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Hacking the CPropertySheet

, 21 Jun 2004 CPOL
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Some tips and tricks to change the default look & feel and behavior of CPropertySheet class.

Introduction

In my applications, I usually need to change the default look and feel and the behavior of Property Sheets. Working with property sheets and pages is really a pain and you must do most of the work on yourself for non-standard operations (such as changing the coordinates of the buttons, adding new controls to the property sheet, ...etc). In this article, I tried to give as many tips and tricks as I can do.

Before going in to the details, you should first create a CPropertySheet derived class - say CMyPropSheet.

Lets begin with some simple things:

Hiding Standards Buttons

When our property sheet shows up, by default it has all the buttons visible and the Apply button is disabled. In general we don't need to use Apply button. To hide the apply button, you can simply use the following code:

propsheet.m_psh.dwFlags |= PSH_NOAPPLYNOW;

However, this does not work for all buttons. A better approach is to get a handle to the specified button and then threat the button as a normal window. Here is a sample code that hides the cancel button:

CWnd *pWnd = GetDlgItem( IDCANCEL );
pWnd->ShowWindow( FALSE );

When we hide the controls using the ShowWindow function all the other controls remain whereever they were. This may give the property sheet and unappealing look. To avoid this, we should reposition the controls manually. Next subsections shows how to move the controls.

Moving the Standard Buttons

As I mentioned before, once we get the handle to the standard buttons, we can treat them like any other window. The code below first hides Apply and Help buttons, then moves OK and Cancel buttons right.

BOOL CMyPropSheet::OnInitDialog () 
{
    BOOL bResult = CPropertySheet::OnInitDialog();

    int ids [] = {IDOK, IDCANCEL};//, ID_APPLY_NOW, IDHELP };
    
    // Hide Apply and Help buttons
    CWnd *pWnd = GetDlgItem (ID_APPLY_NOW);
    pWnd->ShowWindow (FALSE);
    pWnd = GetDlgItem (IDHELP);
    pWnd->ShowWindow (FALSE);
    
    CRect rectBtn;
    int nSpacing = 6;        // space between two buttons...

    for( int i =0; i < sizeof(ids)/sizeof(int); i++)
    {
        GetDlgItem (ids [i])->GetWindowRect (rectBtn);
        
        ScreenToClient (&rectBtn);
        int btnWidth = rectBtn.Width();
        rectBtn.left = rectBtn.left + (btnWidth + nSpacing)* 2;
        rectBtn.right = rectBtn.right + (btnWidth + nSpacing)* 2;

        GetDlgItem (ids [i])->MoveWindow(rectBtn);
    }

    
    return bResult;
}

The following code moves all standard buttons to the right and resizes the property sheet appropriately.

BOOL CMyPropSheet::OnInitDialog () 
{
    BOOL bResult = CPropertySheet::OnInitDialog();

    
    int ids[] = { IDOK, IDCANCEL, ID_APPLY_NOW };
    
    CRect rectWnd;
    CRect rectBtn;
    
    GetWindowRect (rectWnd);
    GetDlgItem (IDOK)->GetWindowRect (rectBtn);
    
    int btnWidth = rectBtn.Width();
    int btnHeight = rectBtn.Height();
    int btnOffset = rectWnd.bottom - rectBtn.bottom;
    int btnLeft = rectWnd.right - rectWnd.left;

    rectWnd.bottom = rectBtn.top;
    rectWnd.right = rectWnd.right + btnWidth + btnOffset;
    MoveWindow(rectWnd);
    
    rectBtn.left = btnLeft;
    rectBtn.right = btnLeft + btnWidth;

    for (int i = 0; i < sizeof (ids) / sizeof (int); i++)
    {
        rectBtn.top = (i + 1) * btnOffset + btnHeight * i;
        rectBtn.bottom = rectBtn.top + btnHeight;
        GetDlgItem (ids [i])->MoveWindow (rectBtn);
    }
    
    return bResult;
}

Changing the Tab Label

To change the labels at runtime, we just need to get a pointer to the tab control and then use SetItem functions of the tab control. Here is an example:

TC_ITEM item;
item.mask = TCIF_TEXT;
item.pszText = "New Label";

