Make the Background of Your RichTextBox Controls Transparent

If you plan to require Windows 2000 for your application, you can make your standard VB RichTextBox control 100-percent transparent with a few simple API calls. To try this tip, create a new project (or use an existing one), add a RichTextBox control, and add this code and these declarations in a standard module:

 Option Explicit' Win32 APIs.Private Declare Function GetWindowLong _	Lib "user32" Alias "GetWindowLongA" _	(ByVal hWnd As Long, _	ByVal nIndex As Long) As LongPrivate Declare Function SetWindowLong _	Lib "user32" Alias "SetWindowLongA" _	(ByVal hWnd As Long, ByVal nIndex As Long, _	ByVal dwNewLong As Long) As LongPrivate Declare Function SetWindowPos Lib "user32" _	(ByVal hWnd As Long, ByVal hWndInsertAfter As _	Long, ByVal X As Long, ByVal Y As Long, _	ByVal cx As Long, ByVal cy As Long, _	ByVal wFlags As Long) As Long		' Style bits.Private Const GWL_EXSTYLE As Long = (-20)Private Const WS_EX_TRANSPARENT As Long = &H20' Force total redraw that shows new styles.Private Const SWP_FRAMECHANGED = &H20Private Const SWP_NOMOVE = &H2Private Const SWP_NOZORDER = &H4Private Const SWP_NOSIZE = &H1Public Function Transparent(ByVal hWnd As Long, _	Optional ByVal Value As Boolean = True) As _	Boolean	Dim nStyle As Long	Const swpFlags As Long = _		SWP_FRAMECHANGED Or SWP_NOMOVE Or _		SWP_NOZORDER Or SWP_NOSIZE	' Get current style bits.	nStyle = GetWindowLong(hWnd, GWL_EXSTYLE)	' Set new bits as desired.	If Value Then		nStyle = nStyle Or WS_EX_TRANSPARENT	Else		nStyle = nStyle And Not WS_EX_TRANSPARENT	End If	Call SetWindowLong(hWnd, GWL_EXSTYLE, nStyle)	' Force redraw using new bits.	SetWindowPos hWnd, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, swpFlags	' Make sure new style took.	Transparent = _		(GetWindowLong(hWnd, GWL_EXSTYLE) = nStyle)End FunctionYou can use this function to toggle the transparency of your RichTextBox controls at will:Private Sub Check1_Click()	Call Transparent(RichTextBox1.hWnd, _		(Check1.Value = vbChecked))End Sub

To be on the safe side, check the OS version before making these calls, as the effects can be rather unpleasant in the wrong environment.

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