by John Mina - GUI Computing

If there is one thing all developers have in common, it's third party custom controls which don't do exactly what you desire. ButtonMaker, as the name suggests, is a new tool which provides you with complete control over the look and feel of your buttons.

ButtonMaker, by FarPoint Technologies, gives you the ability to create buttons of virtually any size or shape. The shape of the button is entirely up to you. The method in which this is controlled is by defining the number of segments used to create the shape, and by defining the shape of each segment. The easy to use Button Designer interface allows the developer to create custom buttons at design time, and by defining a number of Points, you can give the segments different shapes and lengths. For reuse of your buttons, they can be saved to template files for future use.

Multiple cells can be created within each button, allowing you to change background and foreground colour, text, fonts, and text orientation for each portion of the button. 256-colour bitmaps can also be inserted within each cell. Using cell hotspots, a button can perform multiple operations, such as "movenext" and "moveprevious" arrows on the one button. Similar to VB's Keystat control, buttons created using ButtonMaker can be set to one or two-states, such as an ON/OFF button or active child form. The alignment of text and pictures in the buttons are user definable. You can also specify the orientation of the buttons contents.

It is also possible to have a controlled array of buttons, and have the group act independently of each other. And you can have more than one button in a group being selected at the same time. 256-colour images can be displayed in your customized buttons, supporting .BMP, .WMF, .CUR, and .ICO file formats. You can specify the three-dimensional appearance, or border style, of your button based on your operating environment; as well as specify the three-dimensional appearance be automatically determined by the operating environment.

Also available is "Plug-in's for ButtonMaker", a separate product consisting of over 300 predefined button templates.

Written by: John Mina
Feb 1996