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Extended Interface for Status Message

, 8 Apr 2002
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Adding an extended property to Menus in order to provide automatic statusbar messages as the user chooses different menu options.
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MFC Updating Status Bar Automatically


Some of the features of MFC that we were accustomed to having are missing from the .NET architecture.  One of them is the automatic use of the status bar.  As the user moves across the menu, a description will appear in the status bar.

The .NET architecture allows you to repeat this functionality by overriding the MenuItem class.  Unfortunately, it's a manual process and requires a large case statement.

Hopefully, we can overcome this shortcoming with a quick and simple extended property.  Plus, give you a sample to create your own extended interfaces.


The IExtenderProvider is a tremendously powerful tool when used in conjunction with the interface.  The syntax is quite simple. 

[ProvideProperty( "StatusMessage", typeof(Component)) ] 
public class StatusMessage : Component, IExtenderProvider 
   public void SetStatusMessage( Component pComponent, string strMessage )

   public string GetStatusMessage( Component pComponent )

The ProvideProperty tag tells the interface that you are adding a property called "StatusMessage" to all components in your current development.   Similar to a C# property, you will create a Set and Get pair of messages.

The source code for the interface is quite simple, but I'll refrain from discussing the actual coding process to keep this article on a basic level.

1.  Add the StatusMessage control to .NET

Adding the Component to the Toolbox

After copying the Extended Interface DLL (ExtendedInterface.DLL) to your desired destination, you will need to add it permanently to your toolbox. 

  1. With the toolbox open, right click the list to select 'Customize Toolbox.
  2. Select the tab .NET Framework Components
  3. Click Browse...
  4. Click on ExtendedInterface.DLL
  5. Click OK.

The Toolbox should have two new components: StatusMessage and ToolBarFunction.

Adding StatusMessage support is as easy as dragging the StatusMessage component onto your form.  The component will appear below your form.

The other component ToolBarFunction will be discussed in a later article.

2. Add the component to your current project.

Updating the StatusBar

You will also need to drag over a StatusBar from your Toolbox onto your form.  Make sure to add at least one StatusBarPanel to your StatusBar.

  1. Display the properties of your StatusBar.
  2. Click on the 'Panels' collection and add at least one panel.  Call it anything you wish, I used StatusMessage.
  3. Make sure AutoSize is set to Spring
  4. Click OK to close the collection.

3. Change the StatusMessage property

Modifying the StatusBar properties

You will need to modify your StatusMessage component to point to the StatusBarPanel that you have created.

  1. Display the properties of your StatusMessage.
  2. Click on the StatusBar property and use the combo dropdown to find the desired StatusBarPanel that you are wanting to use.

4. Add messages to your menus

Updating the text on the menus

Now click on each of your items in your menu.  Under the Misc category you will now have a new property called StatusMessage

Type in the text that you would like to appear in the status bar for each MenuItem.

5. Test your application

And voila!! Your .NET application now has support for your status bar!

Sample Image


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About the Author

Zombies with Coffee, LLC
Founder Zombies With Coffee, LLC
United States United States
Phillip has been a programmer long enough to remember cutting paper strip code out of Dr. Dobbs and running them thru a mechanical decoder to avoid typing in the samples.
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralPlease show me a program that runs on the screen. Pingroupsupermon212-Jul-10 19:18 
Questionprob with StatusMessage property Pinmemberc-n-sourceteam8-Apr-07 1:02 
AnswerRe: prob with StatusMessage property Pinmemberc-n-sourceteam8-Apr-07 2:59 
Generalmore toolbar problem Pinmemberamoba22-Sep-05 4:37 
GeneralNice way of doing this...BUT... PinmemberTomasOBraonain8-Oct-04 5:39 
GeneralRe: Nice way of doing this...BUT... PinmemberSeveredCross6-Jul-05 8:36 
GeneralRe: Nice way of doing this...BUT... Pinmemberbrucemo21-Sep-05 22:27 
GeneralStill can't get localization to work PinmemberIan McCarthy6-Oct-04 2:27 
GeneralClick_Event()... PinmemberPer Rollvang7-Mar-04 17:22 
GeneralRe: Click_Event()... PinmemberDCEdwards19665-May-04 7:39 
GeneralRe: Click_Event()... Pinmemberwilsonstl8-Sep-04 11:51 
GeneralRe: Click_Event()... PinmemberKlepton2-Dec-04 20:22 
GeneralDocking Menu Pinmembermantujap5-Feb-04 5:15 
GeneralRe: Docking Menu Pinmemberspvarapu30-Apr-05 21:46 
GeneralGreat Article! Pinmemberroelang@hotmail.com25-Sep-03 21:01 
GeneralRe: Great Article! PinmemberLimeyRedneck7-Feb-05 9:05 
GeneralRe: Great Article! Pinmemberspvarapu30-Apr-05 21:49 
Generaladding Localizable status messages Pinmemberbobbisson6-Apr-03 23:26 
GeneralRe: adding Localizable status messages Pinmemberbobbisson22-Apr-03 1:21 
GeneralGood Article PinmemberSrinivasa Raghavan28-Mar-03 1:32 
GeneralTip: Storing and Restoring the Status Text Pinmemberamberstar16-Feb-03 2:22 
GeneralRe: Tip: Storing and Restoring the Status Text PinmemberLe_MuLoT28-Nov-05 9:21 
GeneralRe: Tip: Storing and Restoring the Status Text Pinmemberjefrubio4-May-06 2:26 
GeneralLocalization PinsussThomas S. Andersen7-Nov-02 23:12 
GeneralRe: Localization Pinmemberpsdavis11-Nov-02 6:23 

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