Modern/Metro style message box and input box for Microsoft Access 2013+

Gustav BrockMVP
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Published:
Updated:
Edited by: Andrew Leniart
Modern/Metro styled message box and input box that directly can replace MsgBox() and InputBox()in Microsoft Access 2013 and later.
Also included is a preconfigured error box to be used in error handling.

Background

The native message box of Microsoft Access 2013 is boring and lousy compared to the strong and clean Modern/Metro style of Windows 8+. 

You are probably just too familiar with the traditional message box of Windows 8 and 10:


MsgBox.PNG



as well as the input box:


InputBox.PNG

InputBox.PNG


Wouldn't it be nice with a more attractive style that fits Windows 8+ and 10 much better? Well, here it is:


ModBox.PNG


ModBox10.PNG


and likewise:


InputMox.png


InputMox10.PNG


With Microsoft Access 2013 it is possible to create a Modern/Metro look using the full-screen forms. Then the difference stands out. Here you have called:


Result = MsgBox( _
    "This will delete all entries for this plan!", _
    vbOKCancel + vbExclamation + vbDefaultButton2, _
    "Reset Plan")

and this could be the result:


AppMsgBox.PNG


This clash between styles is avoided with our Modern Box. The calling code is identical:


Result = MsgMox( _
    "This will delete all entries for this plan!", _
    vbOKCancel + vbExclamation + vbDefaultButton2, _
    "Reset Plan")

and this is the result:


AppModBox.PNG


Clearly, a much better match.

 

Styling

All styling is applied when opening the form:

 

Private Sub Form_Load() 
     
    ' Adjust top and/or height of some controls. 
    Call SetControlSizes 
    ' Apply modern colours to form. 
    Call SetColours 
    ' Show specified icon. 
    Call SetIcon 
     
End Sub 
 
Private Sub Form_Open(Cancel As Integer) 
 
    Dim NoCancel    As Boolean 
 
    ' Set the messagebox style variables. 
    Call SetMsgBoxStyle 
    ' Set caption of title bar. 
    Call SetTitle 
    ' Set prompt. 
    Call SetPrompt 
    ' Set active buttons and captions and taborder. 
    ' Eventually resize form to accommodate buttons and a supersized prompt. 
    Call SetButtonSequence 
    ' NoCancel has been set by SetButtonSequence. 
    If Not NoCancel Then 
        ' Set close button status. 
        Call SetCloseButton(False) 
    End If 
     
    ' Set default result value. 
    Result = vbCancel 
 
End Sub 

The exception is the colouring of the buttons as this changes according to which button is the default:

 

Private Sub ButtonFocus(ByVal ButtonIndex As Long) 
     
' Style buttons to indicate the new default button. 
 
    ' Set (new) default button. 
    Me("Button" & CStr(ButtonIndex)).Default = True 
     
    ' Set (new) default result value. 
    Result = Buttons(ButtonIndex)(ButtonProperty.Value) 
     
    ' Recolour visible buttons. 
    Call StyleCommandButtons(Me) 
 
End Sub 


Public Sub StyleCommandButtons(ByRef frm As Form) 
 
' Apply a style to all non-transparent command buttons on a form. 
' 2014-10-10. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH. 
' Version 1.0.0 
' License: MIT. 
 
' Requires: 
'   Module: 
'       ModernThemeColours 
 
' Typical usage: 
' 
'   Private Sub Form_Load() 
'       Call StyleCommandButtons(Me) 
'   End Sub 
 
    Dim ctl                 As Control 
     
    For Each ctl In frm.Controls 
        If ctl.ControlType = acCommandButton Then 
            If ctl.Transparent = True Then 
                ' Leave transparent buttons untouched. 
            Else 
                ctl.Height = 454 
                ctl.UseTheme = True 
                If ctl.Default = True Then 
                    ctl.BackColor = wpThemeColor.Cobalt 
                Else 
                    ctl.BackColor = ctl.Parent.Section(ctl.Section).BackColor 
                End If 
                ctl.HoverForeColor = ctl.BackColor 
                ctl.HoverColor = wpThemeColor.White 
                ctl.PressedColor = wpThemeColor.Darken 
                ctl.BorderWidth = 2 
                ctl.BorderStyle = 1 
                ctl.BorderColor = wpThemeColor.White 
                ctl.ForeColor = wpThemeColor.White 
                ctl.FontName = "Segoe UI" 
                ctl.FontSize = 11 
                ctl.FontBold = True 
                ctl.FontItalic = False 
            End If 
        End If 
    Next 
     
