Delphi Programming Guide
Delphi Programmer 

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Part I - Foundations
  Chapter 1 – Delphi 7 and Its IDE
  Chapter 2 – The Delphi Programming Language
  Chapter 3 – The Run-Time Library
  Chapter 4 – Core Library classes
  Chapter 5 – Visual Controls
  Chapter 6 – Building the User Interface
  Chapter 7 – Working with Forms
Part II - Delphi Object-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 8 – The Architecture of Delphi Applications
  Chapter 9 – Writing Delphi Components
  Chapter 10 – Libraries and Packages
  Chapter 11 – Modeling and OOP Programming (with ModelMaker)
  Chapter 12 – From COM to COM+
Part III - Delphi Database-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 13 – Delphi's Database Architecture
  Chapter 14 – Client/Server with dbExpress
  Chapter 15 – Working with ADO
  Chapter 16 – Multitier DataSnap Applications
  Chapter 17 – Writing Database Components
  Chapter 18 – Reporting with Rave
Part IV - Delphi, the Internet, and a .NET Preview
  Chapter 19 – Internet Programming: Sockets and Indy
  Chapter 20 – Web Programming with WebBroker and WebSnap
  Chapter 21 – Web Programming with IntraWeb
  Chapter 22 – Using XML Technologies
  Chapter 23 – Web Services and SOAP
  Chapter 24 – The Microsoft .NET Architecture from the Delphi Perspective
  Chapter 25 – Delphi for .NET Preview: The Language and the RTL
  Appendix A – Extra Delphi Tools by the Author
  Appendix B – Extra Delphi Tools from Other Sources
  Appendix C – Free Companion Books on Delphi
  List of Figures    
  List of tables    
  List of Listings    
  List of Sidebars  

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Chapter 6: Building the User Interface


In Chapter 5, I discussed the core concepts of the TControl class and its derived classes in the VCL and VisualCLX libraries. Then, I provided a rapid tour of the key controls you can use to build a user interface, including editing components, lists, range selectors, and more. This chapter discusses other controls used to define the overall design of a form, such as the PageControl and TabControl. After these components, I'll introduce toolbars and status bars, including some slightly advanced features. This will give you the foundation material for the rest of the chapter, which covers actions and the Action Manager architecture.

Modern Windows applications usually have multiple ways of giving a command, including menu items, toolbar buttons, shortcut menus, and so on. To separate the actual commands a user can give from their multiple representations in the user interface, Delphi uses the concept of actions. In recent Delphi versions, this architecture has been extended to make the construction of the user interface on top of actions totally visual. You can now also let program users customize this interface easily, as is true in many professional programs. Finally, Delphi 7 adds to the visual controls supporting the Action Manager architecture a better and more modern UI, supporting the XP look and feel. On Windows XP, you can create applications that adapt themselves to the active theme, thanks to a lot of new internal VCL code.

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