Advanced Windows Forms Features

In the previous chapter, you looked at some of the controls most commonly used in Windows application development. With controls such as these, it is possible to create impressive dialogs, but very few full-scale Windows applications have a user interface consisting solely of a single dialog. Rather, these applications use a Single Document Interface (SDI) or a Multiple Document Interface (MDI). Applications of either of these types usually make heavy use of menus and tool-bars, neither of which were discussed in the previous chapter, but I'll make amends for that now.

This chapter begins where the last left off, by looking at controls, starting with the menu control and then moving on to toolbars, where you see how to link buttons on toolbars to specific menu items and vice versa. Then you move on to creating SDI and MDI applications, with the focus on MDI applications, because SDI applications are basically subsets of MDI applications.

So far, you've consumed only those controls that ship with the .NET Framework. These controls are, as you saw, very powerful and provide a wide range of functionality, but there are times when they are not sufficient. To overcome this, it is possible to create custom controls, and you look at how this is done toward the end of this chapter.

In this chapter, you will see how to:

  • Use three common controls to create rich-looking menus, toolbars, and status bars
  • Create MDI Applications
  • Create your own controls

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