March 4, 2021
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Windows Secrets for Visual Basic, Part 1

  • By Karl Moore
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To call Visual Studio .NET "pretty cool" is getting a little clichéd.

You know it. I know it. We've both created Web applications in minutes, figured out the power behind the .NET Framework, and read how to create a Windows service without needing to plug into the devilish delights of C++.

As the Microsoft advertisement I read this morning quite rightly points out: It'll save you thousands of development hours and position you far in front of your competitors. Unless, of course, your competitors are also using Visual Studio .NET. Which is, in fact, extremely likely.

To stay ahead of the field you need to re-figure out all those nifty little secrets you knew back in Visual Basic 6, getting back to the stage where you knew all those nooks-and-cranny tricks that only time teaches. I'm talking about those nuggets of knowledge that can save you even more time, and metamorphose you from an advanced user straight through to pure .NET expert level. And that's just what I'm going to cover in this intriguing series of twelve articles.

Over the next five months, I'll be writing an article every two weeks, sharing a few of the nuggets I'm compiling into my next book, VB.NET and ASP.NET Secrets. I'll be covering top time-taught tricks for creating Windows, ASP.NET, database, and Web service applications—and a little more, too.

In this first article, we begin our three-part look at Windows applications, exploring a few of the simpler gems that you just might not have tagged onto yet. We'll be looking at:

  • Making your form transparent
  • Figuring out who stole the ToolTips
  • Uncovering how resizing is made easy with VB.NET
  • Discovering how to create split panels, Explorer-style
  • How to save user time by adding auto-complete to combo boxes
  • The power of command-line parameters.

And, don't forget, this is the simple beginning. Over the next eleven articles, you'll find it all gets gloriously exciting.

Ready to begin?

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This article was originally published on January 21, 2003

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