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How to place controls on toolbars

, 12 Jan 2000
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How to place combo-boxes, edit boxes, progress controls, etc. into toolbars
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It is very easy (once you see how it is done) to place combo-boxes, edit boxes, progress controls, etc. into toolbars. Below are two examples of this, in the first a ComboBox is placed on a toolbar, and in the second a cluster of checkboxes is added. In both cases the technique is the same:

Step 1: Place a button on the toolbar in the spot where you want the control(s) to eventually be. YOU MUST place a seperator on either side of the button!. Give the button an easily remembered resource name such as IDP_PLACEHOLDER2 in the example below.

Step 2: Derive a class from CToolBar and give it a member variable for the control you will be creating. For the ComboBox example that class looks like this. No extra methods are required, just a place for the instance of the control to live.

class CMainToolBar : public CToolBar 
    CComboBox m_wndSnap;

Step 3: In your main frame's .h file replace the instance of the CToolBar with you new class. Be sure to add an include statement for the class definition created in step 1.

protected: // control bar embedded members
    CStatusBar m_wndStatusBar;
    CMainToolBar m_wndToolBar;

Step 4: At the end of your main frame's OnCreate method you replace the placeholder button with your control as follows:

int SMCMainFrame::OnCreate(LPCREATESTRUCT lpCreateStruct)
    //Body of On Create goes here

    #define SNAP_WIDTH 80 //the width of the combo box

    //set up the ComboBox control as a snap mode select box
    //First get the index of the placeholder's position in the toolbar
    index = 0;
    while (m_wndToolBar.GetItemID(index) != IDP_PLACEHOLDER2) index++;

    //next convert that button to a seperator and get its position
    m_wndToolBar.SetButtonInfo(index, IDP_PLACEHOLDER2, TBBS_SEPARATOR,
    m_wndToolBar.GetItemRect(index, &rect);

    //expand the rectangle to allow the combo box room to drop down;
    rect.bottom += 200;

    // then .Create the combo box and show it
    if (!m_wndToolBar.m_wndSnap.Create(WS_CHILD|WS_VISIBLE|CBS_AUTOHSCROLL| 
                                       rect, &m_wndToolBar, IDC_SNAP_COMBO))
        TRACE0("Failed to create combo-box\n");
        return FALSE;

    //fill the combo box
    m_wndToolBar.m_wndSnap.AddString("SNAP OFF");
    m_wndToolBar.m_wndSnap.AddString("SNAP GRID");
    m_wndToolBar.m_wndSnap.AddString("SNAP RASTER");
    m_wndToolBar.m_wndSnap.AddString("SNAP VERTEX");
    m_wndToolBar.m_wndSnap.AddString("SNAP LINE");

The result looks like this:

Here is one that is a little trickier:

Four check boxes are placed in the toolbar. In addition to adding multiple controls in place of a single button this example shows how to change the font of the checkboxes.

1. Derive the new toolbar class and add it to the main frame. Also add a CFont called gSmallFont to the Main Frame.

class CCoupleToolBar : public CToolBar
    CButton m_wndCenter;
    CButton m_wndEdge;
    CButton m_wndTrack;
    CButton m_wndZoom;

2. Place a placeholder button on the toolbar resource MAKING SURE to leave a space on either side. This is done just as in the first example.

3. At the end of OnCreate in the main frame, first set up the font we are going to use, then replace the placeholder button with the new controls.

int CMainFrame::OnCreate(LPCREATESTRUCT lpCreateStruct)
    // Body of OnCreate here
    //set up the small font to use for the button text
    // remember to declare CFont gSmallFont in the .h file
    // font for tool bar use
    CClientDC DC(GetDesktopWindow());
    long logical_pixels = DC.GetDeviceCaps(LOGPIXELSX);
    if(logical_pixels <100)

