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Creating colorful tabsheets with the VCL Styles

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Introduction

Until now if you want change the color of a TTabSheet in a VCL application you must create a new descendant class of the TTabSheet component, then handle the WM_ERASEBKGND message, set the TPageControl to OwnerDraw property to true and finally implement the OnDrawTab event. And after that you will have an awfull and un-themed TPageControl.

In this post I will show you how using the vcl styles you can gain full control over to paint methods with very nice results.

The TTabSheet

To customize the colors of the TabSheets of a TPageControl we need to handle the WM_ERASEBKGND message of the TTabsheet and create a new Vcl Style Hook. For the first part we can use a interposer class like so

type
  TTabSheet = class(Vcl.ComCtrls.TTabSheet)
  private
    procedure WMEraseBkgnd(var Message: TWMEraseBkgnd); message WM_ERASEBKGND;
  end;

And then in the implementation of the WMEraseBkgnd method

{ TTabSheet }
procedure TTabSheet.WMEraseBkgnd(var Message: TWMEraseBkgnd);
var
  LRect  : TRect;
  LSize  : Integer;
  LCanvas: TCanvas;
begin
  if (PageControl <> nil) and StyleServices.Enabled and
     ((PageControl.Style = tsTabs) or TStyleManager.IsCustomStyleActive) then
  begin
    //Get the bounds of the Tabsheet
    GetWindowRect(Handle, LRect);
    OffsetRect(LRect, -LRect.Left, -LRect.Top);
    //Get the size of the border
    LSize := ClientToParent(Point(0, 0)).X;
    InflateRect(LRect, LSize, LSize); // remove the border
    //create a TCanvas for erase the background, using the DC of the message
    LCanvas := TCanvas.Create;
    try
      LCanvas.Handle := Message.DC;
      LCanvas.Brush.Color:=GetColorTab(TabIndex);
      LCanvas.FillRect(LRect);
    finally
      LCanvas.Handle := 0;
      LCanvas.Free;
    end;

    Message.Result := 1;
    //the call to this method produces which the Style hook paint the active tabsheet
    PageControl.UpdateTab2(PageControl.ActivePage);
  end
  else
    inherited;
end;

In the above code you can note a call to the methods GetColorTab and PageControl.UpdateTab2

The GetColorTab is a simple function which return a color based in the index of the tab (you an modify the colors returned as you want)

function GetColorTab(Index : Integer) : TColor;
Const
  MaxColors =9;
  //this is a sample palette of colors 
  Colors : Array [0..MaxColors-1] of TColor = (6512214,16755712,8355381,1085522,115885,1098495,1735163,2248434,4987610);
begin
  Result:=Colors[Index mod MaxColors];
end;

The PageControl.UpdateTab2 is part of a helper class to execute the private method TPageControl.UpdateTab and is just a trick used to inform to vcl style that need paint the active tabsheet.

type
  TPageControlHelper = class helper for TPageControl
  public
    procedure UpdateTab2(Page: Vcl.ComCtrls.TTabSheet);
  end;

procedure TPageControlHelper.UpdateTab2(Page: Vcl.ComCtrls.TTabSheet);
begin
  Self.UpdateTab(Page);
end;

The Vcl style hook

Now the second part is implement the style hook using the existing TTabControlStyleHook as base class, so in this way we only need override 3 methods (PaintBackground, Paint and DrawTab) and handle the WM_ERASEBKGND message again.

Take a look to the declaration of the new vcl style hook

  TTabColorControlStyleHook= class(TTabControlStyleHook)
  private
    procedure WMEraseBkgnd(var Message: TMessage); message WM_ERASEBKGND;
  protected
    procedure PaintBackground(Canvas: TCanvas); override;
    procedure Paint(Canvas: TCanvas); override;
    procedure DrawTab(Canvas: TCanvas; Index: Integer); override;
  end;

Before we handle the WM_ERASEBKGND message of the TTabsheet, now we need do the same but for the style hook, because the style hook (TStyleHook) has their own messages handle routine.

procedure TTabColorControlStyleHook.WMEraseBkgnd(var Message: TMessage);
var
  LCanvas : TCanvas;
begin
  if (Message.LParam = 1) and StyleServices.Available then
  begin
    //create a Local canvas based in the HDC returned in the Message.WParam
    LCanvas := TCanvas.Create;
    try
      LCanvas.Handle := HDC(Message.WParam);
      //get the color
      LCanvas.Brush.Color:=GetColorTab(TabIndex);
      //apply the color
      LCanvas.FillRect(Control.ClientRect);
    finally
      LCanvas.Handle := 0;
      LCanvas.Free;
    end;
  end;
  Message.Result := 1;
  Handled := True;
end;

Following the implementation of the vcl style hook, this is the implementation of the PaintBackground method.

procedure TTabColorControlStyleHook.PaintBackground(Canvas: TCanvas);
var
  LColor : TColor;
begin
  if StyleServices.Available then
  begin
    //get the background color
    LColor:=StyleServices.GetSystemColor(clWindowFrame);
    Canvas.Brush.Color:=LColor;
    Canvas.FillRect(Control.ClientRect);
  end;
end;

