Reimagining MsgBox

Filed under Code Garage, Software Architecture, VB Feng Shui

Here’s a little trick I’m not sure many people know about, but that I’ve used for so long, I’d basically forgotten about it.

I wrote about overriding the ERR object in VB here, and also wrote a far more involved article about it.

But did you know you can also override the MSGBOX function?

Just create a function with the following signature in a BAS module of your choice:

Public Function MsgBox(ByVal Prompt$, Optional ByVal Buttons As VbMsgBoxStyle = vbOKOnly, Optional ByVal Title$ = "", Optional ByVal HelpFile$ = "", Optional ByVal Context As Long = 0) As VbMsgBoxResult

Put the appropriate code in it, and presto, custom msgbox.

Why, you might ask?

  • Personally, I like the option of logging every msgbox that’s displayed by my app. Errs are handier, but msgbox’s can be useful.
  • In addition, you have the option of calling the MessageBox API call directly yourself, which gives you access to additional flags that you can’t use with the VB version alone.
  • You might also decide that the MSGBOX proper just doesn’t look good, and craft up a modal, nicely skinned form to stand in its place.
  • And finally, in a particular app I worked on, I needed to call a function BEFORE and a different function AFTER displaying every msgbox. I certainly didn’t want to alter every call to MSGBOX and add those extra lines. Overriding it made that a trivial task.

Please let me know if you come up with any good uses for this trick.

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