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Tip of the Day
Language: Visual Basic
Expertise: Intermediate
Nov 5, 1999

Translate Ole_Color to Actual RGB Value

Have you ever tried to pass a VB system color constant-such as vbButtonFace-to an API call that asks for a color? I frequently need to use system colors for GDI calls, and prefer to use the VB system color constants. The problem is that GDI doesn't know what to do with them and the resultant color is always black. The solution is simple: Use the OleTranslateColor API, which takes any of these constants and converts them to literal RGB colors GDI can understand. I usually package the API in a simple wrapper as well:
 
Private Declare Function OleTranslateColor _
	Lib "oleaut32.dll" (ByVal lOleColor As Long, _
	ByVal lHPalette As Long, lColorRef As Long) _
	As LongPublic Function TranslateColor(inCol _
	As OLE_COLOR) As Long
	Dim retCol As Long
	OleTranslateColor inCol, 0&, retCol
	TranslateColor = retCol
End Function
From that point on, simply call TranslateColor() with a system color constant to get the color you need. Furthermore, if a standard RGB value is passed to TranslateColor, it returns unaltered, so you don't have to worry about whether a color value you're storing is a system constant or an actual color value.
Ben Baird
 
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