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How to change the back color of an edit box when it gets the focus

, 10 Jun 2001
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Change the back color of an edit box to yellow when it gets the focus, and back to white when it loses the focus.

Sample Image - CEditBkColor.gif


This article shows how to change the back color of an edit box when it gets the focus.

  1. Derive a class from the standard edit control class, CEdit.
  2. Add 3 private variables:
    • A COLORREF to store the current back color
    • A CBrush to store the brush used to paint the back color of the edit control
    • A CString to store the current contents of the edit box
  3. Override the virtual OnChildNotify function.
    BOOL CMyEdit::OnChildNotify(UINT message, 
        WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam, LRESULT* pLResult)
        // We only want to handle WM_CTLCOLOREDIT messages - 32 bit only
        if (message != WM_CTLCOLOREDIT) 
            return CEdit::OnChildNotify(message, wParam, lParam, pLResult);
        HDC hdcChild = (HDC)wParam;
        // Text is black – you can modify this by adding
        // another variable for text color
        SetTextColor(hdcChild, RGB(0,0,0));
        SetBkColor(hdcChild, m_BackColor);
        return TRUE;
  4. Add message handlers to handle the following Windows messages:
    void CMyEdit::OnSetFocus(CWnd* pOldWnd)
        m_BackColor = RGB(255,255,0);
    void CMyEdit::OnKillFocus(CWnd* pNewWnd)
        // I am setting normal back color to white
        // – you can modify this as you see fit
        m_BackColor = RGB(255,255,255);
        // Force a repaint
    void CMyEdit::OnPaint()
        CPaintDC dc(this); // device context for painting
        // TODO: Add your message handler code here
        // Do not call CEdit::OnPaint() for painting messages
  5. Add a private member function SetBkGrndColor()
    void CMyEdit::SetBkGrndColor()
        // Delete the old brush
        // Create a new brush in the specified color
        CDC* pDC = GetDC();
        // Select the brush into this window’s device context
        CRect rc;
        // Get the client area of the edit control
        // Apply the device context to the client area of the edit control
        pDC->Rectangle(0, 0, rc.Width(), rc.Height());
        // Rewrite the text since the backcolor paint
        // overwrote the existing text
        pDC->SetTextColor(RGB(0, 0, 0,));
        pDC->TextOut(2, 2, m_Text.GetBuffer(m_Text.GetLength()));


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Warren J. Hebert
Web Developer
United States United States
I am a Visual Basic, Visual C++ programmer (consultant) with 6 years experience. I am also an instructor and have been teaching Visual Basic and Visual C++ at a local community college for the past 15 months.

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Comments and Discussions

Generalin my opinion... Pin
Cho,Dae-Wan27-Mar-04 7:46
memberCho,Dae-Wan27-Mar-04 7:46 
Questionhow to change the color of an edit box Pin
bhanusiva29-Jan-04 6:04
memberbhanusiva29-Jan-04 6:04 
AnswerRe: how to change the color of an edit box Pin
ihoapm23-Dec-04 20:36
memberihoapm23-Dec-04 20:36 
GeneralSeems to work without CMyEdit::OnPaint Pin
chris10916-Dec-03 23:55
memberchris10916-Dec-03 23:55 
GeneralThis article is just cut-n-paste from MSDN Q132080 Pin
ip30-Oct-03 21:05
memberip30-Oct-03 21:05 
GeneralRe: This article is just cut-n-paste from MSDN Q132080 Pin
Dean Bathke4-Feb-05 18:19
memberDean Bathke4-Feb-05 18:19 
GeneralChanging the Selection Color within the control Pin
Chandra Birusumanti12-Aug-03 8:47
memberChandra Birusumanti12-Aug-03 8:47 
GeneralQuestion about CEdit Pin
Alex Bikov1-Feb-02 8:46
memberAlex Bikov1-Feb-02 8:46 
GeneralProblems Pin
Christian Graus11-Nov-01 13:28
memberChristian Graus11-Nov-01 13:28 
GeneralRe: Problems Pin
James R. Twine4-Jan-02 8:16
memberJames R. Twine4-Jan-02 8:16 
GeneralRe: Problems Pin
Christian Graus4-Jan-02 10:50
memberChristian Graus4-Jan-02 10:50 
GeneralRe: Problems Pin
James R. Twine4-Jan-02 11:01
memberJames R. Twine4-Jan-02 11:01 
GeneralRe: Problems Pin
Christian Graus4-Jan-02 11:10
memberChristian Graus4-Jan-02 11:10 
GeneralRe: Problems TN062 Pin
osy8-Apr-03 1:28
memberosy8-Apr-03 1:28 
GeneralMore options Pin
Kant16-Jun-01 9:05
memberKant16-Jun-01 9:05 

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