Part 5: Customizing Outlook in VB.NET

Creation QR Code in VB.NET Part 5: Customizing Outlook

Part 5: Customizing Outlook
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Designing and Using Forms Tip
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Work with the users of the form You can place any number of controls on a form, but it s a good idea to plan your form with an eye toward usability. Work closely with those individuals who will be using the form to ensure that it corresponds to their real needs. Find out how the users want the forms to be laid out, and listen to their suggestions about how the information should flow. No matter how much work you put into your solution, it won t be useful unless the users embrace it.
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You can resize, move, or rename a control, and you can change a number of its properties. To resize the control, select the control (by clicking it) and place your pointer over one of the control handlers, which are represented by small boxes. When a small arrow appears, you can drag the handlers in the appropriate direction to resize the control. To move a control to a new location, simply drag it. Notice that the form canvas is covered with a grid. Each point on the grid is a possible location for a corner or other relevant point on a control. You can define the distances between the points on this grid. This is important, because the greater the scale of the grid (the greater the distance between points on the grid), the fewer places you can locate a control on your form. Conversely, the smaller the scale, the more you can refine the positioning of your controls. To change the grid, follow these steps:
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1 Choose Form, Set Grid Size. 2 Type a number for the height and width spacing. 3 Click OK.
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The smaller the number you use for spacing, the smaller the scale. This means that more points on the grid will appear, and you can have more control over where your objects fit on the grid. The default is 8, but 3 is a good number to choose for greater positioning control.
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Inside Out
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Limiting controls on your forms When you re using controls on forms, you can be tempted to make one form do too much. Although there s no precise limit for the number of controls that can be included on one form, the recommendation is using fewer than 300. However, experience with custom forms development suggests that even 200 is excessive. You should try to keep the num ber of controls down to a few dozen or so when possible. Forms that try to do too much usually become confusing to users, and they often do not perform as well. Keeping your forms focused and giving them a crisp design make them easier to code and debug, too. If you find that your form is overloaded, consider creating a COM add-in to allow a broader application context.
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24
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Part 5: Customizing Outlook
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Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 Inside Out
Properties
Controls have a number of properties that you can view and modify. To find out what these properties are, right-click a control and choose Properties from the shortcut menu to display the Properties dialog box. Figure 24-8 shows a Properties dialog box for a text box control.
Figure 24-8. You can use the Properties dialog box to modify the properties of a control.
Display
The Display tab of a control s Properties dialog box (refer to Figure 24-8, for example) shows the most commonly used properties of the particular control. Changing the setting of a prop erty in this dialog box enables the Apply button; clicking Apply or OK sets the value of that property for the selected control. Tip
If you re unsure about the purpose of a property shown in the Properties dialog box, click the question mark button at the top of the dialog box, and then click the property to display a brief description of it.
The default names of controls are rather generic, such as TextBox1 or CheckBox1. You ll want to change these to names that are more descriptive for your solution, such as txtFirstName or chkHasVacation.
You can learn more about naming conventions for controls by visiting Microsoft s MSDN Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp URL=/library/devprods/vs6/vbasic/vbcon98/ vbconcodingconventionsoverview.htm. 24
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