Dialog boxes

Most of the menu commands in Excel display a dialog box. These dialog boxes are quite consistent in terms of how they operate.

Most of Excel's dialog boxes are modal dialog boxes. This means that you must close the dialog box in order to access your worksheet. A few, however, are "stay on top" dialog boxes. For example, the Find and Replace dialog box (accessible with Edit ^ Find) can remain open while you're working in a workbook.

Some of Excel's dialog boxes use a notebook tab metaphor, which makes a single dialog box function as several different dialog boxes. The Options dialog box (choose Tools ^ Options) is an example of a tabbed dialog box (see Figure 2-2). This dialog box has 13 tabs.

Developers can create custom dialog boxes by using the UserForm feature (which debuted in Excel 97). As you'll see, it's possible to create more robust dialog boxes, including tabbed dialog boxes (using the MultiPage control).

Refer to Part IV for information about creating and working with UserForms.

Figure 2-2: Tabbed dialog boxes make many options accessible without overwhelming the user.

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