If you have never programmed before, I would probably buy one of the fluffier books first.
Some possibilities include:
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Visual Basic 6, Clayton Walnum, 334 pages with disk, $17.99.
- Visual Basic 6 for Dummies, Wally Wang, 504 pages with CD, $23.99.
- Learn to Program with Visual Basic 6, John Smiley, 777 pages with disk, $23.99.
The idea is to get started gradually with this book, not to become an instant expert.
Read through this book as quickly as possible just to catch the major concepts.
If you have already done a little programming or are very
comfortable with computers, skip this step.
Then get a bigger book read it more carefully, working through the examples. A couple books
that I think are reasonable are:
Core Visual Basic 5, $39.99, 600 pages, paperback with CD-ROM. This book provides fast
paced coverage of most Visual Basic programming topics. It is well-suited to someone who knows
how to program in another language. It has a particularly nice chapter on creating add-ins in
I have not seen a VB6 version of this book, but there are few enough differences between VB5 and VB6 that this would still probably be a good book to have.
Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Developer's Workshop, $44.99, 750 pages, paperback with
CD-ROM. Explains a wide variety of intermediate and advanced topics like object-oriented
programming, ActiveX controls, API functions, graphics techniques, etc. It does not go into
great depth in any topic (for more on graphics read
Visual Basic Graphics Programming, for
more on API read Appleman's book, etc.). It provides a broad introduction to a lot of
important topics, however.
After you have the basics covered, I think everyone should read my book
Bug Proofing Visual Basic. This isn't just me trying
to sell books (well that too). Everyone should understand this topic and some of the tips here can save you
endless hours of frustration.
Then you can decide whether you want to specialize in database programming, client/server,
Web development, etc.
Descriptions of my favorite books
Visitor reviews of other people's favorite books
Some Free Stuff
InformIT's Free Library contains literally hundreds of free books online! Some of the books that are most relevant to Visual Basic users include:
The library also includes lots of C++, Delphi, VB5, and other books.
Karl Peterson's Web site is hosting Bruce McKinney's book
Hardcore Visual Basic Version 5.0 (Second Edition).
Click here to check it out for free.
Click here to download a free copy
of the Visual Basic 5 Control Creation Edition (CCE). It does not let you make a compiled
executable (.exe file), but you can build ActiveX controls (.ocx files) and run programs
in the development environment. A great way to get started inexpensively!