Chapter III.2. Building Smart Client User Interfaces

In This Chapter

Using Visual Studio to build Windows applications gives you a head start in your race against project deadlines. This chapter offers tools and techniques you can use to transform Visual Studio's out-of-the-box Windows projects into Windows applications that could make Bill Gates proud. In this chapter, you'll see most examples in VB and C#.

Building the Windows Container

As the container that holds your controls, the Windows Form is one of the most important elements in building Windows applications. The Windows Form is your application's foundation, and it's highly customizable.

This section explores some properties and controls that you can use to modify how your Windows Forms look and behave.

Setting common form properties

You can probably spot a typical Windows Form from ten paces:

  • It usually has the familiar little red Close button in its upper-right corner.

  • If it's like most windows, it has menus and toolbars.

  • It's displayed on the taskbar along the bottom of the screen.

All these features of a typical window are determined by properties. Simply turning a property on or off can give a Windows Form a complete makeover. The default Windows Form that Visual Studio creates in all new Windows projects has most of these typical properties. Some properties, such as menus, you have to set on your own.

Table 2-1 describes some common Windows Forms properties, sorted by property group.

Table 2.1. Common Windows Forms Properties ...

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