NET. On the Accepting Started page, bang the New Activity on. You’re prompted with the New Activity chat you abstruse about yesterday. Figure 3.1 demonstrates the New Activity dialog.

Figure 3.1 The New Activity chat box.

Select the Windows Appliance arrangement from either the C# or Beheld Basic folder, and change the Name to HelloNET. Bang the OK on to actualize the application.

After the activity has been created, you should be attractive at article like Figure 3.2.

NOTE

Throughout this book, there are cipher examples for Beheld Basic .NET and C# for aggregate you learn. Aback I ask you to actualize a new application, best of the time I say to alarm it something_vb or something_cs, depending on the accent you’re autograph your cipher in. To differentiate the cipher in the downloads for the book and to accredit you to address the aforementioned appliance in both languages, you can’t acquire the aforementioned activity name. So, if there are screenshots that attending like a activity name is altered from what I ask you to create, that’s the reason. By the end of the book, you’ll see there’s actual little aberration amid C# and Beheld Basic .NET, and you’ll be bilingual!

Figure 3.2 The HelloNET application.

As you abstruse yesterday, there are abounding advantageous windows aback developing applications. The key items you’ll use aback creating Windows Forms applications are the Solution Explorer, the Backdrop window, and the Toolbox. If you don’t see these windows on your screen, you can get to them in the agency apparent in Table 3.1.

Window

Shortcut Options

Properties

F4 key

View, Backdrop from the Appearance menu

The Backdrop on on the accepted toolbar

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Toolbox

Ctrl Alt X adjustment keys

View, Toolbox from the Appearance menu

The Toolbox on on the accepted toolbar

Solution Explorer

Ctrl Alt L adjustment keys

View, Solution Explorer from the Appearance menu

The Solution Explorer on on the accepted toolbar

The key to accelerated development with Windows Forms is the ability to calmly annoyance items from the Toolbox assimilate the forms, set backdrop on the controls that you add appliance the Backdrop window, and address cipher that responds to the controls and anatomy events. That’s why the three windows in Table 3.1 are so important.

Next, you charge add some controls to the form. From the Toolbox, annoyance a Button control, Textbox control, and Label ascendancy to the anatomy that’s in the Windows Forms designer. Your anatomy should attending article like Figure 3.3 afterwards the controls are added.

TIP

There are a brace of added agency to add controls to a form. First, you can double-click Toolbox controls to add them to a form. They are added on top of the aftermost ascendancy added to the form. The additional way is to baddest a ascendancy from the Toolbox and “draw” it assimilate the anatomy with your mouse. This will let you position and admeasurement the ascendancy as you add it to the form.

Figure 3.3 Abacus controls to the absence form.

Next, single-click the anatomy and columnist the F4 key to appearance its properties. Change the afterward backdrop on the form:

After you set the Chantry property, apprehension that the chantry sizes of the controls on the anatomy change to the form’s chantry properties. This is a new affection in Windows Forms; the controls accede the chantry backdrop of the form. You can calmly override these backdrop by ambience backdrop on the individual controls. You apprentice added about the altered controls a little later.

Next, double-click Button1 to get to the Cipher Editor window. This works like Beheld Basic 6 did: You double-click controls and you’re taken to their absence event.

You’re now attractive at the Form_Load event. Apprehension that the load accident accepts two arguments—System.Object and System.EventArgs—as the afterward cipher atom demonstrates:

VB.NET

C#

Every ascendancy that you add to a anatomy (and the anatomy itself) consistently has to acquire the article that’s casual it the abstracts and again the accident arguments for that object. Depending on the ascendancy and the event, it won’t consistently be System.EventArgs, but there will consistently be an accident arguments parameter.

In the Form_Load event, add the cipher in Listing 3.1, which displays a bulletin box affable you to Beheld Studio .NET.

VB.NET

C#

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You’ll apprehension that the MessageBox chic is acclimated to prompt advice aback to the user. The functionality of the MessageBox class is actual agnate to that of the MsgBox activity in Beheld Basic 6. You can canyon a prompt, acknowledge to on events, and set the appellation for the message box that’s displayed.

Next, you charge to add cipher for the bang accident of the Button you added to the anatomy earlier. There are several agency to address cipher that responds to contest in Windows Forms. The easiest way to address cipher for an accident is to double-click a ascendancy on the Forms Artist and you’re taken to the absence accident for that ascendancy in the Cipher Editor.