//Change the label of the first tab (0 is the index of the first tab)...
GetTabControl ()->SetItem (0, &item);

Changing the Tab Label Font

This is also similar to changing the label of the tab. Here is an example code:

    m_NewFont.CreateFont (14, 0, 0, 0, 800, TRUE, 
      0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, _T("Arial") );
    GetTabControl()->SetFont (&m_NewFont);

Using Images with Tab Labels

In order to use images with the tab labels, first you have to create a CImageList class with the images you want to use in the tab control. The using SetItem method of CTabCtrl class, you should set the images of the items. Here is an example:

BOOL CMyPropSheet::OnInitDialog ()
{
    BOOL bResult = CPropertySheet::OnInitDialog();

    m_imageList.Create (IDB_MYIMAGES, 13, 1, RGB(255,255,255));
    CTabCtrl *pTabCtrl = GetTabControl ();
    pTabCtrl->SetImageList (&m_imageList);
    
    TC_ITEM item;
    item.mask = TCIF_IMAGE;
    for (int i = 0; i < NUMBER_OF_TABS; i++)
    {
        item.iImage = i;
        pTabCtrl->SetItem (i, &item );
    }

    return bResult;
}

Placing a Bitmap in the Property Sheet

The following code places a bitmap in the left-bottom corner of the property sheet.

void CMyPropSheet::OnPaint () 
{
    CPaintDC dc(this); // device context for painting
    
    int nOffset = 6;
    // load IDB_BITMAP1 from our resources
    CBitmap bmp;
    if (bmp.LoadBitmap (IDB_BITMAP1))
    {
        // Get the size of the bitmap
        BITMAP bmpInfo;
        bmp.GetBitmap (&bmpInfo);
        
        // Create an in-memory DC compatible with the
        // display DC we're using to paint
        CDC dcMemory;
        dcMemory.CreateCompatibleDC (&dc);
        
        // Select the bitmap into the in-memory DC
        CBitmap* pOldBitmap = dcMemory.SelectObject (&bmp);
        
        // Find a bottom-left point for the bitmap in the client area
        CRect rect;
        GetClientRect (&rect);
        int nX = rect.left + nOffset;
        int nY = rect.top + (rect.Height () - bmpInfo.bmHeight) - nOffset;
        
        // Copy the bits from the in-memory DC into the on-
        // screen DC to actually do the painting. Use the centerpoint
        // we computed for the target offset.
        dc.BitBlt (nX, nY, bmpInfo.bmWidth, bmpInfo.bmHeight, &dcMemory, 
            0, 0, SRCCOPY);
        
        dcMemory.SelectObject (pOldBitmap);
    }

    // Do not call CPropertySheet::OnPaint() for painting messages
}

Adding a Control to the Property Sheet

To add your own control to the property sheet, first add a member variable to your header class. The following steps shows you adding an Edit conrol to your property sheet (to the bottom-left corner):

In MyPropSheet.h:

public:
    CEdit m_edit;

In MyPropSheet.cpp:

BOOL CMyPropSheet::OnInitDialog ()
{
    BOOL bResult = CPropertySheet::OnInitDialog ();

    
    CRect rect;
    
    int nHeight = 24;
    int nWidth = 120;
    int nOffset = 6;
    
    GetClientRect (&rect);

    // Find a bottom-left point for the edit control in the client area
    int nX = rect.left + nOffset;
    int nY = rect.top + (rect.Height() - nHeight) - nOffset;
    
    // finally create the edit control
    m_Edit.CreateEx (WS_EX_CLIENTEDGE, _T("EDIT"), NULL,
                     WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_TABSTOP | WS_BORDER, 
        nX, nY, nWidth, nHeight, m_hWnd, 0, 0 );

    return bResult;
}

A More Complex Scenario

Now we are ready for a more complex operation on these stupid property sheets. Suppose you want to add a header on top of your property sheet. At first, this seems to be an easy task, but when you implement the first thing in your mind, you would mostly be disappointed.

