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Posted 12 Apr 2009

How to create a transparent control in VB 2008

, 12 Apr 2009
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How to create a transparent control in VB 2008


This article provides the code required to implement control transparency in VB 2008.


The transparency option in VB 2008 is not as useful as it could be because the Transparency setting causes the application to hide all of the graphics under the control, all the way through to the form background.

Using the code

The code provided below can be copied directly into your project. It works by using the “CopyFromScreen” method of the Graphics object to copy a snapshot of the screen area directly behind the given control into a bitmap. This bitmap is then assigned as the BackImage of the control.

Public Sub SetBackgroundTransparent(ByRef theCtl As Control)

    'This routine makes a control appear to be transparent
    'Transparency in VB2008 is implemented in a bit of an odd way. 
    'When the backcolor is set to Transparent, the control 
    'erases everything behind it except the form
    'so if you have a number of layered controls, 
    'you appear to see a "hole" in the display
    'This routine works by taking a snapshot of the area behind 
    'the control and copying this as a bitmap to the
    'backimage of the control.
    'The control isn't truly transparent, but it appears to be.

    'Incoming variable:  the control to be made transparent

    Dim intSourceX As Integer
    Dim intSourceY As Integer
    Dim intBorderWidth As Integer
    Dim intTitleHeight As Integer
    Dim bmp As Bitmap
    Dim MyGraphics As Graphics

    'get the X and Y corodinates of the control, 
    'allowing for the border and titlebar dimensions
    intBorderWidth = (Me.Width - Me.ClientRectangle.Width) / 2
    intTitleHeight = ((Me.Height - (2 * intBorderWidth)) - _

    intSourceX = Me.Left + intBorderWidth + theCtl.Left

    intSourceY = Me.Top + intTitleHeight + intBorderWidth + theCtl.Top

    'Hide the control otherwise we end up getting a snapshot of the control
    theCtl.Visible = False

    'Give the UI some time to hide the control

    'Take a snapshot of the screen in the region behind the control 
    bmp = New Bitmap(theCtl.Width, theCtl.Height)
    MyGraphics = Graphics.FromImage(bmp)
    MyGraphics.CopyFromScreen(intSourceX, intSourceY, 0, 0, bmp.Size)

    'use this clip as a the back image of the label
    theCtl.BackgroundImageLayout = ImageLayout.None
    theCtl.BackgroundImage = bmp
    'show the control with its new backimage
    theCtl.Visible = True
    'Give the UI some time to show the control

End Sub


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


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Comments and Discussions

QuestionCopyFromScreen Pin
Nuha Toma17-Sep-10 13:12
memberNuha Toma17-Sep-10 13:12 
GeneralGreat Works Pin
kisukortechai28-Apr-10 4:09
memberkisukortechai28-Apr-10 4:09 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
BooGhost9-Oct-09 9:55
memberBooGhost9-Oct-09 9:55 
GeneralMy vote of 2 Pin
Zaegra21-Apr-09 20:21
memberZaegra21-Apr-09 20:21 
GeneralRe: My vote of 2 Pin
Puzzler9923-Apr-09 17:45
memberPuzzler9923-Apr-09 17:45 
GeneralRe: My vote of 2 Pin
a codeproject fan21-Sep-09 19:22
membera codeproject fan21-Sep-09 19:22 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Dean Moe15-Apr-09 17:01
memberDean Moe15-Apr-09 17:01 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
unlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:37
memberunlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:37 
AnswerRe: My vote of 1 [modified] Pin
Dean Moe17-Apr-09 12:37
memberDean Moe17-Apr-09 12:37 
GeneralYour explanation of Color.Transparent... Pin
Dave Kreskowiak14-Apr-09 9:02
mvpDave Kreskowiak14-Apr-09 9:02 
GeneralRe: Your explanation of Color.Transparent... Pin
unlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:47
memberunlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:47 
GeneralRe: Your explanation of Color.Transparent... Pin
Dave Kreskowiak17-Apr-09 10:57
mvpDave Kreskowiak17-Apr-09 10:57 
GeneralYou are a god Pin
Daniele Di Sarli12-Apr-09 4:10
memberDaniele Di Sarli12-Apr-09 4:10 
GeneralRe: You are a god Pin
unlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:42
memberunlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:42 
GeneralToo short Pin
Jouketje12-Apr-09 3:22
memberJouketje12-Apr-09 3:22 
GeneralRe: Too short Pin
Gandalf713-Apr-09 15:36
memberGandalf713-Apr-09 15:36 
GeneralRe: Too short Pin
Jouketje14-Apr-09 4:49
memberJouketje14-Apr-09 4:49 
GeneralRe: Too short [modified] Pin
unlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:44
memberunlistedemail24@gmail.com17-Apr-09 6:44 

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