Visual Basic 2013 Lesson 2: Building the Graphical User Interface

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Since Visual Basic 2013 is a GUI-based programming language, the first step in developing a VB2013 application is to build a graphical user interface. In order to build a graphical user interface, you need to insert controls from the toolbox to the form and then specify their properties.

The default form is also a control by itself, therefore, you can change its properties first before adding additional controls. Having added controls to the form, you then need to write code for each and every control so that they can response to events triggered by the user’s actions such as clicking the mouse or pressing a key on the keyboard. Therefore, Visual Basic 2013 is also an event-driven programming language. We shall learn more about the concept of event-driven programming and coding in later lessons.

2.1 Changing the Properties of the Default-Form on User Interface

When you start a new Visual Basic 2013 project, the IDE will display the default form along with the Solution Explorer window and the Properties window for the form as shown in Figure 2.1


 Figure 2.1: Initial VB2013 IDE

The properties window displays all properties related to Form1 and their corresponding attributes or values. You can change the name of the form, the title of the form, the background color, the foreground color, the size and more. Now customize the following properties:

Property Value
Name MyForm
Text My First Program
BackColor Blue
MaximizeBox False

The output interface is shown in Figure 2.2. Notice that the title has been changed from Form1 to My First Program, the background changed to blue color and the window cannot be maximized.


Figure 2.2

2.2 Changing the Properties of the Default-Form at Run-Time on User Interface

You can also change the properties of the form at run-time by writing the relevant codes. The default form  is an object and an instant of the form can be denoted by the name Me. The property of the object can be defined by specifying the object’s name followed by a dot or period:

For example, we can set the background of the form to blue using the following code


To achieve the same interface as in Figure 2.2, type in the following code by clicking the form to enter the code window:

Public Class Form1
Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
 Me.Text = “My First VB2013 Program”
 Me.BackColor = Color.Blue
 Me.MinimizeBox = True
End Sub
End Class

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