How To Use Icons with the Windows 95/98/Me Taskbar Notification Area

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SUMMARY

The Windows API provides the ability to add, modify, and remove icons from the System Tray, or Taskbar Notification Area, available in the Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000 shell. This functionality can be provided using only the Shell_NotifyIcon function that is exported by Shell32.dll. This API function also provides the ability to specify a text string for the ToolTip that is displayed when a user pauses with the mouse pointer over the icon. The step-by-step example in this article creates a Visual Basic program which demonstrates how to use this API function.

The ability to take some action if the icon in the Taskbar Notification Area is clicked depends on a callback function. Because Visual Basic 4.0 does not support callback functions directly, there is no way to show a form or execute some code using solely Visual Basic 4.0. This functionality was added in Visual Basic 5.0 (and later) with the addition of the AddressOf operator. A number of options are available to Visual Basic 4.0 developers that can provide callback functionality, including the Message Blaster OCX, the OCX mentioned in the Microsoft Systems Journal article noted in the "References" section of this article, or the Callback OLE server that is detailed in Bruce McKinney's book, Hardcore Visual Basic. For more information on any of these options, see the "References" section. Because these products do not include Visual Basic, Microsoft Product Support Services does not support their use.

MORE INFORMATION

The following example creates a one-form Visual Basic project that shows how to use the Shell_NotifyIcon API function.

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Start Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Change the form's icon property to the icon that should be shown in the Taskbar Notification Area.
  3. Draw three CommandButtons onto the form.
  4. Select Module from the Insert menu to add a single code module to the project.
  5. Add the following code, consisting of function, type, and constant declarations, to Module1:
          Type NOTIFYICONDATA
              cbSize As Long
              hWnd As Long
              uID As Long
              uFlags As Long
              uCallbackMessage As Long
              hIcon As Long
              szTip As String * 64
          End Type
    
          Global Const NIM_ADD = 0
          Global Const NIM_MODIFY = 1
          Global Const NIM_DELETE = 2
          Global Const NIF_MESSAGE = 1
          Global Const NIF_ICON = 2
          Global Const NIF_TIP = 4
    
          Declare Function Shell_NotifyIconA Lib "SHELL32" _
          (ByVal dwMessage As Long,  lpData As NOTIFYICONDATA) As Integer
    					
  6. The following code is a function that takes the parameters that need to be set for the NOTIFYICONDATA type and returns a variable of this type. Add to Form1:
          Private Function setNOTIFYICONDATA(hWnd As Long, ID As Long, _
              Flags As Long, CallbackMessage As Long, Icon As Long, _
              Tip As String) As NOTIFYICONDATA
    
              Dim nidTemp As NOTIFYICONDATA
    
              nidTemp.cbSize = Len(nidTemp)
              nidTemp.hWnd = hWnd
              nidTemp.uID = ID
              nidTemp.uFlags = Flags
              nidTemp.uCallbackMessage = CallbackMessage
              nidTemp.hIcon = Icon
              nidTemp.szTip = Tip & Chr$(0)
    
              setNOTIFYICONDATA = nidTemp
          End Function
    					
  7. The three procedures in this block of code call the function created in step 5 to add, modify, and remove Taskbar Notification Area icons. Add this code to Form1 also:
          Private Sub Command1_Click()
              'Add an icon.  This procedure uses the icon specified in
              'the Icon property of Form1. This can be modified as desired.
    
              Dim i As Integer
              Dim s As String
              Dim nid As NOTIFYICONDATA
    
              s = InputBox("Enter string:")
              nid = setNOTIFYICONDATA(hWnd:=Form1.hWnd, _
                                      ID:=vbNull, _
                                      Flags:=NIF_MESSAGE Or NIF_ICON _
                                      Or NIF_TIP, _
                                      CallbackMessage:=vbNull, _
                                      Icon:=Form1.Icon, _
                                      Tip:=s)
    
                 i = Shell_NotifyIconA(NIM_ADD, nid)
             End Sub
    
             Private Sub Command2_Click()
                 'Modify an existing icon. This procedure uses the icon
                 'specified in the Icon property of Form1. This can be modified
                 'as desired.
    
                 Dim i As Integer
                 Dim s As String
                 Dim nid As NOTIFYICONDATA
    
                 s = InputBox("Enter string:")
                 nid = setNOTIFYICONDATA(hWnd:=Form1.hWnd, _
                                         ID:=vbNull, _
                                         Flags:=NIF_MESSAGE Or NIF_ICON _
                                         Or NIF_TIP, _
                                         CallbackMessage:=vbNull, _
                                         Icon:=Form1.Icon, _
                                         Tip:=s)
    
                 i = Shell_NotifyIconA(NIM_MODIFY, nid)
             End Sub
    
             Private Sub Command3_Click()
                 'Delete an existing icon.
    
                 Dim i As Integer
                 Dim nid As NOTIFYICONDATA
    
              nid = setNOTIFYICONDATA(hWnd:=Form1.hWnd, _
                                      ID:=vbNull, _
                                      Flags:=NIF_MESSAGE Or NIF_ICON _
                                      Or NIF_TIP, _
                                      CallbackMessage:=vbNull, _
                                      Icon:=Form1.Icon, _
                                      Tip:="")
    
              i = Shell_NotifyIconA(NIM_DELETE, nid)
          End Sub
    					
  8. Press the F5 key or select Start from the Run menu to run the application. Click the first button and enter a text string to add an icon. Click the second button to modify an existing icon, and the third to delete the icon.

REFERENCES

Hardcore Visual Basic, Bruce McKinney, Microsoft Press 1995.

Microsoft Win32 SDK, Shell_NotifyIcon and NOTIFYICONDATA.

Microsoft Systems Journal, February 1996, The Visual Programmer, page 93.

Visual Basic Programmer's Journal, March 1996, Q&A, page 136.

For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
162613 How To Manipulate Icons in the System Tray with Visual Basic

Properties

Article ID: 149276 - Last Review: February 24, 2014 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowto kbapi KB149276

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