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How to create a custom shaped button

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The custom shaped button is based on a mask that will determine the shape of the button. Creating a mask begins with a simple picture file. The following tutorial demonstrates the procedure.

The first thing to do is to create a picture file, like the one below, containing a bitmap that will be used as a mask for determining the button's shape. In this case, the button will be shaped like a puffy cloud.

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Now, the procedure differs if you want to perform the operation at design-time or at run-time.

Design-time:

 

Right-click the control and choose Properties. The control's property sheet will appear.

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Click the Edit properties... button
Inside 3D Button Visual Editor, select the Shape tab and click the "Use a custom shape" button: this will enable the Browse and Delete buttons and, if no custom mask was previously loaded, the mask will default to an octagon as in the picture below:

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Now simply load the picture file containing the mask bitmap you just created by pressing the Browse button and see the effect on the 3D button under editing: note that, by default, the button will be automatically resized to the actual size in pixels of the custom mask.

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Runtime:

Set the Shape property to SHAPE_CUSTOM
Set the PictureCustom property to the path to the picture file containing the mask bitmap you just created.
The mask bitmap can also be loaded using the SetPictureFromHandle or the SetPictureFromMemory or the SetPictureFromNet methods with the index parameter set to PICTURE_CUSTOM (3).