Tag Archives: PUSHBUTTON

Split-Button controls

Continuing with the recent focus on Button controls, this time we’re going to take a look at another new Button feature: Split-Buttons.


Split-Button using Aero styling

This button style was introduced with Windows Vista (*) and basically divides the button into two parts: The main part behaves like a normal push-button and fires a CLICK event when pressed, whilst the other part (normally drawn with a down arrow) fires a DROPDOWN event instead of a CLICK (if a context menu is linked to the button then this is displayed instead).

Split-Button support in OpenInsight 10 is exposed via the following properties:



To enable Split-Button functionality the SPLITBUTTON property can be set to one of the following values:

  • “R” – creates a Split-Button with the main part to the left and the drop-down arrow part on the right.
  • “L” – creates a Split-Button with the main part to the right and the drop-down arrow part on the left.
Left-aligned Split-Button

Left-aligned Split-Button using XP-styling

Setting the SPLITBUTTON property to NULL (“”) removes the Split-Button styling from the control.


This property specifies the size in pixels of the arrow part of the control.


The functionality of a Split-Button can be changed by the SPLITSEPARATOR property.  By default the property is TRUE (“1”), but when set to FALSE (“0”) the line between the two parts of the button is removed and the entire button then behaves as a “drop-down button” – i.e. clicking the button displays a context menu or fires a DROPDOWN event.

Split-Button without separator

Aero-style Split-Button without separator

The Split-Glyph API

For those of you who really can’t help customizing as much as possible the Split-Button also supports an API to allow you to change the default down arrow in the drop-down part of the control. This is the “Split-Glyph API” and mirrors most of the normal Button control “Glyph API” described previously. The only difference is the name of the properties – they are all prefixed with “SPLIT”, i.e.

Split-Button with split-glyph

Split-Button with split-glyph using XP styling

(*) Although Microsoft only introduced Split-Buttons into Windows with the release of Vista, (and then only with visual styles enabled) it should be noted that the OpenInsight Split-Button is supported on XP as well, even running under the Windows Classic theme.

Classic mode Split-Button

Classic mode Split-Button

(Disclaimer: This article is based on preliminary information and may be subject to change in the final release version of OpenInsight 10).

Button controls

Perhaps one of the controls most in need of a face-lift in OpenInsight is the Button (a.k.a PUSHBUTTON) control, and in this post we’ll take a look at some of the new features we’ve added to it for version 10.

Image API

Buttons in OpenInsight have always supported background images and version 10 is no different.  However we’ve extended the number of image states from 6 to 10 to give you a few more options if you want to use them:

  1. Up
  2. Down
  3. Disabled
  4. <not used>
  5. Up with focus
  6. Down with Focus
  7. Hot
  8. Hot with focus
  9. Default
  10. Default with focus

Of course you don’t have to supply all of these images – the system will attempt to pick the closest match based on the IMAGECOUNT supplied.  Access to the image properties is exposed via the normal Image API with the exception of the IMAGENUMBER property which is managed automatically depending on the button state.

Glyph API

One of the biggest drawbacks with using buttons in previous versions of OpenInsight is that images have only ever been applied to the background as a whole.  In order to create a button with an icon (or glyph, as we’ll refer to it henceforth) it has always been necessary to provide an image file with the entire button background drawn on it as well as the required glyph and text.  This makes it very difficult to provide a solution that looks good across different color schemes and visual styles, and it also makes any sort of runtime customization problematic too.

For version 10 a new API has been added for buttons called the “Glyph API”. This allows you to specify an image for the button that is drawn on top of the normal background like so:

Classic-style button with glyph

Classic-style button with glyph

XP-style button with glyph

XP-style button with glyph

Aero-style button with glyph

Aero-style button with glyph

Win8-style button with glyph

Windows 8-style button with glyph

It is exposed via the following properties:

  • GLYPH (similar to the BITMAP or IMAGE property)

These properties are very similar to their counterparts in the normal Image API with the exception of the following Button-glyph specific ones:


This property specifies how the glyph is laid out in relation to the text, and can be one of the following values:

  • “0” – Glyph to the left, text to the right
  • “1” – Glyph to the top, text to the bottom
  • “2” – Glyph to the right, text to the left
  • “3” – Glyph to the bottom, text to the top.
Buttons showing  glyph layouts

Aero-style buttons showing glyph layouts


This property is simply the number of pixels between the glyph and the text.

Where’s the GLYPHNUMBER property?

Just as the Button Image API has no IMAGENUMBER property there is no corresponding GLYPHNUMBER property either – this is because you can provide more than one image for a glyph and the system will automatically select one for you based on the button state (just like with background images).  These states are:

  1. Button up
  2. Button down
  3. Button disabled
  4. Button hot
  5. Button default

Note that if you don’t supply a disabled Glyph image and you disable the button the system will draw a grayed version of the glyph for you:

Button with disabled glyph

Aero-style buttons with system-drawn disabled glyph

Flat buttons

Flat “toolbar” style buttons are supported by the boolean FLAT property.  I.e. the actual background is not painted until the mouse is moved over the button.

Flat button

Aero-style flat button

Flat button with translucency

Aero-style flat buttons with 50% translucency

Custom colors

The button BACKCOLOR property fully supports custom colors and generates a set of matching 3D highlight and shadow colors to use when rendering.

Button with red BACKCOLOR

XP-style button with red BACKCOLOR

The FORECOLOR property also makes a welcome return and is now respected regardless of the visual style in use.

Button with red FORECOLOR

Aero-style button with red FORECOLOR

Extended mouse support

Like the updated Label control the Button now supports the following new properties when the button is in the “hot” state (i.e. the mouse is moving over it):


It also supports the new MOUSEOVER event so you can easily track mouse movements without having to resort to using WINMSG events.

Text Alignment and position

TEXTORIGIN property is provided that allows you to specify the exact XY position that you wish the text to be drawn at in a similar manner to the GLYPHORIGIN property.  Horizontal text alignment is also supported by the TEXTALIGN property.

(Disclaimer: This article is based on preliminary information and may be subject to change in the final release version of OpenInsight 10).