How to Customize Icons & Mouse Pointers in Forms Designer

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A Visual FoxPro form contains several properties that make it easy to customize icons and mouse pointers displayed when a form is running.


NOTE: For backward compatibility, Visual FoxPro still supports FOXTOOLS.FLL (included in earlier FoxPro versions), the Visual FoxPro API library that allows calls to 16-bit .DLL functions. However, in Visual FoxPro, the DECLARE command is the preferred method for calling .DLL functions.

For more information about using the DECLARE command, search the online Help.

Mouse Pointers

There are two properties (DragIcon and MousePointer) that control mouse pointers:
   Property         Value
   DragIcon         <cFilename> - the name of any .CUR file created with
                    a cursor editing program such as IMAGEDIT

   MousePointer     0 - Default
                    1 - Arrow
                    2 - Cross
                    3 - I-Beam
                    4 - Icon
                    5 - Size
                    6 - Size NE SW
                    7 - Size NS
                    8 - Size NW SE
                    9 - Size WE
                   10 - Up Arrow
                   11 - Hourglass
                   12 - No Drop
The DragIcon property controls the shape of the mouse pointer while an object is being dragged to a new location. The MousePointer property controls the shape of an object while the mouse is located over that object. These two properties may be set in tandem to achieve a desired effect.

For example, in an object that may be dragged, set the following properties through the Forms Designer Properties Sheet:

  1. Set the DragIcon property to:
  2. Place the following code in the Drag event to have all controls, except EditBoxes, display a No Drop pointer:
       ThisForm.setall("MousePointer", 0, "EditBox")
  3. Place the following code in the DragDrop event to reset the mouse pointer for all controls back to the default:
This example allows the mouse pointer to remain at the default until a drag and drop operation is performed. Once the drag starts, the mouse pointer for every control on the form is set to a "No Drop" icon. Then all the edit boxes are set back to the default icon for edit boxes.

After the object is dropped, all controls on the form are set back to the default.


There are two properties (Icon and Picture) that control icons:
   Property      Value
   Icon          The name of any valid .ICO file

   Picture       The name of any valid .BMP or .ICO file, or the name of a
                 general field which contains a .BMP or .ICO.
The Icon property controls the icon displayed when a form is minimized. The Picture property controls the icon displayed for the following controls contained within a formset: check box, CommandButton, Form, Image, OptionButton, and Page.

The Form.Picture property acts as a wallpaper behind all the controls placed on a form. The Form.PageFrame.Page.Picture property creates a wallpaper effect for a specific page within a pageframe.

Version 2.x Compatibility

The following compares the version 3.0 property functionality with the functionality available in FoxPro version 2.x commands.
Version 3.0 Property        Version 2.x Commands
DragIcon                    No drag and drop functionality was available

MousePointer                SET LIBRARY TO FOXTOOLS
                            Use REGFN and CALLFN to access the Windows
                            LoadCursor API call

Form.Picture                DEFINE WINDOW ... FILL <bmp file name>

Page.Picture                No page frame functionality was available

Check box.Picture           Specify the picture as part of an @ GET
CommandButton.Picture       command, or use the SHOW GET PROMPT command
OptionButton.Picture        to change the picture associated with an
                            existing control

Image.Picture               Specify the picture as part of an @ SAY
                            BITMAP command.

Form.Icon                   MODIFY WINDOW ... ICON <icon file name> or
                            specify the filename in the Window Style dialog
                            from the Screen, Screen Layout menu.

Advantages of Version 3.0 Functionality

Visual FoxPro offers the advantage of built-in mouse pointer functionality. You can easily change the shape of the mouse pointer without using Windows API calls or loading the FOXTOOLS.FLL file with its memory overhead.

In version 2.x, the developer had to be familar with a number of different commands to control the image displayed. In Visual FoxPro, these capabilities are consistently under the control of the picture property.

In some cases in version 2.x, bitmaps were not refreshed if the image was changed in Paintbrush during an application session. An undocumented sys function was used to reorganize memory and cause the bitmap to be reread from disk. The image.picture property eliminates this problem in Visual FoxPro version 3.0.

Sample Files

Visual FoxPro version 3.0 offers a large number of sample cursor (.CUR), bitmap (.BMP), and icon (.ICO) files in \VFP\SAMPLES\GRAPHICS.


Article ID: 130407 - Last Review: August 19, 1999 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Visual FoxPro 3.0 Standard Edition

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