You need a free space on top of the property sheet. Thus you need to increase the size of the property sheet, then move all the buttons and tab control. However this is not enough. The problem is that, when you move your Tab Control, your property pages in the Tab Control will not be moved appropriately. They will remain on the same coordinates (even though the tab control is moved). So, you also have to move the first property page on your tab control. You don't have to move the other property pages, because when you change the active tab, tab control will get the new coordinates automatically and place the property pages correctly. The problem occurs only when the property sheet is created and firstly shown. The code below creates an area on top of the property sheet and moves all the controls and property pages accordingly. You just need to add your header control.

BOOL CMyPropSheet::OnInitDialog ()
{
    BOOL bResult = CPropertySheet::OnInitDialog ();

    
    int _PropSheetButtons[] = {IDOK, IDCANCEL, ID_APPLY_NOW, IDHEL };
    int m_nHeaderHeight = 70;        //The height of the header control

    CRect rectWnd;
    GetWindowRect (rectWnd);
    ScreenToClient (rectWnd);
    SetWindowPos (NULL, 0, 0, rectWnd.Width(), 
        rectWnd.Height() + m_nHeaderHeight,
        SWP_NOMOVE | SWP_NOZORDER | SWP_NOACTIVATE);
    
    // create your header control here
    //m_HeaderCtrl.CreateEx (NULL, NULL, NULL, 
    //    WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_TABSTOP | WS_BORDER, 
    //    -1, -1, rectWnd.Width (), m_nHeaderHeight - 5, m_hWnd, 0, 0);
    //m_HeaderCtrl.SetTitle (m_sTitle);
    //m_HeaderCtrl.SetIcon (m_nIcon);
    //m_HeaderCtrl.SetDesc (m_sDesc);*/
    
    
    HWND hWnd = (HWND)GetTabControl ()->m_hWnd;
    ASSERT (hWnd != NULL);
    CRect rectOld;
    ::GetWindowRect (hWnd, &rectOld);
    ScreenToClient (&rectOld);
    ::SetWindowPos (hWnd, NULL, rectOld.left, 
                    rectOld.top + m_nHeaderHeight, rectOld.Width (), 
                    rectOld.Height (),
                    SWP_NOZORDER | SWP_NOACTIVATE);
    
    hWnd = (HWND)m_Page1.m_hWnd; // m_Page1 is assumed to be the first page
                 // in your property sheet. de corrections accordingly

    ASSERT (hWnd != NULL);
    ::GetWindowRect (hWnd, &rectOld);
    ScreenToClient (&rectOld);
    ::SetWindowPos (hWnd, NULL, rectOld.left, 
                    rectOld.top + m_nHeaderHeight, 
                    rectOld.Width (), rectOld.Height (),
                    SWP_NOZORDER | SWP_NOACTIVATE);
    
    // move buttons by similar amount
    for (int i = 0; i < sizeof (_PropSheetButtons) / sizeof (int); i++)
    {
        hWnd = ::GetDlgItem (m_hWnd, _PropSheetButtons [i]);
        if (hWnd != NULL)
        {
            ::GetWindowRect (hWnd, &rectOld);
            ScreenToClient (&rectOld);
            ::SetWindowPos (hWnd, NULL, rectOld.left, 
                            rectOld.top + m_nHeaderHeight, 
                            rectOld.Width (), rectOld.Height (),
                            SWP_NOZORDER | SWP_NOACTIVATE);
        }
    }
    
    // Enable Apply Now button
    hWnd = ::GetDlgItem(m_hWnd, ID_APPLY_NOW);
    if (hWnd != NULL)
    {
        ::ShowWindow (hWnd, SW_SHOW);
        ::EnableWindow (hWnd, TRUE);
    }
    
    CenterWindow ();
    
    return bResult;
}

So far so good. Now, I want to change the behavior for the OK, Cancel and Apply buttons. For example, when the user clicks on OK or Cancel button, you may want to do something different rather than closing the property sheet. Here is a general template that can be used to do this kind of stuff:

BOOL CMyPropSheet::OnCommand (WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam) 
{
    // allow message map override
    if (CWnd::OnCommand (wParam, lParam))
        return TRUE;
    
    // crack message parameters
    UINT nID = LOWORD(wParam);
    HWND hWndCtrl = (HWND)lParam;
    int nCode = HIWORD(wParam);
    
