For example, after using the Form Designer to arrange buttons and other elements in a graphical interface, you can immediately view the. DFM file that contains the textual description of your form. You can also manually edit any code generated by Delphi without losing access to the visual programming environment. From the IDE, all your programming tools are within easy reach. You can manage projects, design graphical interfaces, write code, search databases, compile, test, debug, and browse through class libraries without leaving the IDE.
All toolbar operations are duplicated in the drop- down menus. You can use the right-click menu to hide any toolbar. Run Pause Step over Many operations have keyboard shortcuts as well as toolbar buttons.
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When a keyboard shortcut is available, it is always shown next to the command on the drop- down menu. You can right-click on many tools and icons to display a menu of commands appropriate to the object you are working with. These are called context menus. The toolbar is also customizable. You can add commands you want to it or move the parts of the toolbar to different locations. You can name and save desktop arrangements using the Desktop toolbar. Many components are provided on the Component palette, grouped by function.
Click a component on the Component palette.
Then click where you want to place it on the form. Or choose a component from an alphabetical list. You can install new components on the Component palette. You can also rearrange the palette and add new pages. Choose Environment Options, then the Palette page.
When a component is selected on a form, its properties and events are displayed in the Object Inspector. You can select an object on the form by clicking on it Here, Button2 is selected, and its properties are displayed. Select a property and change its value in the right column. Click an ellipsis to open a dialog where you can change the properties of a helper object. Many properties have simple values—such as names of colors, True or False, and integers. For Boolean properties, you can double-click the word to toggle between True and False.
Some properties have associated property editors to set more complex values.
Double-click here to change the value from True to False. Click any ellipsis to display a property editor for that property. Click on the down arrow to select from a list of valid values. Here, Button2 is selected and its type is displayed: TButton. Select an existing event handler from the drop- down list. Or double-click in the value column, and Delphi generates skeleton code for a new event handler.
Viewing and editing code As you design the user interface for your application, Delphi generates the underlying Pascal code. When you select and modify the properties of forms and components, your changes are automatically reflected in the source files. You can also add code to your source files directly using the built-in Code editor. Components added to the form are reflected in the code. Generated code. Choose Tools Editor Options to customize your editing environment. You can set options such as tabbing, key mapping, color, and automatic features. Form files extension.
DFM describe each component in your form, including the values of all persistent properties. To view a form. DFM file in the editor, right-click on the form and select View as Text. Form files can be edited. To return to the pictorial view of your form, right-click and choose View as Form. You can save form files in either text the default or binary format.
The Environment Options dialog lets you indicate which format to use for newly created forms. For more information You can use them to navigate through source code. Click the left arrow to return to the last place you were working in your code. Then click the right arrow to move forward again. Use the editor like a Web browser. Press Ctrl and point to any identifier. The cursor turns into a hand, and the identifier turns blue and is underlined. Click to jump to the definition of the identifier. After navigating, click the Back arrow to return to your previous location.
The Code Explorer contains a tree diagram showing the types, classes, properties, methods, global variables, and routines defined in your unit. It also shows the other units listed in the uses clause. To search for a class, property, method, variable, or routine, just type its name. Managing projects Use the Project Manager to organize the form and unit files that make up an application. You can use the Project Manager to add and remove files, and you can open any file by double-clicking it. You can combine related projects into a single project group.
For example, you might use project groups to organize a multi-tiered application or to keep DLLs with executables that use them. Browsing project elements and structure As mentioned earlier, the Code Explorer lets you examine a unit in detail. It displays the object hierarchies, units, and global symbols within your entire project.
Choose View Browser to display the Project Browser. The Project Browser has three tabs that display classes, units, and globals. On the Explorer page of Tools Environment Options, you can set the scope of the Project Browser and control how source elements are grouped.
You can add project- wide items to a list by adding them directly to the list, or you can add specific items directly in the source code. Choose View To-Do list do add or view information associated with a project. Right-click on a to-do list to display commands that let you sort and filter the list. Designing data modules A data module is a special form that contains nonvisual components. All the components in a data module could be placed on ordinary forms alongside visual controls.
But if you plan on reusing groups of database and system objects, or if you want to isolate the parts of your application that handle database connectivity and business rules, data modules provide a convenient organizational tool. To create a data module, choose File New and double-click on Data Module. The Data Diagram tab shows a graphic representation of relationships among components, such as master-detail and lookup fields.
The Components tab displayed here shows components as they would appear on a form. This pane shows a hierarchical tree view of the components in the module. Delphi opens an empty data module in the Data Module Designer, displays the unit file for the new module in the Code editor, and adds the module to the current project.
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When you reopen an existing data module, Delphi displays its components in the Data Module Designer. Setting project and environment options The Project Options dialog, accessed by choosing Project Options, controls compiler and linker switches, some search paths and output directories, project version information, and other settings that are maintained separately for each application. When you make changes in the Project Options dialog, your changes affect only the current project; but if the Default check box is selected, your selections are also saved as the default settings for new projects.
These include many settings that affect the appearance and behavior of the IDE, as well as some search paths and output directories. For details about the options on any page of the Project Options or Environment Options dialog, click the Help button on that page. Press F1 on an object in the Form Designer.
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Press F1 on any menu command, dialog box, or window to display Help on that item. Pressing the Help button in any dialog box also displays context-sensitive online documentation. Error messages from the compiler and linker appear in a special window below the Code editor. To get Help with compilation errors, select a message from the list and press F1. Help with coding Delphi provides various aids to help you write code. The Code Insight tools display context-sensitive pop-up windows in the Code editor.
Table 2. Type a procedure, function, or method name to bring up a list of arguments.
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