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Expanding and collapsing Dialogs

, 9 Jan 2000 CPOL
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This article gives you the ability to make your dialogs expand or contract, depending on how much information the user wishes to view.

Dialog in collapsed state

Dialog in expanded state

Sometimes it may be useful to show only the important part in a dialog and have a button usually labeled "More" that expands the dialog when the user clicks on it. Once the dialog is expanded, the "More" button displays "Less" and as soon as the user clicks on the "Less" button, the dialog will shrink to its initial size.

The CExpandDialog class performs this for you. All you have to to is add the DialogExpander.cpp file to your project and make some minor changes in your dialog class and template.

Modify the header file of your dialog class like this:

// CExpandDialogDlg dialog

#include "DialogExpander.h"    //<<<< add here

class CExpandDialogDlg : public CDialog
    CExpandDialog m_ExpandDialog ;    //<<<< add here

Modify the OnInitDialog function dialog class like this:

BOOL CExpandDialogDlg::OnInitDialog()

    m_ExpandDialog.Initialize(this, FALSE, IDC_MOREBUTTON, 
                    IDC_LESSTEXT) ; //<<<< add here


With the class wizard, add a handler for the "More" button (e.g. OnMore()) and modify it like this:

void CExpandDialogDlg::OnMore() 
    m_ExpandDialog.OnExpandButton() ;

The dialog template must include two special static controls. One that indicates the position of the bottom of the dialog when it is in the collapsed state (1 on the legend below) and one that contains the string that should appear on the "More/Less" button when the dialog is in the expanded state (2 on the legend below). These two controls will not be shown because the CExpandDialog class will hide them automatically.

Dialog template


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Michael Walz

Switzerland Switzerland
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Comments and Discussions

QuestionWant to shrink till Ok button PinmemberMember 1072123818-Dec-14 2:43 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberAdi Shavit14-Dec-11 0:50 
GeneralVertical/horizontal (default) option Pinmembervarandas7928-Jul-09 0:46 
GeneralAnother method PinmemberSteve Mayfield22-Sep-03 21:06 
GeneralRe: Another method Pinmemberobjects2-May-06 6:05 
GeneralAny examples of using the expand feature with CPropertySheet PinmemberSuperD1-Aug-03 11:55 
Generalnew usage Pinmemberjohn john mackey12-Feb-03 12:58 
This is a great class and simple to understand/use.
I modified the Initialize() function and the method in which this expanding/collapsing dialog can be used.
By changing the 3rd argument to CExpandDialog::Initialize() to recognize a NULL value (or any invalid resource value), you can make the expand/collapse happen programmatically rather than using a button.
You just need to check for a button in Initialize() and in OnExpandButton()
If (IdExpandButton == NULL)
// calling expand/collapse without use of "More/Less" button
// don't have to SetWindowText() for the button
Don't forget to address your controls that are hidden when in Collapsed Mode. Disabling the hidden button should preserve your TAB sequence.

Generalbeauty Pinmemberlaue29-Jan-03 15:20 
GeneralClever Pinmemberkilowatt26-Mar-02 9:01 
GeneralRe: Clever PinmemberDimitris Vassiliades15-Nov-02 9:48 
GeneralControls in expanded/collapsed area Pinmemberjohn john mackey7-Jan-02 11:46 
GeneralRe: Controls in expanded/collapsed area PinsussAnonymous5-Jul-03 7:01 
GeneralA more efficient way... PinsussLX25-Oct-00 22:43 
GeneralRe: A more efficient way... PinmemberDimitris Vassiliades15-Nov-02 10:03 
GeneralRe: A more efficient way... PinmemberMatban9-Jan-04 5:38 
GeneralYou forgot to PinsussDaniel BERMAN10-Apr-00 7:05 
GeneralRe: You forgot to PinmemberUwe Keim30-Dec-01 22:48 
GeneralRe: You forgot to PinmemberDimitris Vassiliades15-Nov-02 10:10 
GeneralRe: You forgot to PinmemberMatban9-Jan-04 5:48 

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