Developing a custom IE Explorer bar
in Visual Studio (VB.NET, C#, C++)

Add-in Express™
for Internet Explorer® and Microsoft® .net

Advanced IE Bars - basic concepts

Advanced Explorer Bars is an implementation of the "Add a custom .NET pane to the user interface" approach to designing the user interface of an IE add-on. You populate such a pane or form with any built-in or third party .NET controls to create a high quality UI for users of your Internet Explorer 6 - IE 11 plug-ins.

What is an advanced IE Bar?

An advanced IE bar is a form embedded into the Internet Explorer window. The initial form position and visibility are specified at design time. The end user can hide/ show the form or drag it to another position; the developer receives all events required for the full control over the process. The form header is customizable from just specifying an icon and title text up to complete redrawing.

An Advanced IE bar docked to the right side of the Internet Explorer window

Docking the IE bar

An advanced IE bar can be pre-docked to any side of the IE tab window. You can also set the IE bar to the desired position programmatically.

Advanced IE bars docked to the four sides of the Internet Explorer window

Drag-n-drop the IE bar

You decide if the end user is able to drag the IE bar to a new dock position within a particular IE tab. Add-in Express provides you with events for handling the drag-n-drop process.

End user experience

Your users show and hide your IE bar using the habitual path in the IE main menu. The IE bar preserves its state, position and size between IE sessions. To achieve this, Add-in Express stores all that information in a registry location that is compatible with Protected Mode in Internet Explorer.

Setting up the IE Bar header

The header of an Advanced IE Bar can be set at design time: icon, title, background, and font. In addition, the header area is fully customizable via a set of events. You can choose to show a specific icon and title whenever required. You can also choose to redraw the header area completely.

				void MyIEAdvancedBar1_OnHeaderBeforeDraw(object sender, ADXIEHeaderBeforeDrawEventArgs e)
					Graphics g = e.Graphics;
					//create a brush
					Brush background = new SolidBrush(Color.White);
					//fill the drawing area 
					g.FillRectangle(background, e.Rectangle);
					e.Handled = true;

Storing the IE bar state across all IE tabs

An instance of the advanced IE bar is created in every tab window. Add-in Express provides a Boolean property that turns on the mechanism synchronizing the visibility, size, and position of an IE bar across all tabs opened in IE. Alternatively, you can turn that mechanism off and fine-tune the synchronization process in a specific fashion required by the business logic.

No deployment overhead

The Advanced IE Bar technology is part of Add-in Express and it requires NO extra steps during the deployment phase.