The Visual Basic programming language offers beginner and seasoned programmers the ability to create desktop applications from simple games to more developed software applications involving the use of database manipulation and the Internet. Any software project that involves the use of creating an interactive user interface, error messages, helpful instructions for the user or involves calculations will use several features of the Visual Basic language. Visual Basic runs off both Microsoft Visual Studio.NET and Microsoft Visual Basic Express developer environments.
The Tic-Tac-Toe game involves creating a user interface complete with nine “Label” boxes, three across and three down, a “Label” box for user instructions and two “Buttons” for “X” and “O.” You can design this so that a person has to click on the “X” or “O” button and then click inside the “Label” box for the correct symbol to appear or do away with the “Buttons” altogether and use a “Radio Button” box beneath each of the nine “Label” boxes. The “Radio Button” box will have either a choice of “X” or the choice of “O” that the user will need to click and whichever the user clicks, that symbol will appear in the box above it. You could also program the game so that if an “X” is just chosen, an error message will appear if another “X” is chosen instead of an “O.”
This project includes one simple form that will display two “Label” boxes. The first “Label” will include a sample font type, and the second “Label” box will be programmed to display sample text in the font chosen by the user. You can include a “Text” box to include instructions for the user something similar to “Choose a font from the drop down menu and click ‘Display’ to show what your text will look like in the new font.” Consider adding an “Exit” button to allow the user to close out the program. You could also choose to have the user be able to leave the sample text blank and create an error message that displays when the user clicks “Display,” letting the user know that text must be entered in that field.
Building a Visual Basic calculator involves one form and “Buttons” enough to cover all the numbers 0 to 9 with a decimal point, and all of the calculation symbols for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You’ll need a “Button” for each of the “Clear” and “Equals” function and a “Text Box” display for the calculation results to appear in. Adding code to each module may be difficult, as you need to test each button throughout the project to make sure each one works correctly. Adding a separate “Clear” subroutine will allow you to call the “Clear” function with one line of code after each calculation rather than repeating the code lines for the “Clear” function multiple times throughout your project.
- “Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 Step by Step”; Michael Halvorson; 2008
- Microsoft: Express
- Photo Credit tic-tac-toe isolated on white background image by Nikolay Okhitin from Fotolia.com
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