Category Archives: miscellany

A quick note on error messages

I went to a local museum the other day and when the attendant scanned by membership card his computer said: Object not set to a reference of an object. Because we’re programmers, you and I know what that means (more … Continue reading

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Determine whether a year is a leap year in C#

Detecting leap years is basically trivial because the DateTime data type provides an IsLeapYear method to do just this. The example uses the following code to display the leap years between the two entered dates. // List leap years between … Continue reading

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Find .NET libraries for namespaces in C#

Some namespaces have names that nicely match their .NET libraries. For example, the System.Drawing namespace is defined in the System.Drawing library. Unfortunately a namespace’s name doesn’t always match the name of the .NET library that defines it. For example, the … Continue reading

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Run user-entered code that modifies the program’s form in C#

The example Run user-entered code in C# shows how you can compile and execute code entered at run time. That example simply displays a message box and returns a DialogResult indicating which button the user pressed. This example shows how … Continue reading

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Tip: Make parentheses matching more visible in C#

Recently someone asked me if there was a Visual Studio add-in that highlighted parentheses, brackets, and braces so it would be easier to tell which closing parenthesis matched which opening parenthesis. It turns out that Visual Studio already has a … Continue reading

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Use accelerators on labels and buttons in C#

To place an accelerator on a menu item, you put an ampersand in front of the letter in the menu item’s caption that you want to be the accelerator. At run time, the caption is displayed with the accelerator letter … Continue reading

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Activate another running program in C#

This is actually quite simple. First add a reference to the Microsoft.VisualBasic library. Then call Microsoft.VisualBasic.Interaction.AppActivate, passing it the title of the program that you want to activate as in the following code. using Microsoft.VisualBasic; … // Activate the program. … Continue reading

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Use System.Threading.Timer to make a countdown timer in C#

The post Make a countdown timer in C# uses a Timer control to count down the time until some deadline. This example does something similar but it uses a Timer object from the System.Threading namespace. The basic idea is similar: … Continue reading

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Move a window with a title that matches a pattern in C#

The example Set another application’s size and position in C# uses the FindWindow API function to find a window with a given title. Unfortunately FindWindow only finds the window if the title is an exact match. If you only know … Continue reading

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Tile desktop windows in rows and columns in C#

The example List desktop windows in C# shows how to list the currently running desktop windows. This example uses that technique to fill a ListBox with the titles of those desktop windows. (See the previous example to see how that … Continue reading

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