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Tip of the Day
Language: Visual Basic
Expertise: Beginner
Aug 28, 1998

Draw Complex Shapes

You can create complex shapes easily if you have a copy of Microsoft PowerPoint, CorelDraw, or any other graphics editor. Using your graphic editor's drawing tools, draw the shape you want in the presentation document. PowerPoint features a wide range of drawing tools and autoshapes that let you combine a variety of basic shapes and styles into complex images that you can fill, shade, or rotate to any angle.

When you're satisfied with your complex shape, choose Select from the Edit menu, and Copy from the Edit menu in PowerPoint. You can also save the image as a Windows metafile from packages that support that option. Switch tasks to your VB IDE, add an Image control to the active form, and paste the metafile that was copied from PowerPoint into the Image.

When you want to draw the stored shape in your running VB application, assign the metafile from the Image control to the destination drawing object:

 picDraw.Picture = imgMetafile.Picture

Use drag-and-drop to copy the image from the source control to the drop target control. All scaling and drawing is handled automatically. You don't need to set the ScaleMode property of your destination object. You can use this technique when you want to decorate forms with complex shapes or create a Balloon Help form, a process control modeling application in which the images represent the elements of the production flow, or a flow-chart application.

Rob Parsons,
 
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