Customizing the AutoCAD OEM main splash screen

The AutoCAD OEM platform comes with tools to completely customize the behavior and branding of your product. Using the built-in features of the MakeWizard, this process is very easy.

The product splash screen is one of the key visual items that’ll give your product a unique look-and-feel.

This is a sample splash screen from an OEM product created by Cadgen Software LLC, one of our developer partners.

From time to time, we get inquiries about how to adapt or change that splash screen for different purposes or flavors of the product.
One typical purpose would be if you as an ISV, have different licensing options for the same product.
For instance, it could be:
• a time limited trial license,
• a narrowed down version of the full-blown product,
• a student license,
• different use cases and scenarios for creating design or simply reviewing them, et c.

As the main splash screen becomes a built in UI resource, it’s not easy to make changes to that at runtime. It’s not a good idea as there are also some legal requirements that need to be fulfilled by the main splash screen design.
However, with a little knowledge of programming you can instead create what we chose to call ‘splash screen overlays’ for the different licensing options.
Here’s how…
First you design the main splash screen according to the requirements:

Apply the splash screen image in the MakeWizard:

Create a couple of overlays. These need to be the same size as the main splash – or smaller.

Create a new VS, managed DLL, project and add a Windows Form to your project:

Create a resource file, add the overlays.

The default Windows Form properties are mostly ok, you can play around with different settings if you want.

Just make sure the size of the form is 860,500 (or less), the border style is none and transparency color is the same as the BackColor . If you have a nontransparent image, select the transparency color that you intend to be transparent in the overlay image.

Select one of the resource images as default BackgroundImage .

Right-click the Form item and select ‘View Code’:

Add these lines in the constructor:

If the user has multiple monitors, the default behavior is to display the form on the monitor where the cursor is. The added lines make sure the form is always displayed on the main monitor, just like AutoCAD (OEM) does.

Lastly, derive from IExtensionApplication, implement the Initialize function like below and compile:

Now add the SplashOverlay DLL in the MakeWizard. Make sure to assign ‘ Load Control ’ value ‘ 2 ’ so it loads on top of the main splash screen.

A couple of screenshots showing the result:

Here’s the VS solution we created for the sample, if you extract it to the ‘samples/dotNet’ subfolder of the ObjectARX SDK, it’ll build without changes: (114.4 KB)

1 Like