If you’re autograph in Beheld Basic, you can baddest the ascendancy from the Chic Name drop-down account in the upper-left bend of the Cipher Editor. Afterwards you baddest the ascendancy you appetite to address an accident for, you can baddest the actual adjustment from the Adjustment Name drop-down list, which is aing to the Chic Name drop-down list. Figure 3.4 demonstrates the Adjustment Name drop-down account for some of the Button1 events. Apprehension that Button1 was called from the Chic Name list.

Figure 3.4 The Button1 Adjustment Name options.

You’ll additionally apprehension the (Overrides) and (Base Chic Events) options in the Chic Name drop-down. The (Overrides) advantage gives you all the methods, properties, and contest that you can programmatically override for the form. The (Base Chic Events) advantage gives you the methods for the Anatomy class. A little afterwards today you’ll bigger acquire how classes assignment and what they’ll beggarly to you as you advance not alone in Windows Forms, but additionally in .NET as a whole.

If you’re a C# developer, you don’t acquire the Chic Name and Adjustment Name drop-down lists in the Cipher Editor for contest that haven’t been added to the form. To add new contest for the anatomy and for controls on the form, you charge baddest the ascendancy on the anatomy while you’re in the Forms Designer. Then, on the toolbar of the Backdrop window for the called control, bang the lightning t on, which gives you the account of contest for the called control. Aback you acquisition the accident you appetite to address cipher for, you can double-click the accident name in the list, and you’re taken to the Cipher Editor for that event. Figure 3.5 demonstrates the on1_Click accident called in the Backdrop window.

Figure 3.5 The on1_Click accident of the Backdrop window for a C# application.

Now that you apperceive how to add contest with the IDE, add the cipher in Listing 3.2 to the on1_Click event.

VB.NET

C#

There are a few items to agenda on the cipher you aloof wrote:

The Argument acreage is acclimated for both the Label and the TextBox control. This is altered from Beheld Basic 6. There is no best a Caption acreage for labels, forms, or other controls—it’s replaced with the Argument property.

C# is a case-sensitive language, and the case defaults to camel casing, acceptation that the aboriginal appearance of an article name is lowercase and the aboriginal belletrist of any consecutive concatenated words are uppercase. Visual Basic uses Pascal casing, acceptation that the aboriginal appearance is uppercase and the aboriginal belletrist of any consecutive concatenated words are uppercase.

Visual Basic automatically fixes the case of article names, but C# does not. This additionally agency the auto-list associates do not assignment in C# if the case isn’t correct. Figure 3.6 demonstrates auto-list associates in C# aback the case is correct. Auto-list associates works in Beheld Basic alike if the case is incorrect.

Figure 3.6 Auto-list associates in the C# Cipher Editor.

Now that the cipher has been added and you’re accepting an abstraction of how to assignment with the IDE, columnist the F5 on to run the application. Pressing F5 has the aforementioned aftereffect as selecting Alpha from the Debug card or beat the Start on on the Accepted toolbar.

When the appliance starts, you’re prompted with Welcome to .NET! that you added in the Form_Load event. Afterwards the anatomy is active, blazon Hello .NET into the TextBox and bang the Button on the form. The Label ascendancy is abounding with the capacity of the TextBox.

You additionally set some backdrop in the form, such as MinimumSize, MaximumSize, AutoScroll, and StartPosition. Aback the appliance starts, the anatomy shows up in the average of the screen. If you now resize the form, you’ll see that it can alone abound to a assertive admeasurement and compress to a assertive size. This is a air-conditioned affection that wasn’t in Beheld Basic 6. The bigger-than-life affection is AutoScroll. If you resize the anatomy and the controls can’t abide visible, scrollbars arise automatically. Figure 3.7 demonstrates AutoScroll in action.

Figure 3.7 The AutoScroll acreage for a anatomy in action.

You can bang the X in the upper-right of the anatomy to aing the anatomy and get aback to the designer.

NOTE

When you’re in the chip development ambiance (IDE) and press the F5 key to run the application, you’re in Debug mode. In Debug mode, the appliance is active and you acquire admission to all the debugging appearance in Beheld Studio .NET that you apprentice about on Day 7, “Exceptions, Debugging, and Tracing.” Aback you stop debugging, by closing the capital anatomy that is active or beat the Stop on on the Debug toolbar, you go aback to Design time. So, aback you’re autograph an appliance in the Beheld Studio .NET IDE, you’re either in Debug approach or Design time mode. Aback the appliance is aggregate and you run it from the book system, it’s called runtime.

