Step 9: Review, Comment, and Test Your Code

Before you add a comment to your code and test it, take time to review the code concepts, because you will use these concepts frequently:

  • When you double-clicked the Show a picture button in Windows Forms Designer, the IDE automatically added a method to your program's code.

  • Methods are how you organize your code: It's how your code is grouped together.

  • Most of the time, a method does a small number of things in a specific order, like how your showButton_Click() method shows a dialog box and then loads a picture.

  • A method is made up of statements. Think of a method as a way to bundle statements together.

  • When a method is executed, or called, the statements in the method are executed in order, one after another, starting with the first one.

    The following is an example of a statement.



    Statements are what make your programs do things. In Visual C#, a statement always ends in a semicolon. In Visual Basic, the end of a line is the end of a statement. (No semicolon is needed in Visual Basic.) The preceding statement tells your PictureBox control to load the file that the user selected with the OpenFileDialog component.

link to videoFor a video version of this topic, see Tutorial 1: Create a Picture Viewer in Visual Basic - Video 5 or Tutorial 1: Create a Picture Viewer in C# - Video 5.

You next add a comment to your code. A comment is a note that doesn't change the way the program behaves. It makes it easier for someone to understand what your code does. In Visual C#, two forward slashes (//) mark a line as a comment. In Visual Basic, a single quotation mark (') is used to mark a line as a comment.

After you add a comment, you test your program. You just built something that works, and although it's not done yet, it can already load a picture.

To add comments

  1. Add the following.

    private void showButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        // Show the Open File dialog. If the user clicks OK, load the
        // picture that the user chose.
        if (openFileDialog1.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)

    Your showButton button's Click event handler is now finished, and it works. You have started writing code, starting with an if statement. An if statement is how you tell your program, "Check this one thing, and if it's true, do these actions." In this case, you tell your program to open the Open File dialog box, and if the user selects a file and clicks the OK button, load that file in the PictureBox.


    The IDE is built to make it easy for you to write code, and code snippets are one way it does that. A snippet is a shortcut that gets expanded into a small block of code.

    You can see all of the snippets by selecting Code Snippets Manager from the Tools menu. The if snippet is in Code Patterns, inside the Conditionals and Loops subfolder. You can use this manager to browse existing snippets or add your own snippets.

    To activate a snippet when typing code, type it and press the TAB key. Many snippets appear in the IntelliSense window, which is why you press TAB twice: first to select the snippet from the IntelliSense window, and then to tell the IDE to use the snippet. (IntelliSense supports the if snippet, but not the ifelse snippet.)

  2. Before you run your program, save your program by clicking the Save All toolbar button, which appears as follows.

    Save All button

    Save All toolbar button

    Alternatively, to save your program, from the File menu, click Save All. It's a best practice to save early and often.

    When it's running, your program should look like the following picture.

    Picture Viewer

    Picture Viewer

To test your program

  1. Press the F5 key or click the Start Debugging toolbar button.

  2. Click the Show a picture button to run the code you just wrote. First, the program opens an Open File dialog box. Verify that your filters appear in the Files of type drop-down list at the bottom of the dialog box. Then navigate to a picture and open it. You can usually find sample pictures that ship with the Windows operating system in your My Documents folder, inside the My Pictures\Sample Pictures folder.

  3. Load a picture, and it appears in your PictureBox. Then try resizing your form. Because you have your PictureBox docked inside a TableLayoutPanel, which itself is docked inside the form, your picture area will resize itself so that it's as wide as the form, and fills the top 90 percent of the form. That's why you used the TableLayoutPanel and FlowLayoutPanel containers: They keep your form sized correctly when the user resizes it.

To continue or review

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