Now the code for the Paint method, this procedure paint the body of the tabsheet and draw the child controls.

procedure TTabColorControlStyleHook.Paint(Canvas: TCanvas);
var
  LRect  : TRect;
  LIndex : Integer;
  SavedDC: Integer;
begin
  SavedDC := SaveDC(Canvas.Handle);
  try
    LRect := DisplayRect;
    ExcludeClipRect(Canvas.Handle, LRect.Left, LRect.Top, LRect.Right, LRect.Bottom);
    PaintBackground(Canvas);
  finally
    RestoreDC(Canvas.Handle, SavedDC);
  end;

  // Update the state of the tabs, except the active
  for LIndex := 0 to TabCount - 1 do
  begin
    if LIndex = TabIndex then
      Continue;
    DrawTab(Canvas, LIndex);
  end;

  //modify the bounds of the body to paint, based in the postion of the tab
  case TabPosition of
    tpTop   : InflateRect(LRect, Control.Width - LRect.Right, Control.Height - LRect.Bottom);
    tpLeft  : InflateRect(LRect, Control.Width - LRect.Right, Control.Height - LRect.Bottom);
    tpBottom: InflateRect(LRect, LRect.Left, LRect.Top);
    tpRight : InflateRect(LRect, LRect.Left, LRect.Top);
  end;

  //Paint the body of the tabsheet
  if StyleServices.Available then
  begin
    Canvas.Brush.Color:=GetColorTab(TabIndex);
    Canvas.FillRect(LRect);
  end;

  // Draw the active tab
  if TabIndex >= 0 then
    DrawTab(Canvas, TabIndex);

  // paint the controls of the tab
  TWinControlClass(Control).PaintControls(Canvas.Handle, nil);
end;

We’re almost done the job, now we just need to implement the code for draw the Tab. Check the next full commented code

procedure TTabColorControlStyleHook.DrawTab(Canvas: TCanvas; Index: Integer);
var
  LDetails    : TThemedElementDetails;
  LImageIndex : Integer;
  LThemedTab  : TThemedTab;
  LIconRect   : TRect;
  R, LayoutR  : TRect;
  LImageW, LImageH, DxImage : Integer;
  LTextX, LTextY: Integer;
  LTextColor    : TColor;
    //draw the text in the tab
    procedure DrawControlText(const S: string; var R: TRect; Flags: Cardinal);
    var
      TextFormat: TTextFormatFlags;
    begin
      Canvas.Font       := TWinControlClass(Control).Font; //the TWinControlClass is a just a crack class for the TWinControl to access the protected members
      TextFormat        := TTextFormatFlags(Flags);
      Canvas.Font.Color := LTextColor;    
      StyleServices.DrawText(Canvas.Handle, LDetails, S, R, TextFormat, Canvas.Font.Color);
    end;

begin
  //get the size of tab image (icon)
  if (Images <> nil) and (Index < Images.Count) then
  begin
    LImageW := Images.Width;
    LImageH := Images.Height;
    DxImage := 3;
  end
  else
  begin
    LImageW := 0;
    LImageH := 0;
    DxImage := 0;
  end;

  R := TabRect[Index];
  //check the left position of the tab , because can be hide 
  if R.Left < 0 then Exit;

  //adjust the size of the tab to draw
  if TabPosition in [tpTop, tpBottom] then
  begin
    if Index = TabIndex then
      InflateRect(R, 0, 2);
  end
  else 
  if Index = TabIndex then
    Dec(R.Left, 2) 
  else 
    Dec(R.Right, 2);

  
  Canvas.Font.Assign(TCustomTabControlClass(Control).Font);//the TCustomTabControlClass is another crack class to access the protected font property
  LayoutR := R;
  LThemedTab := ttTabDontCare;
  //Get the type of the active tab to draw
  case TabPosition of
    tpTop:
      begin
        if Index = TabIndex then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemSelected
        else 
        if (Index = HotTabIndex) and MouseInControl then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemHot
        else
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemNormal;
      end;
    tpLeft:
      begin
        if Index = TabIndex then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemLeftEdgeSelected
        else 
        if (Index = HotTabIndex) and MouseInControl then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemLeftEdgeHot
        else
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemLeftEdgeNormal;
      end;
    tpBottom:
      begin
        if Index = TabIndex then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemBothEdgeSelected
        else 
        if (Index = HotTabIndex) and MouseInControl then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemBothEdgeHot
        else
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemBothEdgeNormal;
      end;
    tpRight:
      begin
        if Index = TabIndex then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemRightEdgeSelected
        else 
        if (Index = HotTabIndex) and MouseInControl then
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemRightEdgeHot
        else
          LThemedTab := ttTabItemRightEdgeNormal;
      end;
  end;

  //draw the tab
  if StyleServices.Available then
  begin
    LDetails := StyleServices.GetElementDetails(LThemedTab);//necesary for DrawControlText and draw the icon
    InflateRect(R,-1,0);//adjust the size of the tab creating a blank space between the tabs
    Canvas.Brush.Color:=GetColorTab(Index);//get the color 
    Canvas.FillRect(R);
  end;

