The VCL or the Visual Component Library, as we all know, is still the best library for windows app development. While the FireMonkey framework provides wider options for developers, especially when designing or building cross-platform apps, VCL is already a well-established and mature framework that offers a huge library of visual components and a great collection of 3rd party components. In addition to that, the VCL frequently gets new components, features, and bug fixes. In this video, we will dive into some of its newly added components, specifically the CustomTitleBar property and the TTitleBarPanel control.

How to create custom title bars in VCL apps

From the recently concluded DelphiCon, Ray Konopka of Raize Software will introduce us to the newly added property of the VCL TForm class which is the CustomTitleBar as well as the new TTitleBarPanel control. This property allows you to customize a VCL form’s native title bar similar to Windows Explorer, Google Chrome, and other applications. In this particular video, Ray will demonstrate three samples where he tried to customize VCL title bars that mimic the styles similar to a Word Processor, a Web browser like Chrome, and a GIT GUI Client like SourceTree.

The video will demonstrate the things we can possibly do with the Custom Title Bar properties. These include but are not limited to the ability to place VCL controls onto the title bar, the ability to show and hide Window icons and captions, the ability to custom paint over the title bar, and the ability to add additional buttons next to the standard system buttons.

What does the TTitleBarPanel do?

The session also illustrates how to effectively use the TTitleBarPanel component to significantly enhance an application’s main form. You can fully customize how the title bar is rendered by painting on the title bar and drawing anything on it. To do so, you must place a TTitleBarPanel on the form and set the CustomTitleBar.Control property to it.

To show how flexible this component can be, Ray came up with three design challenges to mimic some of the well-known title bar designs. Here, he will introduce us to Phrase that imitates the style of a Word Processor; Bronze that mimics Google Chrome web browser; and CodeTree which is designed to look like SourceTree, a popular Git GUI client. To know more about Custom Title Bars in VCL, feel free to watch the video below.

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