Home > Articles > Programming > Windows Programming

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Showing and Hiding Forms

Knowing how to create forms does nothing for you if you don't have a way to show and hide them, because Visual Basic can display a single form automatically only when a program starts. To do this you have to write code.

Showing Forms

In Visual Basic.NET, everything is an object, and objects are based on classes. Because the definition of a form is a class, you have to create a new Form object using the class as a template.

The process of creating an object from a class (or template) is called instantiation. The syntax you'll use most often to instantiate a form is the following:

Dim {objectvariable} As New {formclassname()}

The three parts of this declaration are

  • The Dim statement A reserved word that tells the compiler that you're creating a variable.

  • The name of the variable This will be the name for the form that you will use in code.

  • The keyword New Indicates that you want to instantiate a new object for the variable.

Lastly, you specify the name of the class to use to derive the object—your form class. If you have a form class named fclsLoginDialog, for example, you could create a new Form object using the following code:

Dim frmLoginDialog As New fclsLoginDialog()

Thereafter, for as long as the object variable remains in scope, you can manipulate the Form object using the variable. For instance, to display the form, you call the Show method of the form or set the Visible property of the form to True using code such as this:



frmLoginDialog.Visible = True

The easiest way to get the hang of this is to actually do it. To begin, choose Add Windows Form from the Project menu to display the Add New Item dialog box. Change the name of the form to fclsMyNewForm.vb (as shown in Figure 5.5), and click Open to create the new form.

Figure 5.5. When you change the default name of a form, don't forget to leave the .vb extension.

Your project now has two forms, as you can see by viewing the Solution Explorer window. The new form is displayed in the form designer, but right now you need to work with the main form. At the top of the main design area is a set of tabs. Currently, the tab fclsMyNewForm.vb [Design] is selected. Click the tab titled frmExample.vb [Design] to show the designer for the first form. Add a new button to your form by double-clicking the Button item on the toolbox. Set the button's properties as follows:



Show Form

Double-click the button to access its Click event, and enter the following code:

Dim frmTest As New fclsMyNewForm()

The first statement creates a new object variable and instantiates an instance of the fclsMyNewForm form. The second statement uses the object variable, now holding a reference to a Form object, to display the form. Press F5 to run the project and click the button. (If the button doesn't appear on the form, you may have accidentally added it to the wrong form). When you click the button, a new instance of the second form is created and displayed. Move this form and click the button again. Each time you click the button, a new form is created. Stop the project now and click Save All on the toolbar.

Unloading Forms

After a form has served its purpose, you'll want it to go away. However, "go away" can mean one of two things. First, you can make a form disappear without closing it or freeing its resources (this is called hiding). To do so, set its Visible property to False. This hides the visual part of the form, but the form still resides in memory and can still be manipulated by code. In addition, all the variables and controls of the form retain their values when a form is hidden, so that if the form is displayed again, the form looks the same as it did when its Visible property was set to False.

Second, you can completely close a form and release the resources it consumes. You should close a form when it's no longer needed, so Windows can reclaim all resources used by the form. To do so, you invoke the Close method of the form like this:


Because Me represents the current Form object, you can manipulate properties and call methods of the current form using Me. (Me.Visible = False, and so forth).

The Close method tells Visual Basic to not simply hide the form, but to destroy it completely. If variables in other forms are holding a reference to the form you close, their references will be set to Nothing and will no longer point to a valid Form object.

Select the fclsMyNewForm.vb [Design] tab to display the form designer for the second form, add a new button to the form, and set the button's properties as follows:



Close Me

Double-click the button to access its Click event and then enter the following statement:


Next, run the project by pressing F5. Click the Show Form button to display the second form, and then click the second form's button. The form will disappear. Again, the form isn't just hidden; the form instance is unloaded from memory and no longer exists. You can create a new one by single-clicking the Show Form button on the first form. When you're finished, stop the running project and save your work.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020