    Set ctl = Nothing 
 
End Sub 


The key function here is the generic StyleCommandButtons which is used throughout the application to control the style of buttons. Therefore it is placed in another module. It retrieves a colour scheme from a third module:

 

' Adoption of Windows Phone 7.5/8.0 colour theme for VBA. 
' 2017-04-19. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH. 
' Version 1.1.0 
' License: MIT. 
 
' * 
 
' Windows Phone colour enumeration. 
Public Enum wpThemeColor 
    ' Official colour names from WP8. 
    Lime = &HC4A4& 
    Green = &H17A960 
    Emerald = &H8A00& 
    Teal = &HA9AB00 
    Cyan = &HE2A11B 
    Cobalt = &HEF5000 
    Indigo = &HFF006A 
    Violet = &HFF00AA 
    Pink = &HD072F4 
    Magenta = &H7300D8 
    Crimson = &H2500A2 
    Red = &H14E5& 
    Orange = &H68FA& 
    Amber = &HAA3F0 
    Yellow = &HC8E3& 
    Brown = &H2C5A82 
    Olive = &H64876D 
    Steel = &H87766D 
    Mauve = &H8A6076 
    Sienna = &H2D52A0 
    ' Colour name aliases from WP7.5 
    Viridian = &HA9AB00 
    Blue = &HE2A11B 
    Purple = &HFF00AA 
    Mango = &H68FA& 
    ' Used for black in popups. 
    Darken = &H1D1D1D 
    ' Additional must-have names for grey scale. 
    Black = &H0& 
    DarkGrey = &H3F3F3F 
    Grey = &H7F7F7F 
    LightGrey = &HBFBFBF 
    White = &HFFFFFF 
End Enum 

Challenges

At first, you may think, this task basically is just to design a borderless form and open it in dialogue mode. However, if you do so, the border style of Windows is forced upon the form. Even worse, an uncontrollable title "Message" is applied:


ModerdDialog.PNG


To be honest, this is for a reason. Without this titlebar, you cannot drag the form. Therefor, even if what you want is a dialogue form, you cannot open the form in dialogue mode, so you will have to add custom code to:

 

  • simulate the dialogue mode
  • enable dragging of the form


Other tasks to replicate the true function of MsgBox are:

 

  • enable and arrange the buttons and the icon
  • expand the form to hold four buttons
  • extend the form to hold an extended prompt
  • retrieve localized captions for the buttons
  • enable calling a help file
  • return the correct result for any mouse or key click


Further, the MsgBox can be visually right-to-left mirrored using the style constant vbMsgBoxRtlReading. This, hovewer, is not implemented in MsgMox as I have no need for this feature. Other style constants are also ignored - vbApplicationModal, vbMsgBoxSetForeground, vbSystemModal - as these have little or no impact in Windows 8+.


The input box is simpler as neither the buttons nor an icon can be controlled. The Help button is displayed only if both helpfile and content are specified. The major difference is that the opening position of the form can be specified relative to the top-left screen corner. This has little or no use with the larger screens used today, so this option has been modified to set the position relative to the application window. If left out, the form is centered relative to the application window.


InputMoxHelp.PNG


Finally, wrapper functions must be created to act as a direct replacement for MsgBox and InputBox. This way, the Modern/Metro boxes can be implemented by a simple find/replace requiring zero rewriting of the code.


Windows 10 styling

Under Windows 10, the visual style of the windows is slightly different from Windows 8.0/8.1. The titlebar is smaller, and the close button (if present) is animated to be red when hovered by the mouse.

