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Magnifying The Desktop With Visual Basic

A very handy application that's included with the Windows operating system is the magnifier, which zooms in on a portion of the desktop. In this article Jason shows us how to create a cool zoomable magnifier using Visual Basic 6 and the Windows API.

Author Info:
By: Jason Brimblecombe
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 54
February 21, 2002
  1. · Magnifying The Desktop With Visual Basic
  2. · Our magnifier app
  3. · Adding the code
  4. · Adding code to the timer
  5. · The magnifier in action
  6. · Conclusion

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Magnifying The Desktop With Visual Basic - Our magnifier app
(Page 2 of 6 )

Start by loading Visual Basic 6 and create a standard executable application. We will be using a status bar control on our form, so use the Projects -> Components menu to add a reference to the windows common controls version 5 or 6, like this:

Referencing the common controls

Set your forms caption to "Desktop Magnifier", change the ScaleMode property to "3 Pixel", and resize your form to 6990 wide by 4410 units high. Add a timer control, a vertical scroll bar, and a status bar to your form. It should look like this:

Our form with all controls added

The details of each of the three controls on our form are shown below:
  • Timer: Will contain the code to grab the contents of a section of the desktop and magnify it accordingly. Set its interval property to 50.
  • Vertical Scroll Bar: Will be used to set the zoom of the magnifier. The lower the value, the deeper the zoom. Set its Min property to 1, its Max property to 100, and its Value property to 50.
  • Status Bar: Will display the x and y co-ordinates of the mouse as it moves around the desktop.
Now that we've setup our form, let's add the Window API declarations and code to actually perform the magnification of the desktop.
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