Every well designed commercial windows application needs a good splash window to display the name of the application, company details, copy right notice and other contact information. The same window can be displayed as an About box.
The images below show the CuteSplash example in action. The main window in the example is only a dummy window with no functionality and is used only to show how the Splash Window works.
TransparencyKey properties of a
Form are used to build the
SplashWindow class. When building the form it is important that the background of the image or the Form should be set to the color used to set the
TransparencyKey to make parts of form invisible ! Also set the
FormBorderStyle property to
A thread is kicked off on
Load event of
SplashWindow to make this class independent and reusable. A Close button is added to the form to kill the window. The
Click event on the button will just flag the thread to exit. Instead of suspending the thread it is flagged to exit to get the fading effect.
Here is the relevant code.
mrEvent = new ManualResetEvent(false);
for (double i=100.0; i>=0.0; i-=5.0)
Opacity = i/100.0;
When the Close button is pressed the
ManualResetEvent is Set to signal the Event and come out of the block on
mrEvent.WaitOne() in the
private void OnClose(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
CloseBtn.Visible = false;
Opacity property is available only on Windows 2000 and Windows XP !
Extending the code
There are many ways the example given in this article can be used to enhance the splash window.
- The text can be drawn using the
Graphics.DrawString() method. Calculating the location and drawing one character at a time is a good idea (it brings life to the window).
- To add details like registration and contact information at runtime add static and edit box controls rather than drawing them.
- Since the
SplashWindow class is a stand alone reusable class the display string, duration of display and fading effect can all be parameterized to build a generic class.
I leave the rest to the imagination of the reader :-)