Extending the IDE
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You can extend and customize the IDE with your own menu items, tool bar buttons, dynamic form-creation wizards, and more, using the Open Tools API (often shortened to just Tools API). The Tools API is a suite of over 100 interfaces that interact with and control the IDE, including the main menu, the tool bars, the main action list and image list, the source editor's internal buffers, keyboard macros and bindings, forms and their components in the form editor, the debugger and the process being debugged, code completion, the message view, and the To-Do list.
Using the Tools API is simply a matter of writing classes that implement certain interfaces, and calling on services provided by other interfaces. Your Tools API code must be compiled and loaded into the IDE at design-time as a design-time package or in a DLL. Thus, writing a Tools API extension is somewhat like writing a property or component editor. Before tackling this material, make sure you are familiar with the basics of Working with Packages and Components - Overview and registering components.
Note: To enable the use of the Tools API, you must link with runtime packages and ensure that "designide" is listed as one of the packages you are linking with. In the IDE, you can do this on the Project > Options > Packages dialog box. If you are building from the command line, make sure that -LUdesignide is passed to dcc32.exe.
The following topics describe how to use the Tools API:
- Overview of the Tools API
- Writing a Wizard Class
- Obtaining Tools API Services
- Working with Files and Editors
- Creating Forms and Projects
- Notifying a Wizard of IDE Events