Both MsgMox and InputMox adopt automatically by calling a small helper function when loading:


' Checks if the primary (current) Windows version is Windows 10.
' Returns True if Windows version is 10, False if not.
'
' The call to WMI takes about 50 ms. Thus, to speed up repeated calls,
' the result is kept in the static variable OsVersion.
'
' 2019-04-07. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH.
'
Public Function IsWindows10() As Boolean

    Const NoVersion     As Integer = 0
    Const Version10     As Integer = 10
   
    Static OsVersion    As Integer
   
    Dim OperatingSystem As Object
    Dim Result          As Boolean

    If OsVersion = NoVersion Then
        ' Connect to WMI and obtain instances of Win32_OperatingSystem
        For Each OperatingSystem In GetObject("winmgmts:").InstancesOf("Win32_OperatingSystem")
            If OperatingSystem.Primary = True Then
                OsVersion = Val(OperatingSystem.Version)
                Exit For
            End If
        Next
    Else
        ' Repeated call. OsVersion has previously been found.
    End If
    Result = (OsVersion = Version10)
   
    IsWindows10 = Result

End Function

for example here, where the style of the close button is set:


Private Sub SetCloseButton(ByVal Active As Boolean)

    Static Initialized  As Boolean
    Static Status       As Boolean

    If Not NoCancel Then
        If IsWindows10 Then
            If (Not Initialized) Or (Status <> Active) Then
                Me!PictureCloseActive.Visible = Active
                Me!PictureCloseInactive.Visible = Not Active
                Status = Active
            End If
        Else
            If Not Initialized Then
                Me!PictureClose.Visible = True
            End If
        End If
       
        Initialized = True
    End If

End Sub
 

Simulating dialogue mode

This has been implemented by running an endless loop after the form has been opened. The main issue here is to find a sleep time that does not load the CPU while offering fast exit from the loop:

 

' API call for sleep function. 
#If VBA7 Then 
    Private Declare PtrSafe Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long) 
#Else 
    Private Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long) 
#End If 


' Opens a modal form in non-dialogue mode to prevent dialogue borders to be displayed 
' while simulating dialogue behaviour using Sleep. 
 
' If TimeOut is negative, zero, or missing: 
'   Form FormName waits forever. 
' If TimeOut is positive: 
'   Form FormName exits after TimeOut milliseconds. 
' 
' 2018-04-26. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH. 
' 
Public Function OpenFormDialog( _ 
    ByVal FormName As String, _ 
    Optional ByVal TimeOut As Long, _ 
    Optional ByVal OpenArgs As Variant = Null) _ 
    As Boolean 
         
    Const SecondsPerDay     As Single = 86400 
     
    Dim LaunchTime          As Date 
    Dim CurrentTime         As Date 
    Dim TimedOut            As Boolean 
    Dim Index               As Integer 
    Dim FormExists          As Boolean 
     
    ' Check that form FormName exists. 
    For Index = 0 To CurrentProject.AllForms.Count - 1 
        If CurrentProject.AllForms(Index).Name = FormName Then 
            FormExists = True 
            Exit For 
        End If 
    Next 
    If FormExists = True Then 
        If CurrentProject.AllForms(FormName).IsLoaded = True Then 
            ' Don't reopen the form should it already be loaded. 
        Else 
            ' Open modal form in non-dialogue mode to prevent dialogue borders to be displayed. 
            DoCmd.OpenForm FormName, acNormal, , , , acWindowNormal, OpenArgs 
        End If 
         
        ' Record launch time and current time with 1/18 second resolution. 
        LaunchTime = Date + CDate(Timer / SecondsPerDay) 
        Do While CurrentProject.AllForms(FormName).IsLoaded 
            ' Form FormName is open. 
            ' Bring form to front; it may hide behind a popup form. 
            DoCmd.SelectObject acForm, FormName 
            ' Make sure form and form actions are rendered. 
            DoEvents 
         
            ' Halt Access for 1/20 second. 
            ' This will typically cause a CPU load less than 1%. 
            ' Looping faster will raise CPU load dramatically. 
            Sleep 50 
            If TimeOut > 0 Then 
                ' Check for time-out. 
                CurrentTime = Date + CDate(Timer / SecondsPerDay) 
                If (CurrentTime - LaunchTime) * SecondsPerDay > TimeOut / 1000 Then 
                    ' Time-out reached. 
                    ' Close form FormName and exit. 
                    DoCmd.Close acForm, FormName, acSaveNo 
                    TimedOut = True 
                    Exit Do 
                End If 
            End If 
        Loop 
        ' At this point, user or time-out has closed form FormName. 
    End If 
     
    ' Return True if the form was not found or was closed by user interaction. 
    OpenFormDialog = Not TimedOut 
 
End Function 

Study the in-line comments for details.