  //get the index of the image (icon)
  if Control is TCustomTabControl then
    LImageIndex := TCustomTabControlClass(Control).GetImageIndex(Index)
  else
    LImageIndex := Index;

  //draw the image
  if (Images <> nil) and (LImageIndex >= 0) and (LImageIndex < Images.Count) then
  begin
    LIconRect := LayoutR;
    case TabPosition of
      tpTop, tpBottom:
        begin
          LIconRect.Left := LIconRect.Left + DxImage;
          LIconRect.Right := LIconRect.Left + LImageW;
          LayoutR.Left := LIconRect.Right;
          LIconRect.Top := LIconRect.Top + (LIconRect.Bottom - LIconRect.Top) div 2 - LImageH div 2;
          if (TabPosition = tpTop) and (Index = TabIndex) then
            OffsetRect(LIconRect, 0, -1)
          else
          if (TabPosition = tpBottom) and (Index = TabIndex) then
            OffsetRect(LIconRect, 0, 1);
        end;
      tpLeft:
        begin
          LIconRect.Bottom := LIconRect.Bottom - DxImage;
          LIconRect.Top := LIconRect.Bottom - LImageH;
          LayoutR.Bottom := LIconRect.Top;
          LIconRect.Left := LIconRect.Left + (LIconRect.Right - LIconRect.Left) div 2 - LImageW div 2;
        end;
      tpRight:
        begin
          LIconRect.Top := LIconRect.Top + DxImage;
          LIconRect.Bottom := LIconRect.Top + LImageH;
          LayoutR.Top := LIconRect.Bottom;
          LIconRect.Left := LIconRect.Left + (LIconRect.Right - LIconRect.Left) div 2 - LImageW div 2;
        end;
    end;
    if StyleServices.Available then
      StyleServices.DrawIcon(Canvas.Handle, LDetails, LIconRect, Images.Handle, LImageIndex);
  end;

  //draw the text of the tab
  if StyleServices.Available then
  begin
    LTextColor:=GetColorTextTab(LThemedTab);//this is a helper function which get the  text color of the tab based in his current state (normal, select, hot).

    if (TabPosition = tpTop) and (Index = TabIndex) then
      OffsetRect(LayoutR, 0, -1)
    else
    if (TabPosition = tpBottom) and (Index = TabIndex) then
      OffsetRect(LayoutR, 0, 1);

    if TabPosition = tpLeft then
    begin
      LTextX := LayoutR.Left + (LayoutR.Right - LayoutR.Left) div 2 - Canvas.TextHeight(Tabs[Index]) div 2;
      LTextY := LayoutR.Top + (LayoutR.Bottom - LayoutR.Top) div 2 + Canvas.TextWidth(Tabs[Index]) div 2;
      Canvas.Font.Color := LTextColor;
      AngleTextOut2(Canvas, 90, LTextX, LTextY, Tabs[Index]);
    end
    else
    if TabPosition = tpRight then
    begin
      LTextX := LayoutR.Left + (LayoutR.Right - LayoutR.Left) div 2 + Canvas.TextHeight(Tabs[Index]) div 2;
      LTextY := LayoutR.Top + (LayoutR.Bottom - LayoutR.Top) div 2 - Canvas.TextWidth(Tabs[Index]) div 2;
      Canvas.Font.Color := LTextColor;
      AngleTextOut2(Canvas, -90, LTextX, LTextY, Tabs[Index]);
    end
    else
     DrawControlText(Tabs[Index], LayoutR, DT_VCENTER or DT_CENTER or DT_SINGLELINE  or DT_NOCLIP);
  end;
end;

The final result

Ok, that was a lot of code, now this is the final result

To use this style hook you must include the Vcl.Styles.ColorTabs unit in your uses class after of the Vcl.ComCtrls unit and then register the hook in this way.

  TCustomStyleEngine.RegisterStyleHook(TCustomTabControl, TTabColorControlStyleHook);
  TCustomStyleEngine.RegisterStyleHook(TTabControl, TTabColorControlStyleHook);

The full source code of this style hook is located in the vcl style utils repository.

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Author: Rodrigo

Just another Delphi guy.

8 thoughts on “Creating colorful tabsheets with the VCL Styles

  1. Pingback: Added border to TTabColorControlStyleHook « The Road to Delphi – a Blog about programming

  2. really nice article, but i’m wondering, how can we do same thing on Delphi XE?

  3. It seems to not work properly.
    Background color doesn’t change. If I select any tabsheet, border color changes only after sending window to taskbar. In the second screenshot tabsheet 4 is selected.

    • Sorry. It was my mistake. It works perfectly except for “Self.UpdateTab(Page)” that gives me a lot of graphical problems expanding window or sending to taskbar.
      Is there any alternative?

  4. I was using your vcl styles sample to color the tabsheet on a pagecontrol. It works real nice. But how can I choose wich tab do I want to paint?
    Thanks. Sorry I posted on the wrong article before

    • Hi Pablo I can’t figure out what do you mean with “….how can I choose which tab do I want to paint” can you please rephrase you question and/or give a example of what do you want to accomplish?

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