Monthly Archives: May 2015

How to enable/disable Windows application Visual Styles at runtime ?

The challenge : update the look&feel of an outdated Borland C++ Builder 4 application, while changing the minimum amount of code, and keeping the same old 1998 compiler… To make things even easier, the new look and feel must be enabled/disabled at runtime.

First, the application UI controls  are straight out of the nineties. To modernize their look without replacing or rewriting them, Microsoft introduced in Windows XP “Application Visual Styles”. The MSDN doc about Visual Styles is not great, but this CodeProject article from Martin Mitáš gives a great overview. Continue reading