Enable dragging of the form

One function inside the forms handles this:

 

' Parameters for mouse action. 
Private Enum MouseAction 
    MouseDown = 1 
    MouseMove = 0 
    MouseUp = -1 
End Enum 



Private Sub FormMove(Button As Integer, Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single, _ 
    ByVal MouseAction As MouseAction) 
 
' Move the form by dragging the title bar or the label upon it. 
 
    ' WindowLeft and WindowTop must be within the range of Integer. 
    Const TopLeftMax        As Single = 2 ^ 15 - 1 
    Const TopLeftMin        As Single = -2 ^ 15 
 
    ' Statics to hold the position of the form when mouse is clicked. 
    Static PositionX        As Single 
    Static PositionY        As Single 
    ' Static to hold that a form move is enabled. 
    Static MoveEnabled      As Boolean 
     
    Dim WindowTop           As Single 
    Dim WindowLeft          As Single 
     
    ' The value of MoveEnable indicates if the call is from 
    ' mouse up, mouse down, or mouse move. 
     
    If MouseAction = MouseMove Then 
        ' Move form. 
        If MoveEnabled = True Then 
            ' Form move in progress. 
            If Button = acLeftButton Then 
                ' Calculate new form position. 
                WindowTop = Me.WindowTop + Y - PositionY 
                WindowLeft = Me.WindowLeft + X - PositionX 
                ' Limit Top and Left. 
                If WindowTop > TopLeftMax Then 
                    WindowTop = TopLeftMax 
                ElseIf WindowTop < TopLeftMin Then 
                    WindowTop = TopLeftMax 
                End If 
                If WindowLeft > TopLeftMax Then 
                    WindowLeft = TopLeftMax 
                ElseIf WindowLeft < TopLeftMin Then 
                    WindowLeft = TopLeftMax 
                End If 
                Me.Move WindowLeft, WindowTop 
            End If 
        End If 
    Else 
        ' Enable/disable form move. 
        If Button = acLeftButton Then 
            ' Only left-button click accepted. 
            'If MoveEnable = True Then 
            If MouseAction = MouseDown Then 
                ' MouseDown. 
                ' Store cursor start position. 
                PositionX = X 
                PositionY = Y 
                MoveEnabled = True 
            Else 
                ' MouseUp. 
                ' Stop form move. 
                MoveEnabled = False 
            End If 
        End If 
    End If 
 
End Sub 


Armed with this, the mouse actions control if we can drag the form:

 

Private Sub LabelTitle_MouseDown(Button As Integer, Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single) 
 
    ' Enable dragging of the form. 
    Call FormMove(Button, Shift, X, Y, MouseDown) 
 
End Sub 
 
Private Sub LabelTitle_MouseMove(Button As Integer, Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single) 
 
    Call SetCloseButton(False) 
     
    ' Drag the form if dragging is enabled. 
    Call FormMove(Button, Shift, X, Y, MouseMove) 
 
End Sub 
 
Private Sub LabelTitle_MouseUp(Button As Integer, Shift As Integer, X As Single, Y As Single) 
 
    ' Disable dragging of the form. 
    Call FormMove(Button, Shift, X, Y, MouseUp) 
 
End Sub 



Button sequence and form resizing 

Setting the button sequence in the message box is a bit more complicated than you may think. Some exclude the normal Cancel button of the form itself or the captions changes, and a Help button can be added. This is solved by stacking four buttons on first position, then repositioning these as needed. The main function is this:

 

Private Sub SetButtonSequence() 
 
' Arrange from one to four visible buttons and refresh their captions. 
 
