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Tip of the Day
Language: VB4/32,VB5,VB6
Expertise: Intermediate
Jun 10, 2000

Clone a Font object

When you want to assign a control's Font to another control, the first obvious way is to assign the Font property directly, as in:

Set Text2.Font = Text1.Font
but in most cases this approach doesn't really work, because it assigns a reference to the same font to both controls. In other words, when you later change either control's font, also the other is affected. What you really need most often is to clone a Font object and assign to the latter control a copy of the Font object used by the former.

The simplest way to clone a font is to manually copy all the individual Font properties, as in:


Function CloneFont(Font As StdFont) As StdFont
    Set CloneFont = New StdFont
    CloneFont.Name = Font.Name
    CloneFont.Size = Font.Size
    CloneFont.Bold = Font.Bold
    CloneFont.Italic = Font.Italic
    CloneFont.Underline = Font.Underline
    CloneFont.Strikethrough = Font.Strikethrough
End Function

' example of usage
Set Text2.Font = CloneFont(Text1.Font)
If you're using VB6 you can rely on the PropertyBag object to quickly copy all Font properties back an forth. This version is more concise than the previous one and also runs twice as faster:


Function CloneFont(Font As StdFont) As StdFont
    Dim pb As New PropertyBag
    ' copy the font into a PropertyBag object
    pb.WriteProperty "Font", Font
    ' and then create a new Font object out of it
    Set CloneFont = pb.ReadProperty("Font")
End Function
But you can write even better code by using the hidden IFont interface, which is exposed by all StdFont object. This interface exposes a Clone method, which is exactly what you need. This method works in an unusual manner: it creates a cloned Font object and returns a reference to it in its only argument. This is the most concise code that you can write to leverage this feature:


Function CloneFont(Font As IFont) As StdFont
    Font.Clone CloneFont
End Function
This last version is the most concise and fastest of the three (it runs about 3 times faster than the one based on the PropertyBag object).
Francesco Balena
 
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