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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 134
How to Customize dialogs in visual studio

Hello,


I am using Visual studio 2005 from last 1 months and i have to make use of Menu tabs to select for the Interface like dialog boxes, which is very time consuming so can anyone tell me whether we could customize dialog boxes on our own in visual studio.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2009
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 150
Re: How to Customize dialogs in visual studio

This would be easy in more capable MSI-authoring tool, That however would occur already during theactual installation, not at the initial user interface steps. Another, no less ugly way would be to put custom dialog and specify property "visible" for its controls as the property resulting from the system search for your registry key; so it would show up anyways, but empty. You could put up a text like "this page is intentionally left blank", lol.

Or you can patch resulting msi file with orca or other tool; figure out the place in the script where custom dialog is called, and put the condition such as "if property = ... then".
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2009
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 140
Re: How to Customize dialogs in visual studio

When creating new templates or new language projects with policy, you can provide a new top-level folder, rather than having them reside under the Other Projects \ Enterprise Template Projects folder in the New Project or Add New Project dialog boxes. For example, if you create a set of custom templates for your development team, it might be helpful to have a custom folder available alongside the Visual Basic, Visual C#, and Visual C++ folders. To create a new top-level folder and have custom templates or projects reside in that folder, follow the steps described in detail below.

There are two parts to this process:
  • Generate a unique GUID.
  • Update the registry using the GUID to point to your custom template directory.
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2009
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 31
Re: How to Customize dialogs in visual studio

Visual studio dialogs

There is very limited documentation about the installer dialogs. What does exist seems to be related to language globalization/customisation. However, what we learn is that the installer dialogs are in the folder %ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\Tools\Deployment\VsdDialogs and that these files can be edited using the Orca tool that ships as part of the Windows Installer SDK. By viewing the dialogs in those folders using the Orca tool, it is easy to determine which .wid file belongs to which entry in the Add Dialog screen in Visual Studio. Before we start editing these files it is recommended that a backup is made of these files.

Things that are noticed straightaway:
  • There are lots of well-known tables that are documented on the MSDN website and there are some that are custom, i.e. those beginning with Module.
  • All of the dialogs have a unique name. See the tables Control, ControlCondition, ControlEvent and Dialog, amongst others.
  • All of the custom actions have a unique name. See the CustomAction table.
  • All of the properties have a unique name. See the Property table.

This unique naming makes sense when you think that we could be adding them all into one installer or, as we can suspect, merged into one installer. This is why there may be a limited number of pre-made dialogs.
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