    ' Maximum count of enabled (visible) buttons including Help button. 
    Const MaxButtonCount    As Long = 3 + 1 
    ' First button index. 
    Const FirstButton       As Long = 0 
    ' Undefined result value for Help button and inactive buttons. 
    Const MsgBoxResultNone  As Long = 0 
     
    Dim WindowWidth         As Long 
    Dim WindowExpand        As Long 
    Dim WindowExtend        As Long 
    Dim ActiveButtonCount   As Long 
    Dim HelpButtonCount     As ButtonCount 
    Dim ButtonIndex         As Long 
    Dim LineCount           As Integer 
     
    ' Fill array of localized captions. 
    Call FillCaptions 
    ' Fill array of button positions. 
    Call FillPositions 
     
    If HelpButton = vbMsgBoxHelpButton Then 
        ' The Help button shall be displayed. 
        HelpButtonCount = ButtonCount.Help 
    End If 
     
    ' Set captions and return values on active (visible) buttons. 
    Select Case ButtonSequence 
        Case vbAbortRetryIgnore 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.AbortRetryIgnore 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonAbort), VbMsgBoxResult.vbAbort) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 1) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonRetry), VbMsgBoxResult.vbRetry) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 2) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonIgnore), VbMsgBoxResult.vbIgnore) 
            NoCancel = True 
        Case vbOKCancel 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.OKCancel 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonOK), VbMsgBoxResult.vbOK) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 1) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonCancel), VbMsgBoxResult.vbCancel) 
        Case vbOkOnly 
            ' Note: Any click action (except Help) will result in Cancel. 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.OKOnly 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonOK), VbMsgBoxResult.vbCancel) 
        Case vbRetryCancel 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.RetryCancel 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonTryAgain), VbMsgBoxResult.vbRetry) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 1) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonCancel), VbMsgBoxResult.vbCancel) 
        Case vbYesNo 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.YesNo 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonYes), VbMsgBoxResult.vbYes) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 1) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonNo), VbMsgBoxResult.vbNo) 
            NoCancel = True 
        Case vbYesNoCancel 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.YesNoCancel 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonYes), VbMsgBoxResult.vbYes) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 1) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonNo), VbMsgBoxResult.vbNo) 
            Buttons(FirstButton + 2) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonCancel), VbMsgBoxResult.vbCancel) 
        Case Else 
            ' Identical to OKOnly. 
            ' Note: Any click action (except Help) will result in Cancel. 
            ActiveButtonCount = ButtonCount.OKOnly 
            Buttons(FirstButton) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonOK), VbMsgBoxResult.vbCancel) 
    End Select 
     
    ' Add a Help button at far right if requested. 
    If HelpButtonCount = 1 Then 
        HelpButtonIndex = ActiveButtonCount 
        Buttons(HelpButtonIndex) = Array(True, Captions(ButtonCaption.ButtonHelp), MsgBoxResultNone) 
        ActiveButtonCount = ActiveButtonCount + HelpButtonCount 
    End If 
    ' Reset remaining buttons. 
    For ButtonIndex = ActiveButtonCount To MaxButtonCount - 1 
        Buttons(ButtonIndex) = Array(False, vbNullString, MsgBoxResultNone) 
    Next 
    ' Set display status for all buttons. 
    For ButtonIndex = FirstButton To MaxButtonCount - 1 
        With Me("Button" & CStr(ButtonIndex)) 
            .Visible = Buttons(ButtonIndex)(ButtonProperty.Visible) 
            .Caption = Buttons(ButtonIndex)(ButtonProperty.Caption) 
        End With 
    Next 
     
    ' Expand the form to make room for multiple buttons. 
    WindowExpand = Positions(ActiveButtonCount - 1) - Positions(FirstButton) 
    WindowWidth = Me.WindowWidth + WindowExpand 
    Me.Move Me.WindowLeft, Me.WindowTop, WindowWidth 
    
    ' Remove form's close button for certain button combinations. 
    If NoCancel = True Then 
        Me!ButtonCancel.Enabled = False 
    Else 
        ' Reposition Cancel button and form's close button (picture). 
        Me!ButtonCancel.Left = Me!ButtonCancel.Left + WindowExpand 
        Me!PictureClose.Left = Me!PictureClose.Left + WindowExpand 
        Me!PictureCloseActive.Left = Me!PictureCloseActive.Left + WindowExpand 
        Me!PictureCloseInactive.Left = Me!PictureCloseInactive.Left + WindowExpand 
        Me!BoxInactive.Left = Me!BoxInactive.Left + WindowExpand 
    End If 
     
