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KiXforms, Part 3: Exposing some unique controls not normally available via scripting

I covered what KiXforms is all about and how to use it in your scripts. Now, let's get into some things you normally cannot do with a script. Specifically, I’m talking about working with MenuBar, TabControls and ListView controls. There are several more controls offered as part of KiXforms, but let's focus on these to keep this column short and simple.

Again, we need to create an object variable that references the KiXforms DLL. The Type Library name is "KiXtart.System," so we begin by setting this object variable:

 

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Set System = CreateObject("KiXtart.System")

Then, start with the form object:

Set Form1 = System.Form()
Form1.Size = System.Size(435, 300)
Form1.Text = "Advanced Control Sample"

To shorten the code, you'll notice I've used an alternative way of specifying the height and width properties (size) and the top and left properties (location). Either method works, but this method results in fewer lines of code. I think that with the very basics behind us (see part 2), the logic behind what is being done here should still be clear.

Now that you've created a form, let’s add the menu bar. Like the controls that follow, you'll first create the object, set its properties and then add an item to that control and set its properties. In this case, you'll add the MainMenu object, set the top-level menu item to read "File" and then add other items (Open, a separator and Exit) to appear beneath this item. Finally, you'll tell the form (Form1) that this is the menu to use. It may sound a little confusing, but follow along and you’ll see it's not so bad:

Set MainMenu1 = System.MainMenu()
Set FileMenu = MainMenu1.MenuItems.Add("File")
FileMenu.Text = "File"
Set OpenMenuItem = FileMenu.MenuItems.Add("Open")
OpenMenuItem.Text = "Open"
Set MenuItem1 = FileMenu.MenuItems.Add("-")
MenuItem1.Text = "-"
Set ExitMenuItem = FileMenu.MenuItems.Add("Exit")
ExitMenuItem.Text = "Exit"
Form1.Menu = MainMenu1

To wire those entries to events, you could say ExitMenuItem.OnClick = "Wscript.Exit" using the OnClick event to instruct which function should be executed when the item is clicked by the user. You'll want to put the ListView and TreeView in a tab control, so let’s create that next:

Set TabControl1 = Form1.Controls.TabControl
TabControl1.Size = System.Size(330, 215)
TabControl1.Location = System.Point(80, 5)
Set TabPage1 = TabControl1.Controls.TabPage
TabPage1.Size = System.Size(322, 189)
TabPage1.Text = "TabPage1"
Set TabPage2 = TabControl1.Controls.TabPage
TabPage2.Size = System.Size(192, 74)
TabPage2.Text = "TabPage2"

As you can see in Figure 1, you created two tabs and set their size, location and the text to be displayed on each tab. Next, let’s take care of the TreeView code by creating the object and adding a root node (Node0). You set its text and then add the sub-nodes to it by adding them to the Node0 object (you don't want to add the sub-nodes to the TreeView object directly, since that would result in more root nodes):

Set TreeView1 = TabPage1.Controls.TreeView
TreeView1.Size = System.Size(150, 175)
TreeView1.Location = System.Point(5, 5)
Set Node0 = TreeView1.Nodes.Add()
Node0.Text = "sUsers"
Set Node2 = Node0.Nodes.Add()
Set Node1 = Node0.Nodes.Add()
Node2.Text = "psmith"
Node1.Text = "jsmith"

Finally, let's add the ListView control. You’ll find the logic behind how to set up each item is very similar and the included documentation is a critical resource. Keep in mind that while the code samples are written in KiXtart. it is still a very valuable resource to learn what objects, properties and methods are available to your VBScript. For ListView, first add the columns and set their names before adding a sample item (the text for the first column) and a sub-item (the text for the next column):

Set ListView1 = TabPage1.Controls.ListView
ListView1.Size = System.Size(150, 175)
ListView1.Location = System.Point(165, 5)
Set sName = ListView1.Columns.Add()
sName.Text = "Name"
Set IsChoad = ListView1.Columns.Add()
IsChoad.Text = "IsChoad"
Set Item1 = ListView1.Items.Add()
Item1.Text = "psmith"
Set SubItem1= Item1.SubItems(1)
SubItem1.Text = "True"

Creating a simple form with a menu bar, tabs and listview tree
Figure 1. Form1, created using the sample script, contains a MenuBar and two TabControl controls; the ListView control is contained within the first tab.

As in the previous example, you now need to get the script in a loop where it will display while looking for any events that may be triggered:

Form1.Visible = "True"
Do While Form1.Visible
   Execute(Form1.DoEvents)
Loop

In this example, I want you to really focus on the controls and not their events; in actuality, this form will not do anything but look impressive.

I hope these samples and descriptions have helped you to see some new potential for your scripts. While one might well argue that if you want to do all of this, you should learn a programming language, many like to stick with what they know. If you don't have the time to learn a full-blown programming language, scripting with KiXforms gets you there with little effort!

About the Author

Bob Kelly is president and co-founder of AdminScriptEditor.com, home to an integrated suite of scripting tools and a shared library of scripts and language help. He has authored books on scripting and desktop administration and several white papers. Bob also owns and operates AppDeploy.com, where he writes and produces videos on topics related to software deployment.

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