Understanding the Visual Basic Environment
The first time you run Visual Basic, you'll notice that the IDE contains a lot of windows, such as the Properties window on the right, which is used to view and set properties of objects. In addition to these windows, the IDE contains a lot of tabs, such as the Toolbox tab on the left edge of the IDE (refer to Figure 1.3). Clicking a tab displays an associated window. Try this now: click the Toolbox tab to display the Toolbox window. You can also hover the mouse over a tab for a few seconds to display the window. To hide the window, simply move the mouse off the window. To close the window completely, click the Close (X) button in the window's title bar.
You can adjust the size and position of any of these windows, and you can even hide and show them at will. You'll learn how to customize your design environment in Hour 2.
Unless specifically instructed to do so, do not double-click anything in the Visual Basic design environment. Double-clicking most objects produces an entirely different outcome than single-clicking does. If you mistakenly double-click an object on a form, a code window is displayed. At the top of the code window is a set of tabs: one for the form design and one for the code. Click the tab for the form design to hide the code window and return to the form.
The Properties window at the right side of the design environment is perhaps the most important window, and it's the one you'll use most often. If your computer's display is set for 640[ts]480, you can probably see only a few properties at this time. This makes it difficult to view and set properties as you create projects. I highly recommend that you don't attempt development with Visual Basic at a resolution below 800[ts]600. Personally, I prefer 1024[ts]768 because it offers plenty of work space. To change your display settings, right-click your desktop and select Properties.