Form Controls

The Tools toolbar and Tools (Advanced) toolbars are used with Forms to create Windows standard user interface controls. These toolbars are enabled when a Form is the active window. Forms are used to provide user interfaces to scripts, to view tables and for other functions within Manifold.


Very Important: Common ActiveX controls for forms are available only for use with scripting in Manifold System running in 32-bit mode. Common ActiveX controls for forms are not available when Manifold is running in 64-bit mode in 64-bit Windows systems. See the 32-bit and 64-bit Manifold Editions topic when running 64-bit Manifold System editions.


To add a control to a form, click open the form and then click on the control desired. Click and drag within the form to create the control in that location at the given size. Then, right-click on the control and set its properties as desired. When controls have been created in a form they may be rearranged as desired, aligned neatly and otherwise edited as described in Editing Forms . Manifold's built-in forms editing uses Visual Studio style mouse moves coupled with the Selection toolbar and other cool Manifold methods.


As in Visual Studio language form creation, the tab order of controls is set by default by the order in which they were created. This may be adjusted at will by right clicking and choosing move up, etc.


Sources of Controls


Manifold can use any ActiveX control within scripts. There are several classes of controls that have been provided by or that may be used within Manifold.


·      Frequently used controls are hosted on the Tools toolbar .

·      Advanced controls are hosted on the Tools (Advanced) toolbar .

·      Numerous accessory controls are provided in various .ocx collections installed by Manifold for your use.

·      Manifold scripts can use controls found in any .ocx installed on your machine by other applications, for example, by Microsoft Office 2000.

·      Numerous freeware and shareware ActiveX controls are available for free download via Internet.

·      Many vendors sell collections of ActiveX controls for special purposes.


Manifold installs the full set of standard, redistributable controls shipped by Microsoft with Visual Studio Enterprise Edition, plus all standard, redistributable controls made available by Microsoft to its ISV partners via the Microsoft Developer Network. Users of Manifold's Visual Basic Scripting system therefore have the same access to redistributable controls as do developers working at the highest level with these professional-quality Microsoft tools.


Manifold includes everything you need to create new programs within Manifold in Visual Basic scripting or Javascript using the above controls. There is no need to purchase Visual Studio or any extra language. Of course, if you do have Visual Studio and tools such as Visual C++ and Visual Basic you can use those as well. We highly recommend Visual Studio for professional development: it is the environment within which Manifold itself was created using Visual C++.


Documentation for Controls


One major advantage of using Microsoft technology is the ease with which standard controls may be included within an application such as Manifold. A major benefit to the use of standard controls is the wide availability of comprehensive reference texts devoted to Visual Basic programming using those controls. The team has included many very sophisticated controls within Manifold for your use. These are not documented in detail, since doing justice to the power and flexibility of these controls requires a dedicated text. Programmers using these controls should have at hand one of the many excellent texts on programming in Visual Basic that covers the various controls in detail. This documentation only covers those properties (in brief) that may be set at design time via the control's Properties dialog.


To give an idea of the comprehensive power of the controls included in Manifold, we have included a summary listing of run time properties in the RichTextBox control topic together with a summary listing of this control's methods. The RichTextBox control may be used to create a full-featured, professional quality word processor within a Manifold script, if so desired. Because it is a data bound control, a more frequent use in a GIS environment might be to create elaborate forms, reports, or other richly-formatted documents that automatically load text data from a variety of external data sources.


Properties pages for some controls will feature an enabled Help button. The Help button is linked to Microsoft Help for these Microsoft controls. If you have a Microsoft programming environment and associated Help documentation (like MSDN) installed, the Help button will launch the appropriate Microsoft Help topic. If you do not have a Microsoft programming environment with Help for these standard Microsoft controls, the Help button will not be able to launch any help pages.


Frequently Used Controls





Insert Check Box - Inserts check box controls.


Insert Option Button - Inserts option button controls. Only one option button in a group may be selected.


Insert Command Button - Inserts command button controls.


Insert Frame - Draws frame with caption. Frames are used to set off groups of controls, often option buttons.


