How to access design position on non-visual Delphi components?

When designing a form in the IDE, non-visual components (eg TMainMenus, TDatamodules) can be freely placed and positioned. The position is persisted, so that on reloading the form these components appear in the correct place.

But, TComponent does not have Top or Left properties!

So, how can my code access the 'designed position' of non visual components?

This can be accessed at runtime, but it's sort of a hack. (Mostly because it's implemented as sort of a hack.)

The Left and Top properties are set up as Word-size values, and the two of them are packed together into a Longint called TComponent.FDesignInfo. You can obtain its value with the DesignInfo property. Have a look at TComponent.DefineProperties to get a look into how it's used.

tcomponent, When designing a form in the IDE, non-visual components (eg TMainMenus, TDatamodules) can be freely placed and positioned. The position is persisted,  I don't want to completely hide the non-visual components but I would like to hide the label with their names. It was the default appearance of non visual components in Delphi 2007 designer: delphi ide delphi-xe7

Kylix Developer's Guide, when designing form in ide, non-visual components (eg tmainmenus, tdatamodules) can freely placed , positioned. position persisted, on reloading form these  Database components aren't so easily replaceable as dialog-box components. Nearly everything in Delphi is designed to use descendants of the standard database components. If you don't use the components, then you won't be using any of Delphi's database capabilities at all.

This worked for me. Source: CnPack CnAlignSizeWizard.pas.

procedure SetNonVisualPos(Form: TCustomForm; Component: TComponent; X, Y: Integer);
  NonvisualClassNamePattern = 'TContainer';
  csNonVisualSize = 28;
  csNonVisualCaptionSize = 14;
  csNonVisualCaptionV = 30;
  P: TSmallPoint;
  H1, H2: HWND;
  Offset: TPoint;

  function HWndIsNonvisualComponent(hWnd: hWnd): Boolean;
    AClassName: array[0..256] of Char;
    AClassName[GetClassName(hWnd, @AClassName, SizeOf(AClassName) - 1)] := #0;
    Result := string(AClassName) = NonvisualClassNamePattern;

  procedure GetComponentContainerHandle(AForm: TCustomForm; L, T: Integer; var H1, H2: hWnd; var Offset: TPoint);
    R1, R2: TRect;
    P: TPoint;
    ParentHandle: hWnd;
    AControl: TWinControl;
    I: Integer;
    ParentHandle := AForm.Handle;
    AControl := AForm;
    if AForm.ClassNameIs('TDataModuleForm') then // ÊÇ DataModule
      for I := 0 to AForm.ControlCount - 1 do
        if AForm.Controls[I].ClassNameIs('TComponentContainer')
        and (AForm.Controls[I] is TWinControl) then
          AControl := AForm.Controls[I] as TWinControl;
          ParentHandle := AControl.Handle;
    H2 := 0;
    H1 := GetWindow(ParentHandle, GW_CHILD);
    H1 := GetWindow(H1, GW_HWNDLAST);
    while H1 <> 0 do
      if HWndIsNonvisualComponent(H1) and GetWindowRect(H1, R1) then

        P.x := R1.Left;
        P.y := R1.Top;
        P := AControl.ScreenToClient(P);

        if (P.x = L) and (P.y = T) and (R1.Right - R1.Left = csNonVisualSize)
        and (R1.Bottom - R1.Top = csNonVisualSize) then
          H2 := GetWindow(ParentHandle, GW_CHILD);
          H2 := GetWindow(H2, GW_HWNDLAST);
          while H2 <> 0 do
            if HWndIsNonvisualComponent(H2) and GetWindowRect(H2, R2) then
              if (R2.Top - R1.Top = csNonVisualCaptionV) and (Abs(R2.Left + R2.Right - R1.Left - R1.Right) <= 1)
              and (R2.Bottom - R2.Top = csNonVisualCaptionSize) then
                Offset.x := R2.Left - R1.Left;
                Offset.y := R2.Top - R1.Top;
            H2 := GetWindow(H2, GW_HWNDPREV);
      H1 := GetWindow(H1, GW_HWNDPREV);

  P := TSmallPoint(Component.DesignInfo);
  GetComponentContainerHandle(Form, P.x, P.y, H1, H2, Offset);
  Component.DesignInfo := Integer(PointToSmallPoint(Point(X, Y)));
  if H1 <> 0 then
    SetWindowPos(H1, 0, X, Y, 0, 0, SWP_NOSIZE or SWP_NOZORDER);
  if H2 <> 0 then
    SetWindowPos(H2, 0, X + Offset.x, Y + Offset.y, 0, 0, SWP_NOSIZE or SWP_NOZORDER);

Use sample:


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  • @David, well the IDE is just "Runtime code", surely? I'm not expecting it to be easy, but it's got to be possible.
  • For the left postion try LongRec(YourComponent.DesignInfo).Lo and for the top use LongRec(YourComponent.DesignInfo).Hi
  • What's the benefit of your runtime code having access to the left and top properties of non-visual components?
  • That's the hack I needed. Thanks.
  • Thanks! But how can I SET this values? I need to SET the position of some non-visual components.