ComboBox DropDown Size: Design vs Run Time?

Hi,

I was wondering, what's the reason for specifying the dropdown size of a 
combobox at design time?
I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as 
much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.
0
OlafvdSpek (88)
6/1/2005 9:08:58 AM
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Olaf van der Spek wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I was wondering, what's the reason for specifying the dropdown size of a
> combobox at design time?
> I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as
> much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.

Sounds reasonable. Are you having some kind of issue with this?

Hugh

0
hughgray (73)
6/1/2005 1:51:57 PM
>I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as
much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.

Why is that? This would look kind of ugly if it takes a good portion of
screen. It will be tough to read if there are too many choices -
scrolling is better as you only see a subset.

Specifying it at Design time has its advantages if you already know
what the contents are going to be like. In addition, its useful if you
want to maintain consistency in your product(May be all drop downs of a
certain kind are of certain size etc).

IMO, there is nothing wrong with either technique. I will go with
design time first and then only in special cases, look at run time
sizing of CComboBox.

---------
Ajay Kalra
ajaykalra@yahoo.com

0
ajaykalra (6842)
6/1/2005 2:22:59 PM
I never set it at design time. See my dynamically-resizing dropdown class on my MVP Tips
site. It has the advantage that it successfully avoids ever putting up a scrollbar if
everything would be visible. It makes the decision at runtime, which I agree with you, is
the only correct time to make the decision. THere is nothing more aggravating than a
dropdown of five items, that shows only three or four, because the programmer was too lazy
to do the job right, and the selection you need is always the one that is scrolled off the
bottom of the combo box. ("Too lazy" is the only possible description; once the class is
created, it is trivial to use, and there is no excuse not to use it. And it is free!).
Also see my essay on combo box techniques.
					joe
On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 11:08:58 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <OlafvdSpek@GMail.Com> wrote:

>Hi,
>
>I was wondering, what's the reason for specifying the dropdown size of a 
>combobox at design time?
>I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as 
>much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/1/2005 3:51:21 PM
And what is the screen being used for other than the combo box? My control sizes
dynamically to maximize the combo box (it even understands that the box should move upward
if there is more room). Scrolling is a lousy interface when it is not needed (my class
will scroll if the entire set of selections won't fit on the screen). If the selections
are arranged in a logical order (often alphabetical is best) they aren't hard to read, and
you get to see everything instead of having to "guess" that there might be a "better
choice" if only you scroll down a bit.

The problem with design-time specification is that it only works if the target display
resolution and architecture are the same. I've had cases where programs I get don't work
right on my machine, although the programmer said he or she had "sized the combo box just
right"; I still have to scroll. I tend to use larger fonts because of my reduced eyesight,
and it is amazing how many layout bugs that shakes loose.

I never use design time because it almost always comes out wrong. Using runtime, I can add
new options and not worry about resizing combo boxes. One less thing to worry about. And
they always come out right. 

Now that MS-DOS is dead, I could enhance my class to resize the dropdown size also; this
didn't work correctly on MS-DOS systems, but all my new code does it.
					joe

On 1 Jun 2005 07:22:59 -0700, "Ajay Kalra" <ajaykalra@yahoo.com> wrote:

>>I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as
>much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.
>
>Why is that? This would look kind of ugly if it takes a good portion of
>screen. It will be tough to read if there are too many choices -
>scrolling is better as you only see a subset.
>
>Specifying it at Design time has its advantages if you already know
>what the contents are going to be like. In addition, its useful if you
>want to maintain consistency in your product(May be all drop downs of a
>certain kind are of certain size etc).
>
>IMO, there is nothing wrong with either technique. I will go with
>design time first and then only in special cases, look at run time
>sizing of CComboBox.
>
>---------
>Ajay Kalra
>ajaykalra@yahoo.com

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/1/2005 3:56:36 PM
hughgray@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
> 
> Olaf van der Spek wrote:
> 
>>Hi,
>>
>>I was wondering, what's the reason for specifying the dropdown size of a
>>combobox at design time?
>>I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as
>>much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.
> 
> 
> Sounds reasonable. Are you having some kind of issue with this?

Yes. Various dropdown sizes in various applications are too small. IE 
would be an example, but so is VS.
0
OlafvdSpek (88)
6/1/2005 8:33:02 PM
Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
> I never set it at design time. See my dynamically-resizing dropdown class on my MVP Tips
> site. It has the advantage that it successfully avoids ever putting up a scrollbar if

Why don't you set it to like 1024 or 2048 at design time? Then you don't 
need the extra code and I think it does exactly what you wish.

But: ::GetSystemMetrics(SM_CYSCREEN);

Does that work correctly on multi-monitor systems with different 
resolutions on each monitor or weird setups?
0
OlafvdSpek (88)
6/1/2005 8:39:58 PM
Olaf van der Spek wrote:
> Yes. Various dropdown sizes in various applications are too small. IE
> would be an example, but so is VS.

I haven't noticed the issues you have with IE or VS but I would suggest
you take up on Joseph Newcomer's suggestions if this is an issue in
your own application(s). It's always best to try and cater for users
who may wish to customise their interface (larger fonts etc.), for
whatever reason. Unfortunately, there is often a trade off between what
will make the UI look good for most users who will not have customised
their general Windows interface and those users who actually have no
choice but to make some adjustments. Often the later group are
neglected, or even not catered for at all.

There are actually some parallels with multi-language applications -
only when you are required to convert your interface to cater for a
completely different group of users do you realise how many bad choices
you have made. These requirements may mean that large parts of your
interface have to be redesigned, which takes up time and resources and
could have been avoided if these issues had been considered from the
very start of the project.

As a general guideline - your GUI should be 'designed', rather than
being something that you quickly slot onto some back-end functionality.
It's all very well laying out your controls so they all look perfect on
your development machine but it should also be tested and verified on
many different set-ups and configurations, and should be specifically
designed with these kind of issues in mind from the very start.

Hugh

0
hughgray (73)
6/1/2005 11:48:12 PM
hughgray@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
> Olaf van der Spek wrote:
> 
>>Yes. Various dropdown sizes in various applications are too small. IE
>>would be an example, but so is VS.
> 
> 
> I haven't noticed the issues you have with IE or VS but I would suggest

Launch IE and click on the dropdown of the address bar. Does it have a 
scrollbar? Does it fill the screen?

> you take up on Joseph Newcomer's suggestions if this is an issue in
> your own application(s). It's always best to try and cater for users

It's more of an issue in apps that aren't mine. :)

> who may wish to customise their interface (larger fonts etc.), for
> whatever reason. Unfortunately, there is often a trade off between what
> will make the UI look good for most users who will not have customised

I still don't understand what part of big dropdowns makes an UI 'look good'.
0
OlafvdSpek (88)
6/2/2005 7:22:10 AM
I don't believe in setting things to absolute numbers. For example, I'm now on a 1280-high
display. If I'd selected values of 1024, that number could now be wrong. Instead, I let it
be computed at runtime. It costs me zero effort to do this; I just use my subclass for all
my combo boxes.

No, I've not extended the code to support multiple monitors, but you're right, I should do
that. 
				joe

On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 22:39:58 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <OlafvdSpek@GMail.Com> wrote:

>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>> I never set it at design time. See my dynamically-resizing dropdown class on my MVP Tips
>> site. It has the advantage that it successfully avoids ever putting up a scrollbar if
>
>Why don't you set it to like 1024 or 2048 at design time? Then you don't 
>need the extra code and I think it does exactly what you wish.
>
>But: ::GetSystemMetrics(SM_CYSCREEN);
>
>Does that work correctly on multi-monitor systems with different 
>resolutions on each monitor or weird setups?

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/2/2005 4:06:02 PM
Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
> I don't believe in setting things to absolute numbers. For example, I'm now on a 1280-high
> display. If I'd selected values of 1024, that number could now be wrong. Instead, I let it

You could use 2k, 10k, 100k, whatever.
However, Windows will actually draw a dropdown list that's larger than 
the screen, so that solution doesn't work either. :(

> be computed at runtime. It costs me zero effort to do this; I just use my subclass for all
> my combo boxes.
> 
> No, I've not extended the code to support multiple monitors, but you're right, I should do
> that. 
> 				joe
> 
> On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 22:39:58 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <OlafvdSpek@GMail.Com> wrote:
> 
> 
>>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>>
>>>I never set it at design time. See my dynamically-resizing dropdown class on my MVP Tips
>>>site. It has the advantage that it successfully avoids ever putting up a scrollbar if
>>
>>Why don't you set it to like 1024 or 2048 at design time? Then you don't 
>>need the extra code and I think it does exactly what you wish.
>>
>>But: ::GetSystemMetrics(SM_CYSCREEN);
>>
>>Does that work correctly on multi-monitor systems with different 
>>resolutions on each monitor or weird setups?
> 
> 
> Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
> email: newcomer@flounder.com
> Web: http://www.flounder.com
> MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
OlafvdSpek (88)
6/2/2005 9:35:14 PM
Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
> I never set it at design time. See my dynamically-resizing dropdown class on my MVP Tips
> site. It has the advantage that it successfully avoids ever putting up a scrollbar if
> everything would be visible. It makes the decision at runtime, which I agree with you, is
> the only correct time to make the decision. THere is nothing more aggravating than a

