ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Computers & Software

How to Develop Fullscreen or Skinned Visual Basic (VB) .Net Application Without DirectX

Updated on November 15, 2012

Set FormBorderStyle to None

Set WindowState to Maximized

Set StartPosition to Manual

Set ControlBox to False

Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) series have always been one of the most favorable software development tools for quite a large number of people. The fact that it is fairly easy to use is one thing that makes it preferable compared to other software development tools people can avail these days. However, this does not necessarily mean that the Visual Basic series are perfect in everything when it comes to programming.

As a matter of fact, even the latest installment which is the Visual Basic .Net is not so convenient to use if what the developers want is to develop some full screen or skinned applications. It is true that developers can always call DirectX Windows API (Application Programming Interface) to achieve that goal. One of the elements of DirectX is the DirectDraw which seems to be what is necessary for developing a full screen or a skinned application. However, not every single programmer – including you perhaps – out there will probably want to go through all the hassles that may occur for calling the Windows API.

Fortunately, there are quite a few things that can be done to accomplish the goal of developing either a full screen or a skinned VB .Net application without the need of using DirectX at all. First, let’s take a look at how to develop a full screen application. The techniques that are about to be discussed here apply to Visual Basic 2008 and Visual Basic 2010. By chance, they may also apply to Microsoft Visual Basic 2005. In this case, the techniques apply to the development of Windows forms application.

Developing a Full Screen Application

In order to develop a full screen application, what you will have to look at is the FormBorderStyle property of the application form. The default value of this property is normally ‘Sizable’. However, to make the application run in full screen, it is necessary to change this value to ‘None’. This will cause the form to look like a simple rectangle without any control box or caption.

As you can see from the image to the right, changing the FormBorderStyle gives you a new look of the application form. The next step, then, is the final step that will give your application a full-screen look. What you need to do is to change the value of the WindowState property of your application form. The default value is ‘Normal’ and you will have to change it to ‘Maximized’.

When you try to run the application afterwards, you will see that it runs in full screen mode. However, you may also want to do some more modifications. That said, you may want to change the value of the StartPosition property of the form from ‘WindowsDefaultLocation’ – which is the default value – to ‘Manual’ to make sure that your full screen application always starts from the left topmost section of your screen.

In addition to that, if you want to make sure that the users of your application can minimize, maximize or close your application only using the buttons and codes you provided instead of the ones in the control box, you will have to change the value of the ControlBox property to ‘false’. You may wonder why you should do this but, believe me, you may need to do this in some cases.

However, keep in mind that you will have to provide a way for your application users to at least be able to exit your application because they won’t be able to use Alt+F4 in this case. You won’t probably have to provide a way for them to minimize or maximize the application but exiting is always necessary.

Just for your information, you can make everything mentioned above simpler by simply adding codes on the sub Form1_Load as follow (assuming that you use the default form name which is Form1):

Me.FormBorderStyle = Windows.Forms.FormBorderStyle.None

Me.WindowState = FormWindowState.Maximized

Me.StartPosition = FormStartPosition.Manual

Me.ControlBox = False

Developing a Skinned Application

In order to develop a skinned VB .Net application, you will also have to do the steps described above. However, you should not maximize the form and you are not ought to change the starting position of your application form either.

You will have to keep in mind that in developing a skinned Visual Basic .Net application, you need to adjust the size of your application form so that it matches the size of the image you are about to use as the skin of your application. Yes, skin is in fact made of image or a number of images.

Yet, before you adjust the size of your form, you need to manipulate the base image for the skin in advance. You can usually do this with an image editor application such as Adobe Photoshop or – if you prefer a freeware – GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). Using the lasso tool provided in such an image editor, you will be able to cut the image following the texture of the objects in the image that you want to use for your skin. With the lasso tool, you can get rid of the rectangular borders.

Then, when you have acquired the perfect base image for your application skin, you will have to set the value of the BackgroundImage property of your form to the file of the skin image. In addition to that, you will also have to set the value of the TransparencyKey property of your application form to a color that is not likely to interfere with any colors you may need for your application skin.

Those are the steps necessary to develop a full screen or skinned application using the Microsoft Visual Basic .Net IDE (Integrated Development Environment) without even having to call the DirectX Windows API. Better yet, you won't even have to spend a cent out of your pocket for a third party skin maker application.

© 2011 Richie Setiawan. All rights reserved worldwide.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)