    ' Extend the form to fit a supersized prompt. 
    LineCount = PromptLineCount() 
    If LineCount > 0 Then 
        ' Extend the form and controls (except buttons) to 
        ' make room for multiple prompt lines. 
        WindowExtend = FormExtend(LineCount) 
    End If 
    ' Position active buttons. 
    For ButtonIndex = FirstButton To ActiveButtonCount - 1 
        With Me("Button" & CStr(ButtonIndex)) 
            .Left = Positions(ButtonIndex) 
            .Top = .Top + WindowExtend 
        End With 
    Next 
     
    ' Apply tab settings. 
    Call SetDefaultButton 
     
End Sub


You will notice the extensive use of arrays for holding the buttons and their properties, and that the form is expanded and extended as needed. Here is an example:


ModBoxLarge.PNG



Localized captions

Notice the localized captions above. These are pulled from user32.dll with a few API calls:

 

' API functions for retrieval of localized button captions. 
#If VBA7 Then 
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function LoadString Lib "user32" Alias "LoadStringA" ( _ 
        ByVal hInstance As LongPtr, _ 
        ByVal wID As Long, _ 
        ByVal lpBuffer As String, _ 
        ByVal nBufferMax As Long) _ 
        As Long 
              
    Private Declare PtrSafe Function LoadLibrary Lib "kernel32" Alias "LoadLibraryA" ( _ 
        ByVal lpFileName As String) _ 
        As LongPtr 
#Else 
    Private Declare Function LoadString Lib "user32" Alias "LoadStringA" ( _ 
        ByVal hInstance As Long, _ 
        ByVal wID As Long, _ 
        ByVal lpBuffer As String, _ 
        ByVal nBufferMax As Long) _ 
        As Long 
              
    Private Declare Function LoadLibrary Lib "kernel32" Alias "LoadLibraryA" ( _ 
        ByVal lpFileName As String) _ 
        As Long 
#End If 



Private Sub FillCaptions() 
 
' Retrieve localized button captions into array Captions. 
 
    Const FileName          As String = "user32.dll" 
    Const BufferMax         As Long = 256 
     
#If VBA7 Then 
    Dim Instance            As LongPtr 
#Else 
    Dim Instance            As Long 
#End If 
     
    Dim Buffer              As String 
    Dim StringLength        As Long 
    Dim CaptionId           As Long 
     
    Instance = LoadLibrary(FileName) 
 
    ' Read localized captions into static array. 
    For CaptionId = FirstCaptionId To LastCaptionId 
        Buffer = String(BufferMax, vbNullChar) 
        StringLength = LoadString(Instance, CaptionId, Buffer, BufferMax) 
        Captions(CaptionId) = Left(Buffer, StringLength) 
    Next 
 
End Sub



Calling a help file

Though hardly used very often, this feature is implemented. In version 1.2.0, all the code related to the API call has been moved to a separate module, HtmlHelp, as it can be used separately, and to not clutter the ModernBox module. 

What's left is a set of simple functions to open and close the Help Viewer:

 

' Open a help file at context ContextID if found.
'
' Note:
'   An opened help viewer window must be closed before exiting the application,
'   or, most likely, Access will chrash.
'
' Requires:
'   HtmlHelp
'
' 2018-04-26. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH.
'
Public Function OpenHelp( _
    ByVal HelpFile As String, _
    Optional ByVal ContextID As Long = 1) _
    As Boolean
   
    Const MinimumContextID  As Long = 1
   
    Dim Success             As Boolean
    ' Adjust invalid context IDs.
    If ContextID < MinimumContextID Then
        ContextID = MinimumContextID
    End If
   
    ' Open help file.
    ' Fails silently if help file or context ID is not found.
    Success = HelpControl(OpenContext, HelpFile, ContextID)
   
    OpenHelp = Success
   
End Function
' Close all open HTML Help Viewer windows.
'
' Requires:
'   HtmlHelp
'
' 2018-04-26. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH.
'
Public Function CloseHelp() As Boolean
   
    Dim Success             As Boolean
   
    ' Close help file.
    ' Fails silently if no Help Viewer windows are open.
    Success = HelpControl(CloseAll)
   
    CloseHelp = Success
   
End Function



Return the result

The message result to return is preset every time a button gains focus:

 

Private Sub ButtonFocus(ByVal ButtonIndex As Long) 
     
' Style buttons to indicate the new default button. 
 
