MessageBoxManager is a Windows Forms component that you can drag
& drop into a Windows Forms project's main form, and it gives you enhanced
message box functionality without forcing you to change your existing calls to
any of the
MessageBox.Show() overloads. It supports various
features such as an auto-closing message-box, such as the one shown in the
animated GIF below. Note how the OK button is disabled during the count down,
and gets enabled at the end of it. You can also see a Show this dialog
again check box that has been added to the message-box. Once again, note
you don't have to change your existing code that uses
or even code that P/Invokes the
MessageBoxIndirect API function calls.
Other features include the ability to force a custom icon (over a default
one), and this can be seen in the screenshots on top of this page, as well as
the ability to set a custom font. When you set a custom font, the message-box
and its child controls are expanded to adjust to the increase in font size. Note
that, if you use injudicious font-sizes, you'll get unexpected results. The
stretch algorithm assumes that the custom font size is within a reasonable range
of values. Here's a screenshot that shows a custom font in action.
Using the class
Using the class is pretty straightforward as shown in the screenshot above.
Just add the component to your toolbox, and drag & drop it into your main form.
Only one instance of component should be used per application per thread.
If you have a secondary thread that owns UI (such as a form for instance), that
thread will need to have a separate instance of the
component, and when the instance in the secondary thread is active, that in the
primary thread *must be* temporarily disabled. Attempting to use multiple
MessageBoxManager objects from multiple threads or even from
one thread will result in unexpected behavior and possibly affect program
execution. The component consists entirely of properties (there are no instance
methods outside of the compiler generated default constructor), and each of
these properties can be directly set using the VS 2005 properties window (as in
the above screenshot). The next section will quickly cover the functionality
provided by each of these properties.
bool HookEnabled : Enables and disables the
extended message box functionality. If this is
message-boxes will function as normal.
int TimeOut : This specifies the time-out
in seconds that is used by the auto-close, button-disable, and
bool AutoClose : Set this to
to close the message-box automatically after the number of seconds specified
TimeOut property has elapsed.
DialogResult AutoCloseResult : When the
AutoClose property is set, you can specify a
via this property that will be seen by the calling code (that invoked the
bool ShowTitleCountDown : If set to
true, the title will show a count down and at the end of it,
the original text will be restored.
bool DisableButtons : If set to
, during the count down (if any), all buttons except the Cancel
button (if it's present) are disabled. Buttons are re-enabled when the count
down has finished.
bool DisableCancel : If set to
, the Cancel button (if present) will be disabled if the
property is also
true. This property has no effect if the
bool CenterWindow : If
the message-box is centered on its parent.
bool ShowNextTimeCheck : If this is set
true, a check box will be shown that prompts the user
whether the dialog should be shown the next time. The message-box is resized
to fit in this check box. The status of the check box is retrieved using the
bool LastCheckState : This returns the
check state of the last message-box that was shown with a show-again check
box. If you change the
be aware that this property will continue will hold whatever value it had
Font TextFont : You can set a custom
font for the message-box and its controls, including the buttons. Use this
feature with some basic sense of sagacity. The message-box is expanded to
accomodate for the change in font-size (if any).
Icon CustomIcon : Set this to
to forcibly replace the message-box icon (if there's one
present) with a custom icon. Note that all icons are blindly replaced if
this property is
This is handy if you want to show your product icon on all message-boxes
shown from your application.
- Feb 18 2006 - First version