vb.net print barcode free CREATING THE WINDOWS FORMS USER INTERFACE in Visual C#.NET

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CREATING THE WINDOWS FORMS USER INTERFACE
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Table 7.1 Member Size TabIndex TabStop Text Top
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Control members (continued) Description A public instance property which specifies the width and height of the control A public instance property which specifies the tab order of the control within its container A public instance property which specifies whether the user can give the input focus to the control using the TAB key A public instance property which specifies the text displayed on the control A public instance property which specifies the y-coordinate of a control s top edge in pixels A protected instance method which can be overridden to process native Windows messages, (see example later in this chapter)
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WndProc()
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These are just a few of the many properties, methods, and events associated with controls, and inherited by forms. The good news is that you often need to use just a handful of these members to get the job done. For example, with a form, you may only need to set its Location and Size properties. For more complex controls, you may want to handle mouse activity, drag-drop events, keyboard entries, enabling, disabling, hiding, and showing the control, and so forth. The .NET SDK comes with extensive help documentation where you can find the full list of more than 300 properties, methods, and events associated with Windows Forms controls. 7.2.3 The ScrollableControl class Returning to figure 7.3, we see that next in the inheritance hierarchy comes ScrollableControl. Unlike buttons and list boxes, a form is a scrollable control which means that it supports auto scrolling. The ScrollableControl class contains the public instance boolean AutoScroll property which determines whether the container will allow the user to scroll to controls placed outside its visible boundary. Listing 7.4 illustrates.
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Listing 7.4 Coding a scrollable form
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// file : scrollform.cs // compile : csc /t:winexe scrollform.cs using System; using System.Drawing; using System.Windows.Forms; namespace MyForms { public class ScrollForm : Form { public static void Main(string[] args) { ScrollForm f = new ScrollForm();
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THE WINDOWS FORMS PROGRAMMING MODEL
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f.AutoScroll = false; f.Text = "AutoScroll Off";
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// switch off AutoScroll
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if (args.Length > 0) if (args[0].ToLower() == "/autoscroll") { f.AutoScroll = true; // switch on AutoScroll f.Text = "AutoScroll On"; } Application.Run(f); } public ScrollForm() { Width = 200; Height = 200; Button b = new Button(); b.Location = new Point(10, 10); b.Size = new Size(300, 30); b.Text = "My Button"; Controls.Add(b); } } }
In this example, we make the button deliberately too wide for the form. If we run the program with the /autoscroll switch, the form automatically displays a horizontal scroll bar, as shown in figure 7.5. 7.2.4 The ContainerControl class Finally, a form is a ContainerControl. This means that a form can act as a container for other controls. Because of this, a form can manage the input focus for Figure 7.5 contained controls by capturing the TAB key and moving A scrollable form the focus to the next control in the collection. It can retrieve and set its active control using the ContainerControl.ActiveControl property. 7.2.5 The Form class As we ve seen, a form inherits additional functionality at each level of the inheritance tree shown in figure 7.3. In addition, the Form class itself adds further form-specific members. These include properties, methods, and events that manage a main menu, support Multiple Document Interface (MDI) forms, position the form on the screen, set an icon for the form, and so forth. We ll use many of these members in the following sections.
CREATING THE WINDOWS FORMS USER INTERFACE
Let s further explore Windows Forms by implementing a comprehensive GUI for our poker application. In doing so, we ll see a practical example of a moderately complex Windows Forms application.
WINPOK: THE W INDOWS FORMS-BASED POKER GAME
WINPOK: THE WINDOWS FORMS-BASED
POKER GAME
We return to our case study now and create a fully functional GUI for our poker game. This will be the first version that can honestly be called video poker. The GUI will approximately resemble a casino poker machine and allow the user to interact with the game using buttons, check boxes, and menus. We ll also use a set of 52 GIF images to display the cards. The WinPok program structure Listing 7.5 presents an outline of the structure of the WinPok application. The completed program will run to almost 600 lines of code, so we won t be able to show the full listing here. (Refer to appendix C for the full listing.) Luckily, we have our prebuilt poker.dll to provide the brain for the game. So our task is confined to creating the required code to build the Windows Forms GUI. In the process, you should get a good grounding in the techniques of Windows Forms-based programming.
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