How To Modify the Windows Default Cursor

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Article ID: 160041 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

The MousePointer property in Visual Basic (which applies to Form, MDIForm, and a set of selected controls) allows you to modify the cursor's shape for a Visual Basic application. However, if the cursor is moved away from the Visual Basic application, its shape is determined by other applications or by the Desktop.

This article describes how to modify the cursor's default settings so that these changes are reflected throughout the Desktop.

NOTE: Due to a bug in Windows NT, this article only applies to Windows 95 and Windows 98. Microsoft is researching this issue and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.

On Windows 2000, this program works but not as expected. In the code that follows, in Command1_Click toggles the pointer between an arrow and an arrow/hourglass icon. And the code in Command2_Click has no affect.

MORE INFORMATION

At times, you may want to design an application in Visual Basic that allows the user to run other applications or tasks within the same application while a task is running.

A simple way to inform the user that this particular state exists is to modify the cursor to be both an arrow and an hourglass until the first task is completed. You can accomplished this easily with the SetSystemCursor API.

Step-by-Step Example

The following example simulates starting a task with the first CommandButton and halting it with the second CommandButton:.
  1. Start a new project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add the following code to the General Declarations section of Form1:
       Private Const IDC_APPSTARTING = 32650&
       Private Const IDC_ARROW = 32512&
       Private Const OCR_NORMAL = 32512&
    
       Private Declare Function LoadCursor Lib "user32" Alias "LoadCursorA"
       (ByVal hInstance As Long, ByVal lpCursorName As Long) As Long
       Private Declare Function SetSystemCursor Lib "user32" (ByVal hcur As
       Long, ByVal id As Long) As Boolean
    
    					
  3. Add two CommandButtons, Command1 and Command2, to Form1.
  4. Add the following code to the Click event of Command1:
       Private Sub Command1_Click()
       Dim hcursor As Long, ret_val As Long
    
           hcursor = LoadCursor(0, IDC_APPSTARTING)
           ret_val = SetSystemCursor(hcursor, OCR_NORMAL)
    
       End Sub
    
    					
  5. Add the following code to the Click event of Command2:
       Private Sub Command2_Click()
       Dim hcursor As Long, ret_val As Long
    
           hcursor = LoadCursor(0, IDC_ARROW)
           ret_val = SetSystemCursor(hcursor, OCR_NORMAL)
    
       End Sub
    
    					
  6. Run the project by pressing the F5 key. Click on Command1 to modify the cursor. Move the cursor around over other applications and click on them for activation. Finally, click on Command2 to restore the cursor to its original shape.

Properties

Article ID: 160041 - Last Review: July 1, 2004 - Revision: 3.1
APPLIES TO
  • 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
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbapi KB160041

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