A property is a piece of information that characterizes or describes a control. It could be related to its location or size. It could be its color, its identification, or any visual aspect that gives it meaning. The properties of an object can be changed either at design time or at run time. You can also manipulate these characteristics both at design and at run times. This means that you can set some properties at design time and some others at run time.
To manipulate the properties of a control at design time, first select it on the form. While a control is selected, use the Properties window to manipulate the properties of the control at design time. To access the Properties window if it is not visible:
The Properties window uses the behaviors we reviewed in Lesson 1 about auto-hiding, docking, floating or tabbing the tools that accompany Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. This means that you can position it on one side of the screen or to have it float on the screen as you wish.
The Properties window is divided in 5 sections:
The Properties window starts on top with a title bar, which displays the string Properties. If the window is docked somewhere, it displays the Window Position , the Auto-Hide , and the Close buttons on its right side. If the window is floating, it would display only the Close button.
Under the title bar, the Properties window displays a combo box. The content of the combo box is the name of the form plus the names of the controls currently on the form. Besides the technique we reviewed earlier to select a control, you can click the arrow of the combo box and select a control from the list:
Under the combo box, the Properties window displays a toolbar with 4 buttons.
Under the toolbar, the Properties window displays the list of properties of the selected control(s). On the right side, the list is equipped with a vertical scroll bar. The items in the Properties window display in a list set when installing Microsoft Visual Studio. In the beginning, you may be regularly lost when looking for a particular property because the list is not arranged in a strict order of rules. You can rearrange the list. For example, you can cause the items to display in alphabetic order. To do this, on the toolbar of the Properties window, click the Alphabetic button . To restore the list, you can click the categorized button .
Two lists share the main area of the Properties window. When the list of properties is displaying, the Properties button is clicked . The second is the list of events. Therefore, to show the events, you can click the Events button . If the events section is displaying, to show the list of properties, you can click the Properties button .
Under the list of properties, there is a long bar that displays some messages. The area is actually a help section that displays a short description of the property that is selected in the main area of the Properties window.
Accessing the Properties of One or More Controls
Based on a previous description,
When a control is selected, the Properties window displays only its characteristics:
You can also change some characteristics of various controls at the same time. To do this, first select the controls on the form and access the Properties window:
When various controls have been selected: