How to speed up buttons rendering
As you may suspect, the rendering of complex 3D buttons requires more CPU ticks than the rendering of default Windows flat square button. There can be a significant slowdown in performance when there are many buttons to be rendered on a form or dialog box. However, when an application renders a large number of consistently formatted buttons, there is a way to increase rendering performance. This is achieved through caching.
Beginning with Version 7 of the control, a new buttons caching system has been available to speed up the time required to load forms. This system is based on the assumption that if a button surface has already been created for a particular button it can be reused by other buttons having the same morphological characteristics.
As an example, consider the following two forms:
Both forms have the same number of buttons. On the first form, all of the buttons differ from each other. On the second form, all of the buttons are the same (except for their captions, which does not affect load time). In the caching system, the second form will load much more quickly because the first button can serve as a template for all of the buttons. Furthermore, even after Form2 is closed, the button will remain in cache so that if the form is opened again, the button will not need to be recalculated and may be used immediately.
In order for the caching system to work, buttons on a form must have the following morphological characteristics in common:
As you can see, settings declared inside the Texts tab and inside the Graphics tab of 3D Button Visual Editor will not affect the caching system, so you will have enough ways to distinguish buttons from each other.
Obviously this section's goal is not to tell you how to design your application's user interface, but it gives you a means to speed up your user interface loading time.
Another issue that can slow down the rendering time is the modification of button's morphological characteristics on the container form loading routine (for example the Visual Basic 6 Form_Load subroutine): always try to setup the button's properties that influence a morphological characteristics at Design time only.