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Toolbar in splitter window pane

, 15 May 2002
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How to add a docking toolbar to a splitter window pane
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This brief article describes a simple way to add a toolbar inside one or more panes of a splitter window. Typically when you create a splitter window in the OnCreateClient method of your CMainFrame class, you supply CView derived classes to the CSplitterWnd::CreateView method. However, the class supplied does not need to be a CView derived class. It can be any CWnd derived class. If you look inside the MFC code for the CSplitterWnd class you will see that the class uses CWnd pointers not CView pointers. Methods in the CSplitterWnd class that deal with windows, use CWnd pointers. For instance, CSplitterWnd::GetPane returns a CWnd. This allows us to use a CFrameWnd derived class instead of a CView derived class. Since the CFrameWnd class provides all the toolbar / docking support, we can easily add a toolbar to each splitter pane that is derived from CFrameWnd. Below is the OnCreateClient code from my sample application:

BOOL CMainFrame::OnCreateClient(LPCREATESTRUCT lpcs, CCreateContext* pContext) 
     m_wndSplit.CreateStatic(this, 1, 2);
     m_wndSplit.CreateView(0,0,pContext->m_pNewViewClass, CSize(175, 500),

     // Create the view using a CFrameWnd derived class.
     m_wndSplit.CreateView(0,1,RUNTIME_CLASS(CSplitFrame), CSize(175, 500), 
     // Activate view pane.
     SetActiveView((CView *) m_wndSplit.GetPane(0,0));
     return TRUE;
     // return CFrameWnd::OnCreateClient(lpcs, pContext);

Now, your CFrameWnd derived class must do two things. First it has to create your view class in the OnCreateClient method. My sample code uses a CFormView derived class:

BOOL CSplitFrame::OnCreateClient(LPCREATESTRUCT lpcs, 
                                  CCreateContext* pContext) 
    CSplitView *pview;

    // Create a context.
    CCreateContext context;
    pContext = &context;

    // Assign custom view.
    pContext->m_pNewViewClass = RUNTIME_CLASS(CSplitView);

    // Create the view.
    pview = (CSplitView *) CreateView(pContext, AFX_IDW_PANE_FIRST);
    if (pview == NULL)
        return FALSE;

    // Notify the view.
    SetActiveView(pview, FALSE);

    return TRUE;

The second thing your CFrameWnd derived class must do is create the toolbar that will appear in the splitter pane:

int CSplitFrame::OnCreate(LPCREATESTRUCT lpCreateStruct) 
    if (CFrameWnd::OnCreate(lpCreateStruct) == -1)
        return -1;
    if (!m_wndToolBar.CreateEx(this, TBSTYLE_FLAT, 
                              WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | CBRS_TOP
        TRACE0("Failed to create toolbar\n");
        return -1;      // fail to create

    m_wndToolBar.SetBorders(3, 3, 3, 3);
    return 0;

That's it! Now you have a fully dockable toolbar for your splitter window pane. Easy!


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.

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About the Author

Tom Shope
Web Developer
United States United States
Graduate of University of Texas with B.S. in Computer Engineering. 14 years software development experience. Currently a software developer for Storcomm Inc. a medical imaging solutions provider in Jacksonville Florida.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralCommercial use of code 21:01 
GeneralRemove lines to link to document Pinmemberfannyc4-Aug-06 7:08 
QuestionHow the two cview communicate? PinmemberAwinHuang14-Apr-06 1:05 
AnswerRe: How the two cview communicate? Pinmemberjhwurmbach18-Aug-06 0:41 
GeneralDocument won't save on Close PinmemberPhil Fortier23-Sep-05 20:54 
GeneralA handle to the MENU of a drop down button PinmemberAlex Evans16-Nov-04 14:28 
GeneralNo correct message maps :( PinmemberDamos10-Oct-03 2:16 
GeneralSmall omission in your article PinmemberBabak Asadi17-Sep-03 10:04 
GeneralCFrameWnd resize problem PinmemberChris Losinger23-May-03 10:29 
GeneralFixed PinmemberChris Losinger23-May-03 11:14 
GeneralRe: Access Document from View PinmemberRoberto Rocco10-Mar-03 11:00 
GeneralRe: Access Document from View Pinmemberdongdks23-Jul-03 23:43 
GeneralToolBarControls PinmemberAnthonyWinters30-Oct-02 10:30 
GeneralRe: ToolBarControls PinmemberRidgeley Yu12-May-03 1:18 
GeneralRe: ToolBarControls PinmemberTobias Svensson13-Oct-03 1:16 
GeneralNo document pointer PinsussEdmund Vermeulen29-Sep-02 23:47 
GeneralFrame Window PinmemberTimbit27-Aug-02 14:39 
GeneralRe: Frame Window PinmemberTimbit27-Aug-02 19:28 
GeneralRe: Frame Window PinmemberWarren Gardner25-Nov-02 15:35 
GeneralRe: Frame Window - Possibly even easier PinmemberJohn Famiglietti29-Nov-02 9:24 

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