I have always liked the Special effects feature of Excel control tools. The components in Xcelsius however do not have these Special Effects feature. In this formatting trick I shall explain how to get these effects into Xcelsius using a few simple workarounds.
First, in a few lines, I shall explain what EFFECT these “Special Effects” have on the component. Then I shall go on to implementing these on Xcelsius components. The four Special effects that I shall explain here are a)Raised b)Sunken c) Bumped & d) Flat. First let’s see how a normal component in Xcelsius looks like and how it looks with these special effects. (Click on the image to zoom).Keep reading..

           a)  SUNKEN: This is probably the most dramatic and most commonly used Effect. This Effect, also the default setting of Excel, gives the component, as the name suggests, a sunken effect. The component appears to be at a depth from the level of the sheet.

XCELSIUS IMPLEMENTATION:  To get the sunken three dimensional effect, we need to somehow get 'black' top and left borders and 'white' right and bottom borders. As you cannot alter the borders of these Xcelsius components, we use backgrounds to achieve this. This is how we achieve this:

First we choose an appropriate background. As shown in the picture, we use ‘Background2’. 

Go to the properties and change the color of the background to a shade of grey. I have used RED=127, BLUE=127 and GREEN=127. Once you are done with this resize the background by clicking on the List box then hold CTLR key and then click on the Background. Once both the objects are selected go to FORMAT>MAKE SAME SIZE>BOTH. Once the two components are of the same size we need to make the Background a little bigger. Bring List box to “Front”, and then arrange the two over each other, leaving a little of the background visible on the left and the top, as shown in the figure


b)       b) RAISED:  This effect gives the component a raised effect.

We can achieve the raised three dimensional effect by contrasting the white left and top borders with the black right and bottom borders.Apply the same concept as above and instead of leaving a little background visible on the left and the top, leave it on the bottom and right.

c)          c) BUMPED: This effect gives the component a sort of a bumped frame on all sides.

XCELSIUS IMPLEMENTATION: To get this effect all we need is a frame, so, we simply make a frame. Now to do this we need three rectangles. Make the border of the first rectangle grey and the thickness of the border as 2. Put the other two rectangles with black color border and border thickness 1 on the first rectangle. While placing the three rectangles this is the order to follow, First the grey ‘bordered’ rectangle, then the black colored rectangle on the outer border of the grey rectangle and then at last, place the third rectangle on the inner border of the grey rectangle, as show in the figure.

d)       d) FLAT: This type of effect is simply a component without borders. This flat list box stands out better when set against the grey background.

So, as you might have already guessed, all we need to do to get this effect in Xcelsius is to make the borders vanish. This is not an option with many components, so we use here a set of white lines, four in fact, and carefully place them on the borders of the component, as shown in the picture.

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