Insert Text Box - Inserts text box. Also called an edit field or edit control. This control can display text entered by the programmer at design time or entered by the user or assigned to the control by other code at run time.


Insert Static Text Box - Add a customized text box.


Insert List Box - Inserts list box controls.


Insert Combo Box - Inserts combo box controls.


Insert Horizontal Scroll Bar - Inserts horizontal scroll bar controls.


Insert Vertical Scroll Bar - Inserts vertical scroll bar controls.


Advanced Controls





Insert Animation - Plays silent .avi files to create dialog effects like the sheet of paper that flies between folders in the Windows copy progress dialog. Can also play silent .avi files dropped onto the control. Manifold provides 19 cool Windows dialog .avi files to get started.


Insert Chart - Inserts a chart control.


Insert Image List - Contains a collection of images that can be used by other Windows Common Controls such as ListView, TreeView, TabStrip and Toolbar controls, as well as with other controls with a Picture property. Saves development time by maintaining all images in a standard, consistent catalog of images.


Insert Image Combo Box - Similar to standard combo but with ability to include pictures with each item in the list portion of the combo, with special facilities for list management.


Insert Date / Time Picker - Displays date and/or time info and provides an interface for modifying date and time. Dropdown menu provides a MonthView calendar.


Insert Month View - An easy way to view and set date information using a monthly calendar. Can select one or multiple dates or show up to 12 months at a time.


Insert List View - Displays data as ListItem objects with an optional icon. Four different views provide data as icons, small icons, a list or a report. A sophisticated control.


Insert Progress Bar - Create a progress bar display that can be used to show the progress of a process.


Insert Masked Text Box - Used to prompt users for input using a fixed format specified by a mask pattern, for example, a telephone number in a specified format. If a mask pattern is not used, this control behaves about the same as a standard text box.


Insert Rich Text Box - Allows entry and editing of text using advanced formatting features, such as paragraph formatting with left and right indents, hanging indents, bold and italic font and so on. Also supports object embedding using the OLEObjects collection. Write your own word processor or create elaborate forms for users.


Insert Slider - Insert a slider bar control that can be moved left and right.


Insert Tree View - Insert a hierarchical tree display. Designed to display data such as organization trees, entries in an index, files and directories on disk, etc.


Insert UpDown - Insert an increment/decrement control, also called spin buttons.


Insert Tab Strip - Insert a tabbed control where clicking on each tab brings it to the fore.


Insert Picture Clip - Inserts a picture clip.


Insert Multimedia Control - Manages Media Control Interface (MCI) devices like sound boards, MIDI sequencers, CD-ROM drives, audio players, videodisc players, etc. Add voice note recording to your dialog, or play spoken announcements.


Insert Status Bar - Insert a status bar like those at the bottom of many program windows. Complete with a nearly infinite set of properties for the intrepid programmer.


Insert Tool Bar - Insert a toolbar at the top of the form that hosts buttons or other controls. Yet another control with a vast array of properties.


Insert Cool Bar - Requires installation of Internet Explorer 3.0 or greater. Provides a modern, "railbar" look and the ability to create (get this!) user configurable toolbars like those in IE.


Insert Common Dialog Control - Provides a standard set of Windows dialog boxes for opening and saving files and selecting colors and fonts. Can also display Help.


Insert System Info Control - Detects system events such as desktop resizing, resolution changes, time changes. Also provides operating system platform and version information and changes in AC/battery power status and Plug/Play hardware configuration. Used when writing applications for portable devices (GIS in the field) and for developing info for your tech support team.


Insert ActiveX Control - Insert any ActiveX control available on this system.


Other Controls


Other controls from the various .ocx files registered on the system are available for your use. These include such cool controls such as Internet controls, winsock, comm controls and other fun objects that will dazzle your users and make your competitors regret they are not using Manifold.


Use the Insert ActiveX Control button in the Tools (Advanced) toolbar to draw a rectangle in the Form where the control should be placed. A dialog will pop-up showing all controls that are registered for use on this system from which the control may be selected.