    ' Set (new) default button. 
    Me("Button" & CStr(ButtonIndex)).Default = True 
     
    ' Set (new) default result value. 
    Result = Buttons(ButtonIndex)(ButtonProperty.Value) 
     
    ' Recolour visible buttons. 
    Call StyleCommandButtons(Me) 
 
End Sub


and at the same time the buttons are recoloured to indicate which button now is the default button.


The input box simply returns the typed in string to the global variable mbInputText if OK is clicked, or an empty string if Cancel is clicked.

 

Wrapping it all up

As mentioned earlier, the forms are controlled by functions, MsgMox and InputMox, very similar to MsgBox and InputBox:

 

' Global variables for forms ModernBox and ModputBox. 
Public mbPrompt             As String 
Public mbTitle              As Variant 
Public mbHelpFile           As String 
Public mbContext            As Long 
' Global variables for form ModernBox. 
Public mbButtons            As VbMsgBoxStyle 
' Global variables for form ModputBox. 
Public mbDefault            As String 
Public mbXPos               As Variant 
Public mbYPos               As Variant 
 
' Global variable set by form ModernBox when closed. 
Public mbResult             As VbMsgBoxResult 
' Global variable set by form ModputBox when closed. 
Public mbInputText          As String 
 
' Form name of the modern message box. 
Private Const ModernBoxName As String = "ModernBox" 
' Form name of the modern input box. 
Private Const ModputBoxName As String = "ModputBox" 



' Opens a message box, using form ModernBox, similar to VBA.MsgBox. 
' 
' Syntax. As for MsgBox with an added parameter, TimeOut: 
' MsgMox(Prompt, [Buttons As VbMsgBoxStyle = vbOKOnly], [Title], [HelpFile], [Context], [TimeOut]) As VbMsgBoxResult 
' 
' If TimeOut is negative, zero, or missing: 
'   MsgMox waits forever as MsgBox. 
' If TimeOut is positive: 
'   MsgMox exits after TimeOut milliseconds, returning the result of the current default button. 
' 
' 2018-04-26. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH. 
' 
Public Function MsgMox( _ 
    Prompt As String, _ 
    Optional Buttons As VbMsgBoxStyle = vbOkOnly, _ 
    Optional Title As Variant = Null, _ 
    Optional HelpFile As String, _ 
    Optional Context As Long, _ 
    Optional TimeOut As Long) _ 
    As VbMsgBoxResult 
     
    ' Set global variables to be read by form ModernBox. 
    mbButtons = Buttons 
    mbPrompt = Prompt 
    mbTitle = Title 
    mbHelpFile = HelpFile 
    mbContext = Context 
     
    Call OpenFormDialog(ModernBoxName, TimeOut) 
     
    ' Return result value set by form ModernBoxName. 
    MsgMox = mbResult 
 
End Function 



' Opens an input box, using form ModputBox, similar to VBA.InputBox. 
' 
' Syntax. As for InputBox with an added parameter, TimeOut: 
' InputMox(Prompt, [Title], [Default], [XPos], [YPos], [HelpFile], [Context], [TimeOut]) As VbMsgBoxResult 
' 
' Note: 
'   XPos and YPos are relative to the top-left corner of the 
'   application, not the screen as it is for InputBox. 
' 
' If TimeOut is negative, zero, or missing: 
'   InputMox waits forever as InputBox. 
' If TimeOut is positive: 
'   InputMox exits after TimeOut milliseconds, returning an empty string. 
' 
' 2018-04-26. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH. 
' 
Public Function InputMox( _ 
    Prompt As String, _ 
    Optional Title As Variant = Null, _ 
    Optional Default As String, _ 
    Optional XPos As Variant = Null, _ 
    Optional YPos As Variant = Null, _ 
    Optional HelpFile As String, _ 
    Optional Context As Long, _ 
    Optional TimeOut As Long) _ 
    As String 
     
