Visual Basic’s PictureClip control
can simplify the organization and use of graphical resources in your program.
It is most commonly used with small graphics that you have a lot of, such as
icons and toolbar buttons.
With the PictureClip control, you
can create a single graphical image that contains all the individual icons or
buttons, and then extract each one for display as needed. The PictureClip control itself is never visible onscreen when
the program is running.
To use this control, you must select Microsoft PictureClip Control 6.0 in the Components dialog box. Then,
place it on the form where it will be needed. You can load the composite image
at design time or at run time:
PictureClip1.Picture = LoadPicture("c:\images\icons.bmp")
Once the image is loaded, you can retrieve any arbitrary
portion of it by setting the ClipX and ClipY properties to specify the top left corner of the
region and the ClipHeight and ClipWidth
properties to specify the size. Then, the Clip property retrieves the region
for use in, for example, a PictureBox control:
PicClip1.ClipX = 20
PicClip1.ClipY = 34
PicClip1.ClipWidth = 22
PicClip1.ClipHeight = 22
Picture1.Picture = PicClip1.Clip
You can also divide the composite image into a rectangular
grid of same-size sections, and then retrieve a section based on its position.
This technique is used when the composite image contains a collection of
same-size sub-images such as you might use for a toolbar. You can set the
number of rows and columns at design time or at run time via the Cols and Rows
property. Then retrieve an individual subimage using
the GraphicCell property:
Picture1.Picture = PicClip1.GraphicCell(2)
The top left cell is index 0 and this value increases from
left to right and then top to bottom.
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