How To Create a Setup-Like Status Bar in Visual Basic

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Many applications use a status bar to display the progress of an installation or other lengthy process. Often the percent completed is printed in the middle of the bar and it changes color as the status bar passes over it. This article illustrates how to achieve this effect using Visual Basic for Windows. As a note, the professional and enterprise edition contain a progress bar control that could be used instead. For Win16 applications, the sample calldlls in vb\samples\calldlls uses shape controls to achieve the same effect.


The simplest way to specify the range of the status bar is to determine what the zero-based range will be and specify that value as the ScaleWidth of the horizontal scroll bar. Then you don't have to scale the data for each new sample.

Changing the color of the percentage displayed within the picture box is done by specifying the DrawMode as Not XOR Pen with a compatible background. When the bar is drawn, an exclusive OR is performed on each pixel. If the pixel is red, it is made white and vice versa. The text must be placed first because Print does not support DrawMode. The following program demonstrates how to display a red status bar with a red or white text message centered in it. Colors other than red are specified by changing the ForeColor property of the Picture Box Control.

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Start a new project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add a picture box (Picture1) and a command button (Command1) to the form.
  3. Add the following code to the general declarations section of Form1:
    Dim tenth As Long
    #If Win32 Then
    Private Declare Function BitBlt Lib "gdi32" _
    (ByVal hDestDC As Long, ByVal x As Long, ByVal y As Long, _
    ByVal nWidth As Long, ByVal nHeight As Long, _
    ByVal hSrcDC As Long, ByVal xSrc As Long, ByVal ySrc As Long, _
    ByVal dwRop As Long) As Long
    Private Declare Function BitBlt Lib "GDI" (ByVal hDestDC As _
    Integer, ByVal x As Integer, ByVal y As Integer, ByVal nWidth _
    As Integer, ByVal nHeight As Integer, ByVal hSrcDC As Integer, _
    ByVal xSrc As Integer, ByVal ySrc As Integer, ByVal dwRop As _
    Long) As Integer
    #End If
    Sub UpdateStatus(FileBytes As Long)
    ' Update the Picture1 status bar
        Static progress As Long
        Dim r As Long
        Const SRCCOPY = &HCC0020
        Dim Txt$
        progress = progress + FileBytes
        If progress > Picture1.ScaleWidth Then
            progress = Picture1.ScaleWidth
        End If
        Txt$ = Format$(CLng((progress / Picture1.ScaleWidth) * 100)) + "%"
        Picture1.CurrentX = _
        (Picture1.ScaleWidth - Picture1.TextWidth(Txt$)) \ 2
        Picture1.CurrentY = _
        (Picture1.ScaleHeight - Picture1.TextHeight(Txt$)) \ 2
        Picture1.Print Txt$
        Picture1.Line (0, 0)-(progress, Picture1.ScaleHeight), _
        Picture1.ForeColor, BF
        r = BitBlt(Picture1.hDC, 0, 0, Picture1.ScaleWidth, _
            Picture1.ScaleHeight, Picture1.hDC, 0, 0, SRCCOPY)
    End Sub
    Private Sub Command1_Click()
        Picture1.ScaleWidth = 109
        tenth = 10
        For i = 1 To 11
            Call UpdateStatus(tenth)
            x = Timer
            While Timer < x + 0.75
    End Sub
    Private Sub Form_Load()
        Picture1.FontBold = True
        Picture1.AutoRedraw = True
        Picture1.BackColor = vbWhite
        Picture1.DrawMode = 10
        Picture1.FillStyle = 0
        Picture1.ForeColor = vbBlue
    End Sub
  4. Select F5 to run the program, and then click Command1.


Visual Basic Setup Wizard file SETUP1.BAS.


Article ID: 147809 - Last Review: February 24, 2014 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
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  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
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