The AutoScroll acreage is one of abounding air-conditioned backdrop that forms and controls acquire in .NET. To see some of the new properties, chase Table 3.2 and change the agnate properties.

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Control

Property

Value

Form1

Name

frmMain

Opacity

80%

FormBorderStyle

SizeableToolWindow

SizeGripStyle

Auto

Text

Wow This Is Great!

TopMost

True

Button1

Anchor

Top, Left, Right

Cursor

Hand

FlatStyle

Flat

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BackColor

SteelBlue

Text

Click Me!

ForeColor

LightGray

Name

ClickMe

Label1

Dock

Bottom

TextAlign

BottomRight

Textbox1

CharacterCasing

Upper

MultiLine

True

AcceptsReturn

300,300

Anchor

Top, Bottom, Left, Right

Size

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292, 140

Location

28, 68

TextAlign

Right

Cursor

Cross

After you’ve afflicted the backdrop for the controls, columnist the F5 key to run the application. Figure 3.8 shows the anatomy afterwards accounting some argument in the box and resizing the form.

Figure 3.8 Active the HelloNET appliance afterwards alteration article properties.

You’ll apprehension some actual air-conditioned things accident with this form:

It is about invisible. The Opacity acreage can be set anywhere from 0% to 100%, which makes the forms see-through. Aback the TransparencyKey acreage on the anatomy is set, all controls that contain the blush set in the TransparencyKey are 100% transparent. Try it out!

Setting the Dock acreage on the Label ascendancy glues it to the basal of the form. All controls can be docked in Windows Forms.

Setting the Anchor acreage automatically resizes the control aback the anatomy is resized. This is automatic, and every ascendancy in Windows Forms can be anchored. No added resize code!

The ScrollBars are no best there. Because the Anchor and Dock backdrop are set on the form, there’s no charge to scroll—the controls consistently resize aural the apprenticed of the form.

The Cursor acreage is calmly afflicted for all controls in Windows Forms. This enables you to adapt the attending and feel for anniversary control aback the abrasion hovers over it.

The argument in the Textbox is UPPERCASE, and the words affectation from appropriate to left. You can use the Enter key central the Textbox. Ambience the CharacterCasing, AcceptsReturn, and TextAlign backdrop acquiesce complete customization of the Textbox control.

The anatomy stays on top of all added accessible applications. Appliance this property in affiliation with the Opacity acreage can accord you some great options for always-open, nonintrusive applications.

Besides authoritative a anatomy that has no absolute use, the ambition of ambience the backdrop for the controls on the anatomy was to acquaint you to some of the acknowledgment appearance of Windows Forms. Aback you afflicted backdrop such as Anchor, Dock, Cursor, and TextAlign, you abstruse that the Backdrop window options are beheld and accessible to use. In accession to the abounding new backdrop advancing from a Beheld Basic 6 environment, appliance the Backdrop window is easier than ever. As usual, the description for anniversary acreage is still arresting on the lower allocation of the Backdrop window, so you don’t charge to columnist the F1 key for advice aback you’re not abiding about a property’s functionality.

TIP

Hopefully, you see the ability of Windows Forms. The Opacity property acclimated in affiliation with the TransparencyKey acreage has a abundant use if you’re a adviser or a aggregation accouterment audience software. You can absolutely accomplish the form, or controls on the form, abandon afore the viewer’s eyes by appliance the backdrop correctly.

Let’s say you acquire 20-day audience software and afterwards the 30 days, the user charge acquirement the abounding version. Anniversary day, starting with day 1, you could reduce the Opacity acreage by 5%. By the 20th day, the appliance would be absolutely invisible, so the user has to pay the money for the abounding version. If you’re a adviser and you’re afraid about accepting paid, just about change the Backcolor of controls to the same TransparencyKey color. Aback you do so, the controls become transparent, authoritative it arise that abstracts is disappearing. Afterwards the chump pays up, you can adapt the cipher to be added user-friendly!

Now that you acquire your anxiety wet with the IDE, you can apprentice about how the applications you address appliance Windows Forms absolutely work.

NOTE

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When alive with controls on a form, you can baddest assorted controls with the Ctrl bang combination. Afterwards you’ve called assorted controls, you can set backdrop on all the called controls at the aforementioned time. You can also use Shift bang to baddest assorted controls, aloof like you would in Windows Explorer to baddest assorted files.

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