VFP Tutorial - Development Environment
Visual FoxPro is unusual amongst the current generation of Microsoft development tools in
that it still retains a command-line interface. It has a menu system and a toolbar across
the top of the window with all the familiar buttons that you would expect but you are
also faced with a command window where you can enter FoxPro commands.
The screenshot shows part of the Visual FoxPro environment with a few lines
of Fox commands showing in the Command Window. That window is shown docked against
the left-hand side of the screen. It can float free or be docked against any edge of
the screen and in real life it would probably be wider with a smaller font size. The black
pane on the right of the window is where the results of commands are displayed.
The keywords of the FoxPro language appear as upper case in blue because
this is the default setting of Visual FoxPro's
feature. As soon as Fox recognises the word that you are typing it displays the rest of
that word in blue. If you press the or
keys then Fox will complete the word for you and follow
it with a list of parameters and options that can apply to that command. Unlike other
Microsoft languages, the Visual FoxPro IntelliSense is open and documented - it is
actually a lookup into a FoxPro table - and you can add your own entries to the list.
Using the FoxPro Command Window
When you first start to learn Visual FoxPro you might be tempted to close
the Command Window because it looks so old-fashioned and drive FoxPro in
the same point-and-click style as you would do with Access. This is
possible but it is a slow and restricted way of working.
Just to take a simple example, you can create a new program file (code
module) by selecting mc in the Command
Window and hit or
. Intellisense will expand this abbreviation
to Modify Command and you can either hit
to get a new file, type "?" to see a list
of program files, or type in the name of the file you want to open.
menu and specifying that you want a new file of type Code. It is so very
much quicker though to type
Advanced features of Visual FoxPro
The Visual FoxPro Command Window is very flexible. You can leave the
main route through the tutorial and go to this page to learn about some of
of the development environment.