by Stephan Grieger - GUI Computing
Design Widgets is a set of three custom controls which perform some really nice features.
In our April edition of AVDF we had a quite extensive article on the different TAB controls on the market to date. It seems that the developers of custom controls have decided that three Tab controls just were not enough. SSTabIndex is the latest in the range and seems to have incorporated the best from all the others. SSTabIndex allows you to place controls on all the tabs at design time by clicking on the desired tab. Basically it acts identically at run and design times. Individual Tabs and Tab pages can have pictures in them giving the control a professional look. For some reason, the control also has an Align property allowing you to place the Tabs on an MDI form. However, to make the Tabs useful, you generally need to make them fairly large, which when applied to an MDI form, eats away at your screen real estate. Peter Wone has also informed me that it is the only Tab control which works with any speed on his NT box.
SSFormFX allows you to give your forms captions the nice recessed appearance that Microsoft Dialog boxes are sporting now. It can also give the Control Box and the Caption a 3D appearance. There is however a limitation, you cannot apply the effect to MDI children. Not really a problem when you consider that the only forms that should have this effect are dialog boxes and that dialog boxes are usually modal and can therefore not be MDI children anyway.
The third control, SSToolBar, is yet another toolbar. What makes this toolbar unique however is the fact that it is dockable just like the Excel and Word toolbars. You can't apply the dockable feature of the toolbar to a normal form, it can only be applied to MDI forms. However, if you write your code generically enough you can easily make the buttons apply to specific forms as they become active.
Design Widgets is distributed by Softerm in Sydney for $295. For pricing and further technical information, download GUI Computing's Catalogue, 756KB in size.