    // set m_nModalResult to ID of button, whenever button is clicked
    if (hWndCtrl != NULL && nCode == BN_CLICKED)
    {
        if (::SendMessage(hWndCtrl, WM_GETDLGCODE, 0, 0) &
            (DLGC_BUTTON|DLGC_DEFPUSHBUTTON))
        {
            LONG lStyle = ::GetWindowLong(hWndCtrl, GWL_STYLE) & 0x0F;
            if (lStyle == BS_PUSHBUTTON || lStyle == BS_DEFPUSHBUTTON ||
                lStyle == BS_USERBUTTON || lStyle == BS_OWNERDRAW)
            {
                if (nID == IDOK)
                {
                    if (YOU_WANT_TO_CLOSE_THE_PROPERTY_SHEET)
                    {
                        // do whatever you want before closing the property page

                        // You dont have to assign nID to 
                        // m_nModalResult. If you want to 
                        // return IDOK or IDCANCEL instead of 
                        // the default return value, 
                        // you can do it by assigning IDOK or 
                        // IDCANCEL to m_nModalResult
                        m_nModalResult = nID;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        // do whatever you want.
                        return TRUE;
                    }
                }
                else if (nID == ID_APPLY_NOW)
                {
                    if (YOU_WANT_TO_CLOSE_THE_PROPERTY_SHEET)
                    {
                        // do whatever you want before 
                        // closing the property page
                        
                        // You dont have to assign nID to 
                        // m_nModalResult. If you want to 
                        // return IDOK or IDCANCEL instead 
                        // of the default return value, 
                        // you can do it by assigning IDOK or 
                        // IDCANCEL to m_nModalResult
                        m_nModalResult = nID;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        // do whatever you want.
                        return TRUE;
                    }
                }
                else if (nID == IDCANCEL)
                {
                    if (YOU_WANT_TO_CLOSE_THE_PROPERTY_SHEET)
                    {
                        // do whatever you want before 
                        // closing the property page

                        // You dont have to assign nID to 
                        // m_nModalResult. If you want to 
                        // return IDOK or IDCANCEL instead 
                        // of the default return value, 
                        // you can do it by assigning IDOK or 
                        // IDCANCEL to m_nModalResult
                        m_nModalResult = nID;
                    }
                    else
                    {
                        // do whatever you want.
                        return TRUE;
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
    return FALSE;
}

Thanks...

...To Zafir Anjum for his very useful articles about property sheets on CodeGuru.com.

...To The Code Project, for providing a useable forum for all of us.

Some points that you should keep in mind

  • I am not an expert in GUI programming. These tips and tricks are all from my own experience. Thus, they may contain some bugs. But till now, they are working fine for me Smile | :)
  • If you need resizable property sheets, I strongly recommend you to have a look at ResizableLib.

License

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

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About the Author

Mustafa Demirhan
Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: my vote is zero... Pinmemberl_d_allan29-Oct-08 7:15 
QuestionHow to gain access to the property page from the property sheet? PinmemberAki Wang25-Jul-06 1:05 
AnswerRe: How to gain access to the property page from the property sheet? PinmemberMustafa Demirhan25-Jul-06 8:26 
GeneralRe: How to gain access to the property page from the property sheet? PinmemberAki Wang25-Jul-06 17:01 

