zebra barcode printer in vb.net 3: Interface Builder in Objective-C

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CHAPTER 3: Interface Builder
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The second part of the chapter will cover the second major role of Interface Builder (and the part that gives new developers most trouble): the way in which Interface Builder wires up the different components of your application to work together. You will create a couple of simple but complete applications. Let s get to it!
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Getting to Know the Interface Builder Environment
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To start, open a Finder window at the location where you installed Xcode Developer Tools (the default is the top-level Developer folder on your main disk). Move to the Applications subfolder and start Interface Builder. You don t need the Xcode application for this section, by the way; if it is open at the moment, close out of it. The first window you see is the Template Chooser, which provides template applications for most of the applications you are likely to want to create. Choose Application in the left panel, select the Cocoa Application template, and then click on the Choose button (see Figure 3 1).
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Figure 3 1. Template Chooser in Interface Builder
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Interface Builder opens up with a collection of five main windows (see Figure 3 2). Two of these, the main user interface window and the Menu window, are where you will make the principal layout decisions. The Inspector window, like similar windows in other applications, allows you to view and modify the settings for the different user interface elements. The Library window holds user interface components ready for you to drag into your user interface window. You ll come back to the final window, the Document window, in the second part of this chapter. For now you just need to know that the objects in this window are crucial to the way in which your user interface elements are wired up together to make a working application.
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CHAPTER 3: Interface Builder
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Figure 3 2. Main Interface Builder windows
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Let s create a few typical user interfaces and, along the way, learn more about how the various Interface Builder components work together.
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Adding Some Controls to Your User Interface
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The first interface you will build will simply contain a text field that will take a string of text, a button, and a label. The finished user interface will look like Figure 3 3. In the second half of this chapter, we will use an interface like this to create a Hello World application.
Figure 3 3. Final appearance of the Hello World application
CHAPTER 3: Interface Builder
For now, look in the Library window and make sure that the Objects tab is selected. Open up the tree structure under Cocoa Views & Cells Inputs & Values and find the two entries for Label and Text Field. Drag one of each over to your main user interface window. Now look under Cocoa Views & Cells Buttons. Drag a Push Button into the window. Your window should look like Figure 3 4.
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Figure 3 4. Main interface window after adding controls
Positioning and Aligning Controls and Windows
Notice the dotted lines in Figure 3 4. Interface Builder has some nice features for aligning and setting the properties of visual elements. You ll notice that guides appear for a moment as you change the size and position of the label, button, and text fields. These are called automatic guides. They provide a good way for you to optimally position controls in the user interface. Interface Builder will also show dynamically updated guides that show you pixel distances between various points in the window just hold down the Option key while you have a control selected to see its position relative to the window and other controls. Finally, you can also add your own custom guides. Use the Layout Add Vertical Guide (or Horizontal Guide) menu (or use -Shift-|). These remain visible while you are designing your user interface but don t display when running the program. If you want to remove a custom guide, just drag it off the window. It will disappear in the customary Apple puff of smoke. While on the subject of aligning and positioning, let s take a look at the Size tab in the Inspector (Figure 3 5). Exactly what you see here depends on the object(s) you currently have selected. In Figure 3 5, the main user interface window is the selected object (to select the window, click in the title bar). Here I have set the size to 290 120 pixels. The Label, Text Field, and Button controls have all been set to 250 pixels wide.
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