The ComboBox control is very
useful in a variety of situations, but many programmers aren’t making the most
of it because they don’t understand how its Style
property works.

Doing it with style

By default, a ComboBox control’s Style property is set to vbComboDropDown
(value = 0). This is the default style because it results in a ComboBox that works the way programmers usually want it to
work. The control displays as a single-line text box with a down arrow at the
right side. The user can type directly into the control or, by clicking the
arrow, can select from the predefined items that have been loaded into the
control. This style saves screen real estate because the list of items is hidden
until the user clicks the arrow.

Setting the Style
property to vbComboSimple
(value = 1) results in a control that looks like a text box above a list box.
As with the default style, the user can type in the text box or select from the
list. The advantage is that the list always makes the available choices visible
to the user. The disadvantage is that the control takes up more room on the

The third ComboBox style is vbComboDrop-DownList
(value = 2). When you select this style, theComboBox displays the same way as with the
default style (i.e., a single-line text box with a down arrow at the right
side). The variation is in the behavior; the user cannot type data into the
control–he or she must select from the list. In other words, a ComboBox with the Style
property set to vbComboDrop-DownList
looks like a ComboBox but acts like a ListBox.

By understanding how a ComboBox
control’s Style property affects its
behavior and appearance, you can select the best setting for your application.

Advance your scripting skills to the next level with TechRepublic’s free Visual Basic newsletter, delivered each Friday. Automatically sign up today!