Every application needs an “about box” and some need a “splash screen” while loading. I created the class,
CSplashWindow, to handle both. Most developers use the boring “about dialog” that is created automatically. As a consultant, I strive to create a professional product that looks good, is free from errors and is customized to the client.
CSplashWindow satisfies these requirements by having a visually appealing client graphic and all the information drawn from the version strings. Gone are the problems of mismatched version numbers and forgetting to fill in the version strings. I use this class for programs from tiny dialog applets to complex applications that take a couple of minutes to load and initialize.
The class consists of two files, SplashWindow.h and SplashWindow.cpp. The class requires MFC. I wrote another article, Splash Screen C++ Class without MFC or .NET, that doesn't use MFC.
The class gets all the information to display the splash screen from a bitmap and the version strings in the resources. Therefore, you don't have to modify the splash screen every time the version changes.
The splash screen disappears when clicked on, a key is pressed, or the desired time has elapsed.
Splash Screen Example
Using the Code
- Include SplashWindow.h and SplashWindow.cpp.
- Add version strings to the resources.
- Add the
IDB_SPLASH bitmap to the resources.
- Add version.lib to the link libraries.
ShowSplashScreen(HWND pParentWnd, LPCTSTR statusMessage, int millisecondsToDisplay) can have zero to three parameters.
pParentWnd - Parent window of splash screen
statusMessage - String to display in status area of splash screen
millisecondsToDisplay - Number of milliseconds before hiding splash screen
To show the splash screen during initialization, add
CSplashWindow::ShowSplashScreen( NULL, NULL, 3000);
m_pMainWnd = &dlg;
int nResponse = dlg.DoModal();
if (nResponse == IDOK)
else if (nResponse == IDCANCEL)
Mouse clicks and keyboard presses have to be captured to dismiss the splash screen. I do this by using the class wizard to add the message,
PreTranslateMessage, to the main application class. Insert
CSplashWindow::PreTranslateAppMessage(pMsg) to let the class detect messages that dismiss the splash window.
BOOL CSplashMfcDialogApp::PreTranslateMessage(MSG* pMsg)
To show the about box, replace
void CSplashMfcDialogDlg::OnSysCommand(UINT nID, LPARAM lParam)
if ((nID & 0xFFF0) == IDM_ABOUTBOX)
CSplashWindow::ShowSplashScreen( this, "http://applehome.com/", 10000);
Under the Hood
Since I'm a consultant, I create a specialized bitmap for each client. I typically place the company logo and the application icon in the
IDB_SPLASH bitmap. Depending on your artistic talent, you can make a very professional splash screen. The version strings are written on top of the bitmap.
There are 3 groupings of strings: Product Name, Body, and Status. The Body consists of one or more of the company name, version, copyright, and comment strings. I prefer the product name to be larger, with the multiple lines of the body smaller. I use Status only when the application is loading.
Each group has
static variables that specify how the strings in that group are drawn:
m_xxxVerticalOffset - empty space between the top of the bitmap and the first string
m_xxxVerticalHeight - the maximum height of a group of strings
m_xxxLeftMargin - the distance from the left side to the place strings
m_xxxRightMargin - the distance from the right side to strings
m_xxxFontName - the name of the font for strings
m_xxxPointSize - the point size used for strings, (-1,-1) ==> Calculate point size
m_xxxTextColor - the color used for strings
The body can have from 0 to 4 strings. Set the
static display variables:
true if displaying company name
true if displaying version
true if displaying copyright
true if displaying comments
CSplashScreen class is instantiated when
CSplashScreen::ShowSplashScreen() is called. It is deleted when the timeout elapses, a key is pressed, or the mouse is clicked.
Points of Interest
I wrote this class a long time ago and have scarcely modified it since. Recently I created a very lightweight applet that didn't use MFC, and I wanted the splash screen. I bit the bullet and rewrote the class without using MFC, Splash Screen C++ Class without MFC or .NET. It is interesting to see how the code changes when using MFC. Download the source and you can examine how the identical functionality is handled with and without MFC.
- Date posted: April 23, 2009