Alternative Time Picker Problems

Like wlad, I pine for an alternative to the DTPicker that comes in mscomctl2.ocx. I can’t move workbooks between my WinXP and Win7 machines without problems with this file, not to mention distributing it outside of my house.

A few weeks ago I set about making an alternative using built-in controls. I didn’t go well, but I recently decided to give it another shot. I still failed, but less miserably than before, so I thought I’d post what I had. Maybe you can help me make it work.

This is a time picker only, for now. Hey, you have to start somewhere. The first problem is that it’s a ton of code for ‘one’ control. But if it worked, I might be able to look past that. The real problem comes with the .SelStart and .SelLength properties of the textbox. Whenever I use these properties, I want to pull my hair out. This time was no exception.

The control consists of a combination of a textbox and a spinbutton. The textbox displays the time and the spinbutton allows you to change the active element of the time, either up or down. I think I got the navigating part down. My goal was to make sure that one time element (hour, minute, second, and AM/PM) is always selected. In addition to locking the textbox, I captured two events: KeyUp and MouseUp.

Here’s KeyUp

Private Sub tbxTimePicker_KeyUp(ByVal KeyCode As MSForms.ReturnInteger, ByVal Shift As Integer)
   
    If KeyCode = miRIGHTARROW Then
        If Me.IsHour Then
            SelectMinute
        ElseIf Me.IsMinute Then
            SelectSecond
        Else
            SelectAMPM
        End If
    ElseIf KeyCode = miLEFTARROW Then
        If Me.IsAMPM Then
            SelectSecond
        ElseIf Me.IsSecond Then
            SelectMinute
        Else
            SelectHour
        End If
    Else
        If Me.IsHour Then
            SelectHour
        ElseIf Me.IsMinute Then
            SelectMinute
        ElseIf Me.IsSecond Then
            SelectSecond
        Else
            SelectAMPM
        End If
    End If
   
End Sub

If the user presses the right arrow, select the element to the right. Similar for the left arrow. Any other key (up and down arrows were problem) keeps the selection the same. The MouseUp was a little shorter.

Private Sub tbxTimePicker_MouseUp(ByVal Button As Integer, ByVal Shift As Integer, ByVal X As Single, ByVal Y As Single)
   
    If Me.tbxTimePicker.SelStart < 3 Then
        SelectHour
    ElseIf Me.tbxTimePicker.SelStart < 6 Then
        SelectMinute
    ElseIf Me.tbxTimePicker.SelStart < 9 Then
        SelectSecond
    Else
        SelectAMPM
    End If
   
End Sub

This check where the cursor is and selects appropriately. It all seems to be working well. Changing the time with the spinbutton proved more difficult. Here’s the SpinDown event.

Private Sub sbTime_SpinDown()
   
    If Me.IsHour Then
        Me.tbxTimePicker.Text = Format(1 + TimeValue(Me.tbxTimePicker.Text) – mdHOUR, msFMTTIME)
        SelectHour
    ElseIf Me.IsMinute Then
        Me.tbxTimePicker.Text = Format(1 + TimeValue(Me.tbxTimePicker.Text) – mdMINUTE, msFMTTIME)
        SelectMinute
    ElseIf Me.IsSecond Then
        Me.tbxTimePicker.Text = Format(1 + TimeValue(Me.tbxTimePicker.Text) – mdSECOND, msFMTTIME)
        SelectSecond
    Else
        Me.tbxTimePicker.Text = Format(1 + TimeValue(Me.tbxTimePicker.Text) – mdTWELVE, msFMTTIME)
        SelectAMPM
    End If
   
End Sub

The SpinUp event is almost identical except there are plus signs instead of minus signs. Here’s are the two problems I’ve identified so far:

  1. Click the spinbutton and focus stays on the spinbutton rather than going back to the textbox. Click it again, and the textbox gets focus as I would expect it to. I can’t figure out why it works on alternate times.
  2. Click the spinbutton so that it has the focus. Then press the right arrow. The textbox gets the focus back and moves to the minute element (if you’re on hour), which all seems fine. Except the textbox text reverts back to the pre-click value. WTF?

If you want to check out the code and ferret out the bugs, please let me know what you find.

You can download AlternateTimePicker.zip

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3 thoughts on “Alternative Time Picker Problems

  1. With regard to the focus problem with the SpinButton, I think a reasonable alternative would be to use two CommandButtons, placed one on top of the other, so they look sort of like a SpinButton and use the letters “t” and “u” from the Marlett font as the captions for those CommandButtons. I just tried it and it seems to work well.

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