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Posted 3 Nov 2003

A ToolBar control with special effects

, 3 Nov 2003
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ToolBar Control with special effects, inherits from the .NET ToolBar control.

Sample Image - ToolbaEx.jpg


The ToolBarEx control is actually the ToolBar control provided by the .NET framework, but with the possibility of adding effects to the selected button. The idea is to have a special effect on the selected button, just like in Internet Explorer or in Visual Studio for example.

I created 10 different effects to apply to the ToolBarEx, but it is possible to create many more with not much work.


I am not going to show here all the code for the class, since it would take a lot of space. But it is available in the source download. The idea of the code is very simple: ToolBarEx inherits from Toolbar and has all the its functions. I only added a new property, that is effect. I also have handled the MouseHover, MouseMove and MouseLeave events. When the mouse pointer goes over the toolbar, the sub calculates by the mouse position, over which button the mouse is over and then applies the effect on the button, the same thing is done when mouse moves over the toolbar.

Private Sub ToolBarEx_MouseHover(ByVal sender As Object, _
     ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.MouseHover

'btnindex is the index of the button that the mouse is over
'It is calculated using the mouse position
'didtance from mousepointer to the left of toolbar / button size
Dim btnIndex As Integer = _ 
 Int((Me.MousePosition.X - Me.Parent.Left) / (Me.Buttons(0).Rectangle.Width))
'If button selected is between 0 and last button and is
'differentthan the last button selected
End Sub

When mouse leaves the toolbar, we restore the image that was on the button when it was not selected. To restore this image, the class has an Image (lastImage) and a Button (LastButton) that keeps which button was the last selected and what image should be on it when it is not selected.

Private Sub ToolBarEx_MouseLeave(ByVal sender As Object, _
  ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.MouseLeave
'When mouse leaves the bar
'display the original image on selected button
    If Not (m_LastImage Is Nothing) Then
        If Effect = Effect.TwoIconsButton And _
          Me.Buttons(m_LastButton).ImageIndex > 0 Then
            Me.Buttons(m_LastButton).ImageIndex -= 1
            Me.ImageList.Images(Me.Buttons(m_LastButton).ImageIndex) _
                                                              = m_LastImage
        End If
        m_LastImage = Nothing
        m_LastButton = -1
    End If
End Sub

Some of the effects use auxiliary structures such as another ImageList in order to store original images when the images displayed are black and white. This auxiliary ImageList is loaded at the InitLayout event.

The Effects

Most of the effects are created with the createEffect Function in the class. This function actually takes the bitmap and goes pixel by pixel applying the style we want to. Only the twoIconsButton effect has no pixel by pixel effect, since it uses 2 different icons.

As described at the beginning, ToolBarEx has 10 different effects and they are:

  • BwToColor – Black and White To Color effect

    This effect causes the toolbar to have all buttons in black and white, except the one which is selected.

    Sample screenshot

  • ColorToBw – Color to Black and White effect

    This effect is the opposite of last one. It causes the selected button to be black and white.

    Sample screenshot

  • BlueSelection – Blue Selection effect

    Gives the selected button a blue mask.

    Sample screenshot

  • Shadow – Shadow effect

    The selected icon looks like its own shadow.

    Sample screenshot

  • Antique – Antique effect

    Kind of old movie effect.

    Sample screenshot

  • Mosaic – Mosaic effect

    Causes the selected icon to look a little different.

    Sample screenshot

  • LightsOff – Lights off effect

    The selected icon looks like it is dark.

    Sample screenshot

  • RedHot – Red Hot effect

    The selected button become hotter than the others.

    Sample screenshot

  • GuessWhat – Guess What effect

    Hides the selected icon in a blue shape.

    Sample screenshot

  • TwoIconsButton – Two Icons Button effect

    This effect allows users to select 2 different icons for the same button. One when button is selected and the other when it is not. For the first image, 0 is the unselected and 1 is the selected, 2 is the unselected for second button and 3 is selected for second button and so on...

    Note: To use this effect you have to make sure you have more icons on the ImageList than buttons on the toolbar.

Using the Control

Using the control is very simple. Just like any other .NET control, you just have to add it to your toolbox, by right-clicking on the toolbar tab. Then place the toolbar where you like it to be and set the properties just like a regular toolbar.

The only difference is that ToolBarEx has the effect property that can be changed visually or on the code.

Sample screenshot


Sample screenshot

I hope this control is helpful for use and to learn a little more about the control possibilities in .NET.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Daniel Presman
Web Developer
Brazil Brazil
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionNice but where are the simpsons images ? Pin
benjamin2317-May-08 19:18
memberbenjamin2317-May-08 19:18 
GeneralVery creative Pin
AnthonyPal6-Jan-04 9:04
memberAnthonyPal6-Jan-04 9:04 
GeneralRe: Very creative Pin
presmad7-Jan-04 0:20
memberpresmad7-Jan-04 0:20 
GeneralBinaries would be fine Pin
Martin Andert5-Nov-03 6:39
memberMartin Andert5-Nov-03 6:39 
GeneralRe: Binaries would be fine Pin
presmad5-Nov-03 23:37
memberpresmad5-Nov-03 23:37 
GeneralGood stuff with some small issues Pin
smortensen4-Nov-03 15:07
membersmortensen4-Nov-03 15:07 

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