Easy way to replace TLabel with TStatic?  Can TLabel be skinned?

Posted on 2006-11-21
Last Modified: 2010-04-05

I have had some programs developed in Delphi, that I would now like to skin using SkinCrafter.

According to my programmers, they used TLabel ( a standard Delphi control) for all the text... and are now saying that SkinCrafter only supports TStatic, which is a standard Windows control.

So they will need to spend about a day per program, manually changing TLabel to TStatic.

My question is:  

1.  Is there a way to globally replace TLabel with TStatic?  
2.  Or is there a way for TLabel to be skinned?


- Dave
Question by:optdave55
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 17990827
The main difference between TLabel and TStaticText (I think that's the component you are referring to) is that TStaticText is a "windowed" component, whereas TLabel is not. This means that TStaticText has a window handle and via this handle it can be addressed even from outside the application.
They are very different components, even if they look the same ;)
In theory one could replace all occurences of "TLabel" with "TStaticText" in all dfm and pas files, but as TLabel has a few properties and events that TStaticText doesn't, this could prove to be problematic. It depends on the this: have events for any TLabel been implemented, that TStaticLabel doesn't have? Have properties of TLabel that TStaticText doesn't have, been changed from the default (and thus are mentioned in the dfm file(s)). I'd be very careful and test it (on a copy of the application...) Of course, manually replacing dozens or even  hundreds of labels can be a tedious  task...
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

EddieShipman earned 500 total points
ID: 17990838
You can use the Replace Components... function from GExperts to automate this for all files in a form
or project.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 17990846
The only events that TLable has that TStatic doesn't is the OnMouseEnter and OnMouseLeave (in Delphi 7) and
it isn't difficult to add those if you need them.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 17990960
Hm, I see I've written TStaticLabel in the second paragraph, instead of TStaticText...
I don't know how SkinCrafter works (maybe someone else does?), but I would guess that it uses the handles to access the individual components.
One more thing, even in an ideal situation, where you could replace all instances of TLabel with TStaticText by simply replacing their class name in all files, you could end up with declarations like
The compiler wouldn't care, but maintenance programmers in the future probably would ;)
Manually changing the components would be safer I think, but maybe someone has already done this once at a larger scale and can tell you more about it...
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 17990975
Ok, maybe I'm being too hesitant... ;)
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 17991072
>You can use the Replace Components...

"Replace Components" suggested by  EddieShipman  really sounds like the ideal solution, I wasn't aware of it.  (click on Replace Components in the left panel)

Another useful GExperts function...

Expert Comment

ID: 17991904
Right mouse click on the form, select "view as text"

object Form1: TForm1
  Left = 192
  Top = 107
  Width = 544
  Height = 375
  Caption = 'Form1'
  Color = clBtnFace
  Font.Charset = DEFAULT_CHARSET
  Font.Color = clWindowText
  Font.Height = -11
  Font.Name = 'MS Sans Serif'
  Font.Style = []
  OldCreateOrder = False
  PixelsPerInch = 96
  TextHeight = 13
  object Label1: TLabel
    Left = 102
    Top = 66
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label1'
  object Label2: TLabel
    Left = 132
    Top = 116
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label2'
  object Label3: TLabel
    Left = 204
    Top = 146
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label3'
  object Label4: TLabel
    Left = 216
    Top = 100
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label4'
  object Label5: TLabel
    Left = 240
    Top = 64
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label5'
  object Label6: TLabel
    Left = 324
    Top = 98
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label6'
  object Label7: TLabel
    Left = 330
    Top = 192
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label7'
  object Label8: TLabel
    Left = 264
    Top = 270
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label8'
  object Label9: TLabel
    Left = 140
    Top = 268
    Width = 32
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label9'
  object Label10: TLabel
    Left = 60
    Top = 234
    Width = 38
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label10'
  object Label11: TLabel
    Left = 108
    Top = 194
    Width = 38
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label11'
  object Label12: TLabel
    Left = 160
    Top = 206
    Width = 38
    Height = 13
    Caption = 'Label12'

Just Delphi Menu > Search > Replace


Then right mouse click, select View As Form, Delphi will then say, Property X does not exist, do you wish to correct, press Yes (i've had instances of 50 or 60 components coming up) I've even got to the point where i've held down enter for a few seconds lol...


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