        gSmallFont.CreatePointFont(67, "DEFAULT", NULL);  
        gSmallFont.CreatePointFont(50, "DEFAULT", NULL); 
    //create the four check boxes  
    #define CHECK_WIDTH 94  
    int index;   
    CRect rect;   
    CRect safe_rect;
    index = 0;  
    while (m_wndViewBar.GetItemID(index) != IDP_PLACHOLDER) index++;     
    // Create the "CENTER" check box   
    m_wndViewBar.SetButtonInfo(index, IDP_PLACHOLDER, TBBS_SEPARATOR,
    m_wndViewBar.GetItemRect(index, &rect); 
    rect.left +=2;   
    rect.right=rect.left + ((CHECK_WIDTH / 2)-4);; + 10;   
    if (!m_wndViewBar.m_wndCenter.Create("CNTR",
        BS_CHECKBOX|WS_CHILD|WS_VISIBLE, rect, &m_wndViewBar,
        TRACE0("Failed to create CENTER check-box\n");       
        return FALSE;    
        (WPARAM)HFONT(gSmallFont),TRUE); = rect.bottom += 2;   
    rect.bottom = + 10;    
    if (!m_wndViewBar.m_wndEdge.Create("EDGE",
        BS_CHECKBOX|WS_CHILD|WS_VISIBLE, rect, &m_wndViewBar,
        TRACE0("Failed to create EDGE check-box\n");        
        return FALSE; 
        (WPARAM)HFONT(gSmallFont), TRUE);
    rect = safe_rect;
    rect.left += ((CHECK_WIDTH / 2) + 4); = 2;

    rect.bottom = + 10; 
    if (!m_wndViewBar.m_wndZoom.Create("ZOOM",
        BS_CHECKBOX|WS_CHILD|WS_VISIBLE, rect, &m_wndViewBar,
        TRACE0("Failed to create ZOOM check-box\n");    
        return FALSE;   
        (WPARAM)HFONT(gSmallFont),TRUE); = rect.bottom += 2;   
    rect.bottom = + 10;  
    if (!m_wndViewBar.m_wndTrack.Create("TRKR",
        BS_CHECKBOX|WS_CHILD|WS_VISIBLE, rect, &m_wndViewBar,
        TRACE0("Failed to create EDGE check-box\n");    
        return FALSE;   
        (WPARAM)HFONT(gSmallFont), TRUE); 


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Randy More

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralNeed to add button to default toolbar in WinSDK PinmemberAshley Pinto8-Oct-01 7:41 
GeneralToolbar without C++ PinmemberNovacain2-Aug-01 22:50 
GeneralTooltips PinmemberJean-Yves26-Dec-00 22:21 
GeneralRe: Tooltips PinmemberUma Mahes28-Oct-03 20:50 
GeneralRe: Tooltips PinsussDenisZ4-Nov-03 3:10 
GeneralOver and over PinsussAlexander27-Jul-00 2:50 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinsussUser27-Jul-00 2:59 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinsussAlexander27-Jul-00 4:15 
Look around, dear User, how many articles with NEW ideas
can one find on this site? Too few, and it disappoints.
Most contributors receive 4.1-4.8 for their
articles and almost no negative comments. One can post
MS VS addon which almost ruines resource file in a project.
It wasn't merely thought through. This one was not rated below 4. Yes, some comments improved it much, but nobody said "Hey, did you ever tried it by yourself?". And that's the common tendency Frown | :(

I thought that this site was destined for sharing ideas,
not for rising self-esteem. I didn't mean to offend anybody.

Criticism is very stimulating thing, IMHO. But slightly more
hurting than coffee :
GeneralRe: Over and over PinmemberShyguy from China6-Nov-00 21:38 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinmemberMember #408077827-Jan-08 19:08 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinmemberMember #408077827-Jan-08 19:14 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinsussDave R17-Aug-00 5:32 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinsussAndy Metcalfe11-Oct-00 2:31 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinmemberRay Romero22-Nov-00 8:13 
GeneralEXACTLY! GOT IT GUYS! :) PinmemberMasoud Samimi30-Dec-00 10:43 
GeneralRe: Over and over Pinmembercypherljk30-Dec-00 8:27 
GeneralRe: Over and over PinmemberWarren Gardner10-Jul-01 11:21 
QuestionWhat about edit/spin combinations? PinsussRob Edwards9-Jun-00 11:13 
AnswerRe: What about edit/spin combinations? PinmemberMasoud Samimi27-Dec-00 1:56 
GeneralCombo font - too large PinsussFrédéric Marion-Poll5-Mar-00 12:57 
GeneralRe: Combo font - too large PinsussRichard Odenweller4-Apr-00 8:23 
GeneralRe: Combo font - too large PinmemberAdam Bialowas18-Aug-01 11:20 
GeneralRe: Combo font - too large Pinmemberdrhender27-Jun-02 6:33 
GeneralRe: Combo font - too large Pinmemberk77725-Jun-11 7:08 
GeneralDrop down combo box in toolbar PinsussDiana Cook11-Feb-00 8:33 

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