Using Standard Control Features

The Control class provides uniform management of all the standard facets of a control, including visual features such as color, caption, and typeface, dynamic features such as event handling and accessibility, and other standard behaviors such as layout management. There are two ways of using most of these features: at design time in the Windows Forms designer and at runtime from code.

The Windows Forms designer allows most of the features of a control to be configured visually at design time using the Properties tab. (Also, certain common operations can be performed directly with the mouse; for example, the position of a control can be adjusted by dragging it.) However, this visual editing simply causes the designer to generate code. It just writes a class that creates control objects and manipulates their properties. Unlike earlier Windows development environments, .NET doesn’t have dialog template resources—everything is done in code. (The strings used in a form can be stored as resources, though, to support localization.) For example, dropping a button onto a form in the designer causes the following code to be added to the form’s class definition for projects written in C#:

private System.Windows.Forms.Button button1; ... private void InitializeComponent() { ... this.button1 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button(); ... this.button1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(8, 8); this.button1.Name = "button1"; this.button1.TabIndex = 0; this.button1.Text ...

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