Review: GDI+ Custom Controls - PACKT Publishing
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by Jesudas Chinnathampi (Das)
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Inside the Book

The book contains a total of 13 chapters and 1 Appendix. Chapter 1 explains in detail how to build a custom control with a well crafted example. All examples have been worked out using C#. This chapter will serve as a reference for all upcoming chapters since the basic principles of building a custom control have been dealt in this chapter.

The next two chapters touch the basics of GDI+ such as painting in a form using control.paint event, invalidation, using Color object, Pen object, Brush object, etc. Apart from explaining the basics of GDI+, authors have added extra steps to explain how to improve the quality of drawing using the AntiAliasing technique.

Chapter four is all about drawing shapes. This includes a perfect example which narrates how to draw the Visual Studio Logo. Translation, Rotation and Scaling are the other three major topics which are covered in this chapter. To explain the translation, rotation and scaling, an example to create a clock is discussed at the end of this chapter.

The fifth chapter talks about building custom button controls, checkboxes, radio buttons, scroll buttons, etc. There could be cases where some of the controls share some common behaviors. Creating a base class for two or more controls is explained neatly with examples.

Chapter 6 is entitled, “Working with Images.” The total chapter is only 14 pages. Creating image thumb nails is a commonly used module in most of the websites. This chapter talks about scaling the image, but the examples provided were not very great. This is a disappointment. It would have been nice if more examples appeared in this chapter.

Chapter seven deals with Printing. You might wonder why we would want to write code to print since printing functionality is built into windows. In many cases, we would want to allow the user to print the contents of custom control that we built. For that purpose, we will have to write our own code to print. This chapter takes us into the common coding aspects that we need to follow to print custom controls.

Chapter 8 narrates about .NET collections. After explaining about some common collections available in .NET framework, the authors have given us a nice example about how to create a “Font Picker” control. Using collections in a custom control may be a necessity if we want to store dynamic data.

GDI+ consumes a lot of resource (memory). In order to improve the performance of application which uses GDI+ techniques, many techniques are available. One such technique is known as “Double Buffering.” Chapter 9 is all about “Double Buffering.” The concept is explained nicely with an example.

If you want to allow users to drag and drop controls inside your application, then we should have a nice set of code which handles the Mouse Events. Chapter 10 discusses how to add the drag and drop functionality to a custom control with working examples.

Chapters 11 and 12 are just icing on the cake. Design – Time support is explained a little in chapter eleven and in chapter twelve, designing nice user interfaces are discussed. Both chapters lack in-depth analysis.

The last chapter is kind of a mini project. Authors have explained in detail how to create a PieChart control. Simply put, this chapter uses everything that is being discussed in the earlier chapters. This chapter will provide you with the building block for developing our future controls.

To sum up the review, this book is for those who want to build custom control using GDI+. After reading this book, the reader will get enough information regarding how to build a quality functional custom control from scratch.


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User Comments

Title: Translation, Rotation and Scaling   
Name: Rajendra
Date: 2008-04-10 7:09:58 AM
Dear Sir

Is the book explain in detail about Translation, Rotation and Scaling as these topics requires a lot of mathematics .

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