We need to create a mockup Windows XP alert box for our client.

enter image description here

What would be the easiest way to do this? Our designer tried to create it through Photoshop but couldn't get the fonts to look authentic.

If Photoshop is not the answer, is there another way to create a mockup box with our own title and message?

  • For future reference, there's a trend toward making electronic mockups look like mockups (sketches). The idea is that making a GUI too detailed tends to make clients focus on the inconsequential details (like font) rather than the big picture. There are a lot of wireframing and mockup tools available if you just search for "mockup tools". Mar 20, 2011 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


I think using VBScript would be an easy way of doing this.

Use Notepad to create a file called alertbox.vbs on your desktop and add this to it:

MsgBox "Unable to read disk, " & vbcrlf & "do you want to retry?", 18, "Disk error."

Change the error message at the beginning and the title at the end. Ensure the error message and the title are both enclosed in inverted commas.

Use the table below and add up all the numbers to show various buttons and the icon on the popup. In this example, 18 is a combination of "2 = Displays Abort, Retry, and Ignore buttons." and "16 = Displays Critical Message icon." from the table below.

The " & vbcrlf & " bit creates a new line, if you want more than one line of text in the popup.

Simply double-click the file on your desktop to show the popup.

From the above example:

enter image description here

Constant               Value     Description
vbOKOnly               0         Displays OK button only.
vbOKCancel             1         Displays OK and Cancel buttons.
vbAbortRetryIgnore     2         Displays Abort, Retry, and Ignore buttons.
vbYesNoCancel          3         Displays Yes, No, and Cancel buttons.
vbYesNo                4         Displays Yes and No buttons.
vbRetryCancel          5         Displays Retry and Cancel buttons.
vbCritical             16        Displays Critical Message icon. 
vbQuestion             32        Displays Warning Query icon.
vbExclamation          48        Displays Warning Message icon.
vbInformation          64        Displays Information Message icon.
vbDefaultButton1       0         First button is default.
vbDefaultButton2       256       Second button is default.
vbDefaultButton3       512       Third button is default.
vbDefaultButton4       768       Fourth button is default.
vbApplicationModal     0         Application modal; the user must respond to the message box before continuing work in the current application.
vbSystemModal          4096      System modal; all applications are suspended until the user responds to the message box.
vbMsgBoxHelpButton     16384     Add Help button to the message box.
VbMsgBoxSetForeground  65536     Specify the message box window as the foreground window.
vbMsgBoxRight          524288    Text is right aligned.
vbMsgBoxRtlReading     1048576   Specify that text should appear as right-to-left reading on Hebrew and Arabic systems.

Microsoft Office Visio has a Windows XP interface templates for mock-ups. See http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio/HA101192241033.aspx.

  • This is what the pros do. They do it through Visio.
    – surfasb
    Mar 20, 2011 at 18:41
  • Some pros, anyway... there are others who would scoff :) Everyone has different preferences, and there are a lot of tools out there Mar 20, 2011 at 20:25

Create an AutoHotkey script that displays a message box, with the MsgBox command.

MsgBox, Text
MsgBox [, Options, Title, Text, Timeout]

Take a screenshot of it and you're done.

The line:

MsgBox, 48, SuperUser, Sample message box for Hayek

Generates this message box:

enter image description here

If the designer is not using Windows XP, run the AutoHotkey script in a virtual machine running Windows XP (using VirtualPC, VirtualBox or VMware on Windows; VMware or Parallels on Mac OS X).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .