Creating Your First Program in Visual Basic




About: I like doing things. Whether it be blowing stuff up or creating a webpage.

This instructable will show you how to program Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition. The example that you will create today is a simple image viewer.

If you like this instructable please push the + button at the top of the instructable. Thanks.

Also, I think I will be like half the other instructables out there and say that this is my first instructable and please don't be to harsh.

EDIT: Once you have completed this instructable, continue learning VB with my second Visual Basic Instructable: Creating a Program in Visual Basic: Web Browser

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Step 1: Download Visual Basic

You can download visual basic 2008 from microsoft but this instructable is specificly for VB 2005 wich you can download from freeware files

EDIT: It is now recommended you VB 2008, as I will use it for any future tutorials. Link

Please note: you will still need to be connected to the internet during the install.

Step 2: Create Your Project.

Click File->New Project. Select "Windows Application". Give your project a name.

Step 3: Add Controls

From the tools box, drag a picture box onto your form, drag a button onto your form and drag an open file dialog onto your form.

Step 4: Edit Control Properties

Now it's time to edit the properties of the controls. To edit properties, click on the object and change the values in the properties window.

Form Properties
  • Text: Picture Viewer
  • Form Border Style: Fixed Tool Window

Picture Box
  • Background Image Layout: Zoom

  • Text: Select Image

Step 5: Add Code

Double click on the button and replace all the text in the code window with the following:

Begin Code
Public Class Form1    Private pic As Bitmap    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click        OpenFileDialog1.FileName = "Select File"        OpenFileDialog1.ShowDialog()        pic = New Bitmap(OpenFileDialog1.FileName)        PictureBox1.BackgroundImage = pic    End SubEnd Class
End Code


Public Class Form1 - Defines the form as Public
Private pic As Bitmap - Defines pic As a private bitmap

Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click - Defines When The Events Should Occur
OpenFileDialog1.FileName = "Select File" - Makes the file name in the OpenFileDialog say Select File
OpenFileDialog1.ShowDialog() - Shows the OpenFileDialog
pic = New Bitmap(OpenFileDialog1.FileName) - Adds the value of the selected image to pic
PictureBox1.BackgroundImage = pic - Changes the image in ImageBox1 to pic

End Sub

End Class

Step 6: Save and Test

Save your program (File->Save All) and click the green play button on the toolbar to debug your program. If all goes well then you should be able to use the program.

The final program is stored in 'My Documents/Visual Studio 2005/Projects/PROJECT NAME/PROJECT NAME/Bin/Debug/PROJECT NAME.exe'
(Where PROJECT NAME is the name of the project)

Step 7: Final Thoughts

That's it!
Congratulations on creating your very first program in visual basic. It wasn't so hard now - was it?

Now you can go onto making more complex programs, or you can edit this one. I made some modifications to my program:
  • I changed the background color
  • I added some copyright info
In fact - here is some homework for you: see if you can get the program to change size for the image
  • HINT: You do it using the properties window.

Good Luck!
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    50 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    cool. first pic viewer that worked. unlike microsoft's example...:)PS had to double click button instead of adding code to avoid those pesky errors.
    BTY Figured out had do to that auto size thing. set size to AutoSize. Easy. Same with copy right.
    Use this:
    MessageBox.Show("YOUR MESSAGE HERE")
    That puts a pop-up!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    here is virtual basic expres edition free


    9 years ago on Step 7

    very nice, i just made the hello world thing in vb express 2008 that, i think is the best place to start, i'll try yours now though, thanks :D


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I just thought It would be funny to make a program that had a list of buttons and when you press one it made the sound that it had labeled on it. I found a cd of about 200 different sounds when this came to mind. I was about to do it but got stuck. How do you make a button make sound when you hit it and not do anything else?

    9 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    hmm... I know you can embed a windows media control into a form... I'll tell you what... I'll look around for you and PM you with the answer. Thanks, Munchman


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It is possible to do this. First download a free converter and convert all your files to .wav (I'm not responsible for any viruses). In a new form add all the buttons you want and name them. Then double-click of their button. Some code should appear. Inbetween the two lines add:
    My.Computer.Audio.Play(My.Resources.filenamehere, AudioPlayMode.Background)
    replacing filenamehere with the name of your audio file (don't write .wav). Repeat for each button. You should now have about a hundred errors. Now, to fix those errors go to Project - Properties and click on the resources tab. Click add resource and select your file. Repeat for every song. All errors should disappear. Now debug your program and check to see if it works.

    If it does: Hooray! You're finished. Now publish it and install.

    If it doesn't: Make sure you done everything correctly. If it still doesn't work, get a hammer and smash your "I won't work for you" computer.

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    PSST: That's a converter, just an online one, that would chew into your usage limit if you use it a lot


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    But still a converter. And because it's online if you use it enough your internet usage will be eaten up (excess usage fees or even worse... shaping! )


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You shouldn't need a key. Make sure you get the express edition, not Visual Studio, you have to pay for the latter.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    When i click on Help > Register product On the top it says Visual Studio I downloaded exactly what you have here,Whats going on?


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Okay, I understand what is happening. Microsoft makes a product known as Visual Studio, it is a collection of VB.NET, Visual C# and Visual C++ in the one product. It costs around about $299 US for the Professional Edition. Visual Studio Express Editions (here is where my knowledge ended until I researched this) is these languages broken into separate products (ie VB.NET Express Edition) I didn't realise that they still came under the Visual Studio banner. Bottom line is, it is free, and sorry for the confusion.