This chapter describes the functionality and the usage of the ToolTips layout-designer. The tooltip layout-designer is only available during design-time inside of Visual Studio (or any other container or development-tool that supports the required interfaces).
The generic functions and the handling of the layout-designer are the same for all ToolTipsFactory tooltip components - only the exposed layout-properties will vary.
Access the Layout-Designer
To get access to the layout-designer of a specific ToolTipsFactory tooltip component, you have to select the component in the component-tray of the form which holds the component...
...and double-click it to get the layout-designer.
The Layout-Designer form
The layout-designer form consists of five distinct areas or functional groups. An overview is given in the following table:
This is the property-grid, which exposes all layout-properties of the tooltip component. Because this property-grid is nothing more than an incarnation of the known Visual Studio property-grid, it's usage should be familiar to all Visual Studio users. It allows to change every layout-property of the tooltip by just entering or selecting the desired values or attributes. Some properties just permit to enter numerical values or plain text, while others present the possible values through drop-down lists or give you access to a more complex property-editor. The command-verbs area holds several commands to load and save complete layouts:
A click on this command-verb opens a file-dialog to select a saved tooltip-layout file and load it as the current layout.
The file-dialog's default file-type filter is set to layout-files for the current tooltip-type (e.g. when editing the layout of a SingleLineToolTip, the filter is set to show only layout-files for this kind of tooltips - in this case files with the extension .stt).
The file-type filter can be changed to show all files in the selected directory, which gives the possibility to also load layout-files made for other ToolTipsFactory tooltips (i.e. this are files with the following extensions: *.mtt, *.itt, *.att). Of course only the values for which there are matching properties will be loaded and assigned. This feature makes it easy to create a basic layout for one kind of tooltip and then load the same layout into the other ToolTipsFactory tooltips used in the same application. Saving and loading layouts is also a convenient way to easily assign the same layout to ToolTipsFactory tooltips on different forms of the same application.
This saves the current layout to the file, from which it was currently loaded. If the layout has not been loaded from a file (i.e. it's a new layout), a file-dialog will open to give the user the opportunity to specify a filename and a location where to save the file.
A click on this command opens a file-dialog, where the user can specify a filename and a location to save the current layout for the tooltip.
This opens a dialog-window which shows version and licensing information about the selected ToolTipsFactory component This area shows descriptive information about the currently selected property in the property-grid. As the text in the red area already says, this is the test-ground for the tooltip. If the mouse-pointer is moved over this area, a sample tooltip with the currently defined layout will appear:
This feature allows you to check how changes to the properties will affect the appearance of your tooltip right inside of Visual Studio. There is no need to compile and run the application.
This two buttons do not really need much explanation because they implement the classical behaviour: [Ok] will commit the currently defined layout, while [Cancel] dismisses all changes made to the layout and restores the values that were in effect before the layout-designer was opened.