According to MS: We could, in theory, support behavior like this, except 
that I'm afraid that the amount of work something like this would take 
would be prohibitively expensive.

http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewfeedback.aspx?feedbackid=3d7e64c0-a682-4a6f-97f4-8f592aa21ba2

> dropdown of five items, that shows only three or four, because the programmer was too lazy
> to do the job right, and the selection you need is always the one that is scrolled off the
> bottom of the combo box. ("Too lazy" is the only possible description; once the class is
> created, it is trivial to use, and there is no excuse not to use it. And it is free!).
> Also see my essay on combo box techniques.
> 					joe
> On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 11:08:58 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <OlafvdSpek@GMail.Com> wrote:
> 
> 
>>Hi,
>>
>>I was wondering, what's the reason for specifying the dropdown size of a 
>>combobox at design time?
>>I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as 
>>much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.
> 
> 
> Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
> email: newcomer@flounder.com
> Web: http://www.flounder.com
> MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
Olaf1 (34)
6/3/2005 10:32:54 PM
It is a fascinating posting. Never mind that they expended hundreds of man-years BREAKING
the IDE for Visual Studio, producing things that NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND COULD EVER
WANT (the screwed-up Add Variables crap, for example...did you see the reason it is so
slow coming up? I found that if I have a CD in my drive, IT SPINS UP THE CD while the
dialog is coming up!) An excuse like this says that they are utterly clueless about either
costs or GUI design issues. The cost to me to implement this is zero. I find it hard that
the cost to them is significant. I've retrofitted this to existing code in a few minutes. 

I suspect the response really means "We really don't care". Anyone who could produce the
VS .NET IDE has demonstrated beyond any question that they don't care about user interface
issues.
				joe

On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 00:32:54 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <Olaf@XCC.TMFWeb.NL> wrote:

>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>> I never set it at design time. See my dynamically-resizing dropdown class on my MVP Tips
>> site. It has the advantage that it successfully avoids ever putting up a scrollbar if
>> everything would be visible. It makes the decision at runtime, which I agree with you, is
>> the only correct time to make the decision. THere is nothing more aggravating than a
>
>According to MS: We could, in theory, support behavior like this, except 
>that I'm afraid that the amount of work something like this would take 
>would be prohibitively expensive.
>
>http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewfeedback.aspx?feedbackid=3d7e64c0-a682-4a6f-97f4-8f592aa21ba2
>
>> dropdown of five items, that shows only three or four, because the programmer was too lazy
>> to do the job right, and the selection you need is always the one that is scrolled off the
>> bottom of the combo box. ("Too lazy" is the only possible description; once the class is
>> created, it is trivial to use, and there is no excuse not to use it. And it is free!).
>> Also see my essay on combo box techniques.
>> 					joe
>> On Wed, 01 Jun 2005 11:08:58 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <OlafvdSpek@GMail.Com> wrote:
>> 
>> 
>>>Hi,
>>>
>>>I was wondering, what's the reason for specifying the dropdown size of a 
>>>combobox at design time?
>>>I'd say it's better to make the size as large as possible to display as 
>>>much rows (and columns) without falling of the screen.
>> 
>> 
>> Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
>> email: newcomer@flounder.com
>> Web: http://www.flounder.com
>> MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/4/2005 5:22:50 AM
Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
> I suspect the response really means "We really don't care". Anyone who could produce the
> VS .NET IDE has demonstrated beyond any question that they don't care about user interface
> issues.

It's not just VS. It's also Windows itself.
For example, do you remember the dialog of the defrag analyze report?
Or the file properties - security tab.
0
Olaf1 (34)
6/4/2005 10:21:21 AM
I've never run Windows defrag. Too many problems (see Executive Software for something
that actually works).  I never saw a combo box in the file properties - security (and I
just looked...)
				joe

On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 12:21:21 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <Olaf@XCC.TMFWeb.NL> wrote:

>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>> I suspect the response really means "We really don't care". Anyone who could produce the
>> VS .NET IDE has demonstrated beyond any question that they don't care about user interface
>> issues.
>
>It's not just VS. It's also Windows itself.
>For example, do you remember the dialog of the defrag analyze report?
>Or the file properties - security tab.

Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
email: newcomer@flounder.com
Web: http://www.flounder.com
MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
newcomer (15975)
6/5/2005 6:38:44 AM
Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
> I've never run Windows defrag. Too many problems (see Executive Software for something
> that actually works).  I never saw a combo box in the file properties - security (and I
> just looked...)

No, those comments were more about interface 'sizing' in general and 
dialog (re)sizing in particular.

> 				joe
> 
> On Sat, 04 Jun 2005 12:21:21 +0200, Olaf van der Spek <Olaf@XCC.TMFWeb.NL> wrote:
> 
> 
>>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>>
>>>I suspect the response really means "We really don't care". Anyone who could produce the
>>>VS .NET IDE has demonstrated beyond any question that they don't care about user interface
>>>issues.
>>
>>It's not just VS. It's also Windows itself.
>>For example, do you remember the dialog of the defrag analyze report?
>>Or the file properties - security tab.
> 
> 
> Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
> email: newcomer@flounder.com
> Web: http://www.flounder.com
> MVP Tips: http://www.flounder.com/mvp_tips.htm
0
Olaf1 (34)
6/6/2005 8:11:54 AM
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I Need to run ShellExecute but from a console application. Problem is that it expects to a window handle in the first parameter (other function like "system" is not appropriate). Can someone advise please? Thanks in advance Sam NULL handle is allowed. "Sam" <sam@rentai.com> wrote in message news:uFHRnQMeFHA.2180@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl... >I Need to run ShellExecute but from a console application. Problem is that > it expects to a window handle in the first parameter (other function like > "system" is not appropriate). > > Can someone adv...

Running Office 2004 with network homes on 10.4
Hi. Im really at the end of my tether with office now, for well over a year it seems as though no matter what I do office just behaves like a spoilt brat. Were talking 10-20 minute load times just to load an office app. It will sit there and first it say configuring microsoft office components. then through a host of other things until eventually as i said about 20 minutes later it will actually open. I've seen things about fonts before, but i can tell its not just (if at all) this. I have a reasonably fast network, so i cant see how it is network issues. All clients have networ...

How to fill cell with two combobox values?
I am looking for VB code for command button that fills two combo box values and a toggle value (Y/N) behind each other in one cell. Bart Excel 2003 ...

Run-time 3201 error
Upon coverting two versions of the same database (97 and 2000) over to 2002, we get a mysterious error message "Run-time error ' 3201': No current record." when trying to open certain forms from the Switchboard. The same forms work and open fine in either 97 or 2000 versions. Can someone shed a light on the problem? You may need to set references in the 2002 database. Open your database into the code editor window. Under Debug Compile your database. If you have any missing references your code will break and you will get an error message. Depending on the error returned wil...

Time Fromulas
I have a sheet in which one column is for "Actual Time", i have to allo the time band wise (which is one hour) %age to Actual time column. How can i allot it with formula or macro? Data Sample is: Time Band %age 89% 100% 100% 100% NA NA NA 100% 100% -72% 100% 12% 100% -66% 100% 33% 100% 100% 81% 57% 50% 100% 48% 94% Time Band for 24 Hrs 0:59:00 1:59:00 2:59:00 3:59:00 4:59:00 5:59:00 6:59:00 7:59:00 8:59:00 9:59:00 10:59:00 11:59:00 12:59:00 13:59:00 14:59:00 15:59:00 16:59:00 17:59:00 18:59:00 19:59:00 20:59:00 21:59:00 22:59:00 23:59:00 Actual Time ...

Overlapping time intervals
Hi All I have three jobs that a piece of equipment can perform: one to put away, and two to pull out. Each job has one start time and one end time and the three jobs may overlap either or both of the other two. What I would like to determine are discrete answers for: How many hours is only one job active; How many hours are two jobs active; How many hours are three jobs active? The first answer is the total hours minus the sum of the other two calculations and I can get the hours for two jobs with: =IF(OR(Finish1<Start2,Start1>Finish2),0,MIN(Finish1,Finish2)-MAX (Start1,Start2)) (...

Time Stamp in office
Hi All; Does anyone know of a way (keystroke, etc...) to put a time stamp into a Entourage document? On 5/11/04 6:00 PM, in article BCC6EF5F.291%thomasjones@adelphia.net, "Thomas Jones" <thomasjones@adelphia.net> wrote: > > Does anyone know of a way (keystroke, etc...) to put a time stamp into a > Entourage document? Get "Date Stamp X" script at MacScripter.net <http://macscripter.net/scriptbuilders/> It gives you about 20 different date-time formats to choose from. By default you do it with cmd-ctrl-D but you can change the key combo if yo...