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Block Diagram Shapes

Posted on 2008-10-05
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi, I'm using VB 2005, WinForms. Is there a way to create a type of "Block Diagram" on a Form?

I need to create a group of linked shapes, so that I can graphically illustrate for my users the steps they need to follow to complete a task. So, I thought that a kind of block diagram would be useful. I know I can create blocks with Panel Controls, but I wanted something more rounded at the edges like a GroupBox. However, if I use the GroupBox Control (without a Text value) the round shape look is distorted at the edges if you change the color.

The ideal thing would be to do one of two things; one, be able to create a new control that inherits the Panel Control and somehow round its edges; or two, be able to simple round the Panel's edges without having to create a new control. -- (easier said than done).

I read an article once where someone had created buttons with odd shapes. Can that be done with other controls, like a Panel?

I could also use an image, but I wanted to make it interactive by adding labels to tell them how much of that sub task they've completed. -- Kind of like the executive "Dash-Board" idea.  

Also, is there a way to create the links between shapes, maybe like an arrow or a line of some sort?

Thanks for the advice,
Fulano
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Question by:Mr_Fulano
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Expert Comment

by:melmers
ID: 22643974
i use for block diagramms a control from syncfusion which creates visio like diagramms.

you can look at http://www.syncfusion.com
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Jaime Olivares earned 500 total points
ID: 22644456
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by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 22644462
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by:Mr_Fulano
ID: 22644980
Hi melmers,

Your solution is a very nice product, but very expensive. I wanted something that I could create or that is very inexpensive.

Thanks,
Fulano
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Fulano
ID: 22644984
Hi jaime_olivares,

You suggestions are right on point with my question, the only problem for me is that they are not in VB. They appear to be in some sort of C language. I guess I'm going to have to experiment with each shape that i need to see if I can build them in VB. I look deeper into it, but for now if you see something in VB please post it for me.

Thanks,
Fulano
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by:Jaime Olivares
ID: 22645412
them are not in a sort of C language, it is C-sharp (C#) the native language for .net applications.
If you will work in .net environment, you will deal with C# snippets and libraries frequently.
To use C# library, just take the compiled dll and add to your project or compile it with Visual C# express edition, you will be able to use all the classes, methods and properties as if it was developed in vb.net
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Expert Comment

by:melmers
ID: 22647264
when you have a workflow like environment you can try to  use the workflow designer from .net 3.5 as ui there you have basic shapes but i don't know if it fits it is like a hack because you don't use the wf components but must reference them

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480213.aspx
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Fulano
ID: 22647539
Thank you to all. I think that I've solved my need with a series of Buttons and the ability to draw lines between them. This technique provides the graphical look I needed.

Thanks,
Fulano
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