The Option-Graph Project Option-Graph.com

Start Your Project and Layout the Entry Fields

    Start Visual Basic, and from the File menu, choose "New Project". Select "Windows Forms Project" as the type, and name the project "Option Calculator". After this step, you should have a small blank form on your screen, titled "Form1".

     Click on the dark blue header bar of Form1. You should see a Property Window on the right side of your screen display all the different Properties you can set for Form1. Scroll down the Properties and find the Property for "Text". Change the Property from "Form1" to "Option Calculator". This will change the text in the title bar of the form to Option Calculator. The Name Property of the form should still be Form1.

(If you cannot see a window called "Properties" on the right side of your screen, open the "View" menu, select "Other Windows", and then select "Properties Window".)

     At this point, click the "Save All" icon in the menu bar, or choose "Save All" from the File Menu. Visual Basic will offer to save the project with the name "Option Calculator". Accept the name, and check the box for "create directory for solution" if it is not already checked, and click "OK". Now your project has a space on disk, and every time you complete one of the steps in the project, clicking the "Save" icon will save your work.

     You can enlarge the form by grabbing any edge or corner with your mouse, and dragging. The Form is where you will put all the controls that make up the visual part of your project - the things like entry boxes and buttons that you can see and interact with when you run the program. Go ahead and make the form wider by grabbing the right edge and dragging to the right with your mouse a couple inches.

     All the code we will be giving in later steps is put "behind the scenes" of the Form or other modules, and is therefore usually called "code behind". We will show how to do that later with the first function, the NORMSDIST function.

     For now, what we are calling the Entry Fields are fields or controls that allow you to enter all the information that is required in order to calculate the price of an option. These fields include the type of option, the entry date, the stock price, the strike price, the expiration date, the interest rate, the implied volatility, and the total amount of dividends to be paid in one year.

     First, we will add what is called a "Panel" to the form. Then we will put most of our other controls on the panel. The purpose of a Panel is to keep various controls grouped together. Then they can be moved as one unit, or copied and pasted as an entire unit. You will need to do both of these things as the project progresses.

     To add a Panel, hover your mouse over the "Toolbox" tab on the left side of your screen, then find the "Containers" category, and click on "Panel". Now click on Form1, and you should have a Panel on Form1.

(If you cannot see a tab labeled "Toolbox" on the left side of your screen, open the "View" menu, select "Other Windows", and then select "Toolbox".)

     The panel you added will not be large enough to hold all the controls we need. To make it the right size, select the Panel and look in the "Properties" window on the right side of your screen. Click on the "+" next to the entry for "Size" and change the width to 718 and the height to 42.

     To make the Panel stand out, find the Property for "BackColor" and choose a color you like. The example uses "LightBlue".

     Now, using the picture below as a guide, work left to right and add each of the controls shown below by clicking the type of Control in the Toolbox, then clicking on the Panel in Form Design. Set the properties by using the Properties window while each Control is selected. Be sure you place each Control on the Panel so that it becomes part of the Panel.

     The Names are important - that is how the "code behind" will know which control has the value needed to perform a particular calculation. The names used in code must match the names of the controls.

     Save your Project at this point, by clicking on one of the save icons or using the File Menu "Save" item. Give your project the name Option Calculator if you did not already.

     TIP 1: Copy the details for ONE control from this page, then Paste the details for that one control into the Visual Basic "Immediate Window". That way, you can have all the information you need on one screen.

     After you finish with one control, right-click on the Immediate Window and "Clear All", then come back and get the next control. You can't put all control details in the Immediate Window at once, because the Immediate Window does not keep text formatted - it will all get strung together on one very long line.

(If you cannot see a window called "Immediate Window" on the bottom of the Visual Basic layout screen, press "CTRL-G" to open it.)

     TIP 2: When setting the "Location" Property, you do not need to type the numbers. Simply click on the Control on the Form and look at the "Location" entry in the Properties Window. Then use your computer's arrow keys to move the control left, right, up, or down until it is in the Location specified.

Control: ComboBox

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1Type
  • Location : 3,15
  • Size : 82,21
  • Text : Long Call
  • Items :
    • Long Call
    • Long Put
    • Short Call
    • Short Put

(to add Items, click on "Items", then click the "..." that appears, and type in the items, one per line.)

Control: NumericUpDown

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1Contracts
  • Location : 94,15
  • Size : 49,20
  • Minimum : 1
  • Maximum : 500

Control: DateTimePicker

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1EntryDate
  • Location : 149,15
  • Size : 88,20
  • Format : Short

Control: NumericUpDown

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1StockPrice
  • Location : 243,15
  • Size : 49,20
  • Minimum : .1
  • Maximum : 500
  • Increment : .01
  • DecimalPlaces: 2

Control: NumericUpDown

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1StrikePrice
  • Location : 299,15
  • Size : 49,20
  • Minimum : 1
  • Maximum : 500
  • Increment : .01
  • DecimalPlaces: 2

Control: DateTimePicker

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1ExpirationDate
  • Location : 356,15
  • Size : 88,20
  • Format : Short

Control: Button

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1ExpPrev
  • Location : 446,1
  • Size : 20,20
  • Text : - (a minus sign)
  • TextAlign : TopCenter

Control: Button

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1ExpNext
  • Location : 446,22
  • Size : 20,20
  • Text : + (a plus sign)
  • TextAlign : TopCenter

Control: NumericUpDown

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1OptionPrice
  • Location : 471,15
  • Size : 59,20
  • Minimum : .01
  • Maximum : 500
  • Increment : .01
  • DecimalPlaces: 2

Control: NumericUpDown

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1IV
  • Location : 536,15
  • Size : 59,20
  • Minimum : .01
  • Maximum : 500
  • Increment : .01
  • DecimalPlaces: 2

Control: TextBox

Properties:

  • Name : Leg1Value
  • Location : 603,15
  • Size : 89,20
  • ReadOnly: True
  • TextAlign: Center

Now be sure and save your project again, and you will never need to do these layout steps again.

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