Hiding the Quick Action and Description panel in Delphi

 

Delphi 2010 introduced two new panels at the bottom of the Object Inspector in the Delphi IDE, the Quick Action panel and the Description panel.

I didn’t really notice them until I read this question on StackOverflow. It caught my attention because the screenshot showed mostly captions of the menu items added by GExperts to the context menu of the form designer.

MartynA showed a way to hide them in his answer and gave me permission to use his code in GExperts. Unfortunately it had a small flaw:

… set the Height of the THotCommands and TDescriptionPane controls to 0, because the IDE seems to reset their Visible property to True after the component selection in the OI is changed. Fortunately, whatever code does that does not also reset their Heights to a non-zero value.

I didn’t like his workaround, but I had a brilliant™ idea: Instead of simply hiding these controls I introduced a new, hidden panel and changed their Parent to this panel. Problem solved, not. There were also two TSplitter controls which were left visible. Moving them too hid them just fine.

The next problem was making them visible again. Simply moving them back, left the controls in the wrong order. The splitters were below both panels rather than one above each. It took me a while to get this right. The solution was to always first move all controls to my hidden panel and then move them back in bottom up order.

Then it was “just” a matter of adding some configuration options and setting the right IFDEFS (Delphi 10 introduced the option to hide these panels from the Object Inspector’s context menu.). And voila, a new IDE enhancement was born.

This improvement was added to GExperts in version 1.38 experimental 2017-01-15.

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