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Tip of the Day
Language: VB3, VB4, VB5, VB6
Expertise: Intermediate
Jun 2, 2003

Select Areas Within a Graphics Window

Graphics applications sometimes require users to select a rectangular region of a picture or drawing visually. You need to provide a resizing box manipulated by the pointer at run time that only interacts temporarily with the graphics displayed already:

Private Type TRect
	Left As Single
	Top As Single
	Right As Single
	Bottom As Single
End Type

Private mbDragging As Boolean
Private mRect As TRect

Private Sub Picture1_MouseDown(Button As Integer, _
	Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single)
	mbDragging = True
	Picture1.DrawMode = vbInvert
	With mRect
		.Left = X
		.Top = Y
		.Right = X
		.Bottom = Y
	End With
End Sub

Private Sub Picture1_MouseMove(Button As Integer, _
	Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single)
	If Not mbDragging Then Exit Sub
	With mRect
		' erase box
		Picture1.Line (.Left, .Top)-(.Right, _
			.Bottom), , B
		.Right = X
		.Bottom = Y
		' draw box
		Picture1.Line (.Left, .Top)-(X, Y), , B
	End With
End Sub

Private Sub Picture1_MouseUp(Button As Integer, _
	Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single)
	mbDragging = False
	' erase box by redrawing
	Picture1.Line (mRect.Left, _
		mRect.Top)-(mRect.Right, mRect.Bottom), , B
	Picture1.DrawMode = vbCopyPen
End Sub
By assigning vbInvert to the PictureBox DrawMode property before selection dragging, you can restore the background graphics by redrawing the same rectangle. Once the selection dragging completes, mRect contains the selected rectangle coordinates. You can use the same technique to select a circular region or create the "rubber band" effect.
James Menesez
 
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