The Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

In this lesson, I'll tell you about the Integrated Development Environment (IDE), a great software development environment for the programmers, along with some short descriptions of the IDE elements.
The Integrated Development Environment


The Menu Bar 

The Menu Bar contains all the menus such as File, Edit, View, Tools and so on. You can learn about the menus by yourself. 

The Tool Bar

The Tool Bar contains all the tools such as Open, Save, Copy, Cut, Start( to run a program) and so on. 

The Tool Box

Tool Box that contains all the controls


Toolbox contains the visual basic controls. You can also add other ActiveX controls to enhance your program. 

How to place controls on the form? 

  1. Select a control from Toolbox, click on form and drag until you have got the shape of the control you want.
  2. Alternatively, you may double-click any control to add to form.

After adding a control to the form, u need to set its property and then write code for the control to work how you want. 

Helpful links to learn about controls:

There are two ways to set property 

  1. You can set property in Design Time from the Properties Window. 
  2. Or, you may wish to set property at run time by writing code. 

Learn more about setting properties:

Writing the Code for a Control

Simply double-click the control (which is on the form) to view the code window and write code to specify how this control will work.

  1. Pointer is not a control. Click this icon to select controls already on the form.
  2. All controls are object 
  3. Form is an object, but it is not a control.  

The Properties Window 

From properties window, you can set properties for controls.
Set properties of the controls or objects

(See in the Picture) 'Caption' is the property of the Form object.
'Form1' is the value of the property.

In the same way, 'Appearance' is the property. '1-3D' is the value.

In the Properties Window, notice the help information about the object. This helps in learning new properties.
(See Picture) Help information for the 'Caption' property is shown.

The Project Explorer Window 

Press Ctrl+R if this window is not showing. 
Explore your project files


The Project Explorer Window gives you a view of the modules or forms which are contained in your VB application. You can switch from one form to another or from one module to another from the Project Explorer Window. You can view the code window of a particular form or module as well.

The Code Window 

You need the Code Window to write code that will specify the behavior of the forms and the objects.
Remember that the Form is an object.

The Form Layout Window

Choose where your form window will appear on the screen
The Form Layout Window shows where on the screen the form will be displayed when the program will be executed. Simply drag on it so that the form appears on the position where you want.

The Immediate Window 

Press Ctrl+G to show the Immediate Window.
Show the current value of variables

The Immediate Window helps in debugging your program by displaying the current values of variables or expressions in a certain line of your code.

The Object Browser 

Press F2 to show the Object Browser Window. It is very useful because you  can learn about all the methods, functions, properties and events of the objects. If you want to know about any property, method, event, function etc, simply search in the Object Browser.
Look up the properties, methods and functions of different objects


Learn about object browser:

The Locals Window 

The Locals Window becomes active when a program is running. It shows the values of variables that are local to a module or procedure.

The Call Stack Window 

It is a useful debugging tool. It comes when you break the program execution and press Ctrl+L.

A more detailed explanation of each of the IDE elements will be given in the appropriate lesson.