    ' Set global variables to be read by form ModernBox. 
    mbPrompt = Prompt 
    mbTitle = Title 
    mbDefault = Default 
    mbXPos = XPos 
    mbYPos = YPos 
    mbHelpFile = HelpFile 
    mbContext = Context 
     
    Call OpenFormDialog(ModputBoxName, TimeOut) 
     
    ' Return return value set by form ModputBoxName. 
    InputMox = mbInputText 
 
End Function 


When opened, the form reads the global variables that control its behaviour and, when closing, it returns the result in another global variable, mbResult or mbInputText, that then is returned by the function.


You will notice that one feature compared to MsgBox and InputBox has been added: A timeout. This can be useful for unattended operation or other situations where you don't want the application to hang waiting for a user interaction.

 

Error box ready to use

If you provide friendly error handling with error code and description for the user to report, you may take advantage of the function ErrorMox which wrap MsgMox so you can display useful error information with just about zero additional code:


' Opens a MsgMox predefined for displaying the error number, source, and description if Err <> 0. 
' Also reestablishes the application window, if Echo is False, and the cursor, if Hourglass is True, 
' and resets the Status line. 
' 
' 2018-04-26. Gustav Brock, Cactus Data ApS, CPH. 
' 
Public Function ErrorMox( _ 
    Optional ByVal Topic As String) _ 
    As String 
 
    ' Text to prefix the error number. 
    Const Prefix    As String = "Error" 
     
    Dim Prompt      As String 
    Dim Title       As String 
    Dim Buttons     As VbMsgBoxStyle 
    Dim Message     As String 
     
    If Err = 0 Then 
        ' No error. Exit. 
    Else 
        ' Reestablish display. 
        DoCmd.Hourglass False 
        DoCmd.Echo True 
         
        ' Display error message. 
        Title = ApplicationTitle 
        Title = Title & ": " & Application.CurrentObjectName 
        If Topic <> "" Then 
            Title = Title & ", " & Topic 
        End If 
         
        If Prefix <> "" Then 
            Prompt = Prefix & ": " 
        End If 
        Prompt = Prompt & CStr(Err.Number) & vbCrLf & _ 
            Err.Description & "." 
         
        Buttons = vbOkOnly + vbCritical 
        MsgMox Prompt, Buttons, Title 
         
        ' Clear status line. 
        StatusLineReset 
         
        ' Return message lines. 
        Message = Title & vbCrLf & Prompt 
    End If 
     
    ErrorMox = Message 
 
End Function

As you can see, it takes info from the Err object and formats these and finish it up with the title of the application.

The project for download contains a tiny demo to demonstrate this, and this is the result:


 

Code

The complete ModernBox project consists of two forms and four modules which can be copy/pasted into any application.

It has been tested in Access 365 32-bit and 64-bit under Windows 10.


From version 1.1 also a collection of helper functions for the colour theme is included.

 

Project download, Access 365: ModernBox 1.3.1.zip
Also, always the newest version at GitHub: VBA.ModernBox



I hope you found this article useful. You are encouraged to ask questions, report any bugs or make any other comments about it below.


Note: If you need further "Support" about this topic, please consider using the Ask a Question feature of Experts Exchange. I monitor questions asked and would be pleased to provide any additional support required in questions asked in this manner, along with other EE experts.


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Gustav BrockMVP
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Comments (19)

Commented:
MetroMessageBox click event minimize the active forms in c#.
In my application i used to work with multiple form(Metro) and when i get a messageBox click event minimize the other forms except the form which generates messageBox.
How can i fix this???
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
C#? I'm not sure I follow.

The project here is in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) which is not related to C#.

Commented:
Here u have discussed about Metro framework...Can u tell me the soln n VBA????
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Most Valuable Expert 2015
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
It's not about the framework. It's about applying a message box and an input box in VBA (Microsoft Access) a design that mimics and matches that of Windows 8.x.
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Commented:
nice approaches

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