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matt
20 November 2017
Having trouble playing the Java games? You'll probably need to use Internet Explorer - Firefox and Chrome no longer support Java. http://www.darnkitty.com/
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Shoutbox Archive

Delphi Tips and Tutorials
System tray icons tutorial
Part 3 - Minimizing the application to the system tray

Delphi tips and tutorials -> System tray icons tutorial -> Part 1 -> Part 2 -> Part 3

Part 3 Introduction

This tutorial builds upon previous parts, so if you arrived here via a search engine or similar, you may like to start at the beginning.
By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to:

  • Minimize the form to the system tray
  • Start the application without the main form visible

Source code for this tutorial

This part of the tutorial continues on from Parts 1 and 2. You can download source code for Part 2 here.
The code for this section can be downloaded here.

Tutorial begins here - 6 steps

STEP 1
Currently, when the application starts, our icon appears in the system tray, and our welcome form appears. But what if we don't want this form to appear, and only want the tray icon?
Easy. Add the following line to the project file: Application.ShowMainForm := False; after the line Application.Initialize in the project file. Your project file will now look like this:

  program SystemTrayIcon3;

  uses
    Forms,
    Unit1 in 'Unit1.pas' {Form1};

  {$R *.res}

  begin
    Application.Initialize;
    Application.ShowMainForm := False;
    Application.CreateForm(TForm1, Form1);
    Application.Run;
  end.

Checkpoint

Try running the application. Notice that the icon still appears in the tray as expected, and there is no sign of the main form. Great! But... how can we exit the application? We can't!

To close the application, you can right click the taskbar, select "Task Manager", select the Processes tab, and end the process (if you know its name). The easier way, if you are running through the Delphi IDE, is to switch to the Delphi IDE and press CTRL-F2.

STEP 2
Okay, let's code a way to exit the application. This should be nice and simple.

Add a new TMenuItem to the popup menu as shown on the right. Name this item miExit, and code its OnClick event as shown:

  procedure TForm1.miExitClick(Sender: TObject);
  begin
    Close;
  end;

That was easy! Try running the application now, and try right-clicking the icon and selecting "Exit" to make sure it does indeed work. No more using Task Manager to kill the process now.

STEP 3
The next part of this tutorial teaches how to minimize the application to the system tray. But first, we need a way of getting our form back on-screen.

Add another TMenuItem to the pop-up menu, call it "Show Form", name it miShowForm, and code its OnClick event as follows:

  procedure TForm1.miShowFormClick(Sender: TObject);
  begin
    ShowForm;
  end;

And code the new ShowForm procedure as follows:

  procedure TForm1.ShowForm;
  begin
    Visible := True;
    HideTrayIcon;
  end;

Another simple yet effective function. Now, when you select "Show Form" from the popup menu, the form becomes visible, and the tray icon disappears from the system tray. Let's code it so that when you left click the icon, the same thing happens. Add the following piece of code to the IconResponse procedure, replacing the existing WM_LBUTTONDOWN case:

  procedure TForm1.IconResponse(var Msg: TMessage);
    ...
      WM_LBUTTONDOWN:
      begin
        ShowForm;
      end;
    ...
  end;

STEP 4
Now comes the time to write the code to minimize the application to the system tray. Notice now how if you minimize the window, it goes to the taskbar like most other applications. We want it to appear to minimize into the system tray. What we actually want to do is hide the form, and make the tray icon reappear.

First of all, we will need to override the application's default Minimize handling. To do that, insert the following line of code as the first line in FormCreate:

  procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject);
  begin
    Application.OnMinimize := MinimizeMe;
    ...

And write the new MinimizeMe function as follows. Notice that it takes one parameter Sender which is a TObject.

  procedure TForm1.MinimizeMe(Sender: TObject);
  begin
    ShowTrayIcon;
    ChangeIcon;
    Visible := False;
  end;

Checkpoint

Try running the application. You can now click the icon to show the form, and minimize the application to hide the form into the taskbar. Great, we're done! Or are we...

Now though... what happens when you try and show the form a second time? Click the icon, and you may see the button appear on the taskbar, but the window won't come to the front. Then, worse still, if you try and minimize the form a second time, nothing happens! What's going on?

STEP 5
Since we have overridden Delphi's default OnMinimize behaviour, there are a couple more things we need to do to get everything to work smoothly. To correct the quirky behaviour described in the checkpoint above, change ShowForm to the following:

  procedure TForm1.ShowForm;
  begin
    Application.Restore;
    If WindowState = wsMinimized then
      WindowState := wsNormal;
    Visible := True;
    SetForegroundWindow(Application.Handle);
    HideTrayIcon;
  end;

Application.Restore and WindowState are two things that Delphi does internally which we now have to do since we are overriding Delphi's default behaviour. And the addition of SetForegroundWindow forces the window to come to the foreground when we show it.

Now, you should be able to show the form and minimize the form as many times as you want.

STEP 6
Rather than have the application retreat to the system tray on minimize, you might like to make it so that this happens when the user closes the form instead. To do this, open the form's OnClose event and add the following code:

  procedure TForm1.FormClose(Sender: TObject; var Action: TCloseAction);
  begin
    if Visible then
    begin
      Action := caNone;
      MinimizeMe(Self);
    end
    else
      Action := caFree;
  end;

Setting Action to caNone tells Delphi not to Free the form when the user clicks the close button. Instead, we will hide the form ourselves using a call to MinimizeMe.

It is important to remember to check if the form is visible first. If the form is not visible, it means that the user has selected "Exit" from the right-click menu, and in that case, we want to "caFree" the form. If we didn't check this, we would once again be left in the situation where the application cannot be terminated.

Tutorial complete

That concludes the System Tray tutorial.

As usual, if you have trouble compiling the project, see the Troubleshooting section at the bottom of the page, or compare your project to the sample project by downloading the source code at the top of the page.




Troubleshooting

Are you having trouble getting your application to compile? Your problem might be covered in the forum below. If not, you can ask there yourself.

Forum coming very very soon!

Google





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