Chapter 7. Using RichTextBoxes

The TextBox control lets the user enter text and that's about it. It can display its text in different colors and fonts, but it cannot give different pieces of text different properties. The TextBox is intended to let the user enter a simple string, like a name or street address, and little more.

The RichTextBox is a much more powerful control. It can display different pieces of text with different colors, fonts, and styles. It can adjust paragraph indentation and make bulleted lists. It can even include pictures. It's not as powerful as a full-featured word processor, such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice's Writer, but it can produce a much more sophisticated result than the TextBox.

In this lesson you learn more about the RichTextBox control and how to use it. You have a chance to experiment with the control, and you use it to add enough functionality to the SimpleEdit program to finally make the program useful.

USING RICHTEXTBOX PROPERTIES

To change the appearance of the text inside a RichTextBox, you first select the text that you want to change, and then you set one of the control's properties to modify the text.

To select the text, you use the control's SelectionStart and SelectionLength properties to indicate where the text begins and how many letters it includes. Note that the letters are numbered starting with 0. (In fact, almost all numbering starts with 0 in Visual Basic.) For example, setting SelectionStart = 0 and SelectionLength = 1 selects ...

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