Really thank you very much!!! Wink | ;)
QuestionHow to change the words shown on the buttons of the property sheet? PinmemberAki Wang19-Jul-06 20:14 
AnswerRe: How to change the words shown on the buttons of the property sheet? PinmemberMustafa Demirhan19-Jul-06 21:47 
AnswerRe: How to change the words shown on the buttons of the property sheet? PinmemberAki Wang19-Jul-06 21:49 
Generalupside down PinmemberSohail_CSC4-Jul-06 21:56 
GeneralFeedback, and HOWTO: change the font used for the sheet and contained pages Pinmember-Dy20-Apr-06 3:23 
GeneralRe: Feedback, and HOWTO: change the font used for the sheet and contained pages PinmemberMustafa Demirhan19-Jul-06 21:49 
GeneralCentering tab label PinmemberToshiya22-Mar-06 22:29 
Generalhide property page at run time Pinmembersundee15-Dec-05 0:58 
GeneralRe: hide property page at run time PinmemberMustafa Demirhan15-Dec-05 21:00 
GeneralRe: hide property page at run time Pinmembersundee16-Dec-05 5:51 
GeneralTab label with image Pinmembershinyhui19-Sep-05 21:36 
QuestionRe: Tab label with image PinmemberWhiteSky10-Jul-07 22:24 
GeneralProblem in Placing a Bitmap in the Property Sheet PinmemberPoornimaS23-Sep-04 21:58 
GeneralRe: Problem in Placing a Bitmap in the Property Sheet PinmemberMustafa Demirhan24-Sep-04 0:48 
GeneralRe: Problem in Placing a Bitmap in the Property Sheet PinmemberPoornimaS24-Sep-04 2:00 
GeneralRe: Problem in Placing a Bitmap in the Property Sheet Pinsussraghavr27-Feb-05 3:57 
QuestionRe: Problem in Placing a Bitmap in the Property Sheet PinmemberWhiteSky10-Jul-07 22:24 
GeneralLots of property pages PinmemberDanYELL3-Sep-04 5:34 
GeneralRe: Lots of property pages PinmemberMustafa Demirhan3-Sep-04 8:07 
GeneralRe: Lots of property pages PinmemberDanYELL4-Sep-04 8:05 
GeneralThank you !! PinmemberVoidIndigo12-Aug-04 12:55 
GeneralRe: Thank you !! PinmemberMustafa Demirhan12-Aug-04 23:05 
GeneralRe: Thank you !! PinmemberKarstenK12-Nov-04 3:45 
GeneralChanging background color of property page Pinmemberrems8126-Jul-04 18:07 
QuestionHow can I show CProeprtySheet A in CPropertySheet B as if pages of A are seamless integral parts of B? Pinsusssnowshoe16-Jul-04 9:41 
QuestionHow can I Update a PropertyPage before calling DoModal()?? Pinmemberbiu-jee5-Jul-04 3:41 
AnswerRe: How can I Update a PropertyPage before calling DoModal()?? Pinmemberaouadn13-Jul-04 6:46 
AnswerRe: How can I Update a PropertyPage before calling DoModal()?? Pinsussaouadn13-Jul-04 6:47 
AnswerRe: How can I Update a PropertyPage before calling DoModal()?? Pinsussaouadn13-Jul-04 6:49 
GeneralAdd two PropertySheets in a dialog Pinmemberasef16-Jun-04 1:36 
GeneralRe: Add two PropertySheets in a dialog PinmemberMustafa Demirhan16-Jun-04 7:57 
GeneralRe: Add two PropertySheets in a dialog PinmemberPaolo Messina22-Jun-04 6:50 
Generalwhere can I download the source code Pinmemberclass_river20-May-04 13:39 
GeneralRe: where can I download the source code PinmemberMustafa Demirhan21-May-04 0:43 
GeneralHelp,How can I move the tab label to left Pinmemberyhzeng3-May-04 17:10 
GeneralRe: Help,How can I move the tab label to left PinmemberMustafa Demirhan4-May-04 8:48 
QuestionAdding buttons? Pinmemberdroopydave23-Apr-04 9:54 
Questionhow to enforce focus on dlg item of another page Pinmemberstephangeue23-Feb-04 21:34 
GeneralShort Cut keys Pinmembermr.prakash8-Jan-04 20:32 
GeneralProperty Sheet in a dialog box Pinmemberdendude18-Dec-03 1:16 
GeneralRe: Property Sheet in a dialog box PinmemberMustafa Demirhan18-Dec-03 7:35 
GeneralDisable tab page PinmemberDimitris Vassiliades10-Oct-03 11:38 
GeneralIntegrating property sheet in a dialog Pinmemberkhaldoun2-Oct-03 22:29 
QuestionNavigatinng to the Next Page without using Next Button?? Pinmemberjeganmohan25-Sep-03 2:59 
AnswerRe: Navigatinng to the Next Page without using Next Button?? PinmemberMustafa Demirhan25-Sep-03 3:34 
AnswerRe: Navigatinng to the Next Page without using Next Button?? Pinmembercirdannadric26-Sep-03 11:36 

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