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Joel on Software

Components for rich graphics user interface?

My boss asked me to "colorize" my user interface written in Visual C#.

I mean, he wants XP-style buttons, XP-style title bar, etc.

He also wants these things to also appear on Windows 98.

Is this possible?

Is there a component library which can be used for this?

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

"If you want your application to use visual styles, you must add an application manifest (a file used during the build process to specify a certain resource) that indicates that Comctl32.dll version 6 should be used if it is available.

Unlike earlier versions of Comctl32.dll, version 6 is not redistributable. The only way you can use version 6 of the dynamic-link library (DLL) is to use an operating system that contains it." - from MSDN

So, it would probably not work on Win 98 machines. I tried it on my Win 2K Professional, and it doesn't.

Tuesday, August 5, 2003

Hi Michael,

Actual XP-rendered elements can only be used in XP, but there is a button control available at Code Project that renders simlarly in all versions of Windows:

As for the rest of the interface, I've been using DotNetBat since v1.0 and it is just awesome. Rock solid and with great support. This may be more like what your boss actually means. Yuo can even use the Office 2003 style on the interface making your app look like Office 2003 on the various OS's.

Otherwise there are plenty of other interface/menu/toolbar packages out there with better visual styles than the built-in controls.


Tuesday, August 5, 2003

The controls from Janus Systems have been the best ones that I've used. Infragistics is OK, but I wouldn't recomend them.

John Rosenberg
Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Take a look at DevExpress components

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Also, the 2004 release of the .NET Framework will contain Office-style toolbars, a web browser control, and other goodies:

Chris Nahr
Thursday, August 7, 2003

Windows Forms Controls

Magic: The User Interface Library for .NET

Thursday, August 7, 2003

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