Controlling toolbar button sizing

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Office 2007 ribbon GUI has sophisticated capabilities to resize controls depending on the size of the window & its toolbars. A button can have 3 different size states:

glyph size (bsGlyph size)

label size (bsLabel size)

large size (bsLarge size)


During resizing of the form that contains a toolbar with buttons, the buttons can automatically change their size state. This can be seen below where toolbar buttons change the size state in order to always try to fit all available buttons:

Toolbar is at maximum size. All buttons are in bsLarge size state

Toolbar shrinks. Half of the buttons shrink to bsLabel size state

Next step in shrinking process is that all buttons are now in the bsLabel size state

Half of the buttons shrink to bsGlyph size state

All buttons are in mimimum size type: bsGlyph size state


This is the default sizing behavior that the toolbar automatically performs when it shrinks or expands. This sizing behavior can be controlled on the level of a toolbar button through the properties:


MinButtonSizeState : minimum size the button can be set to
MaxButtonSizeState : maximum size the button can be set to

In the above example, all buttons on the toolbar have the MinButtonSizeState set to bsGlyph and MaxButtonSizeState set to bsLarge.  
It is not always desirable that all buttons can have a varying size state between bsGlyph and bsLarge. For the clipboard toolbar for example, following layout is achieved by setting :

Paste button : MinButtonSizeState is bsLarge, MaxButtonSizeState is bsLarge
Cut, Copy, Format button : MinButtonSizeState is bsGlyph, MaxButtonSizeState is bsGlyph

This guarantees that irrespective of the toolbar size, the buttons have always the same appearance:

As such, it is clear that the TMS Advanced ToolBars & Menus components have the built-in automatic smart resizing of toolbar buttons but have in addition to this the flexibility to allow the developer to control the sizing behavior on the level of each button.

Bruno Fierens


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