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A Time-line control using WTL

, 23 May 2003
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An alternative approach to selecting date ranges.
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Screen shot


CTimeLineCtrl provides an alternative way of selecting a regularly recurring date range.


  • one-click date range selection at different granularities (eg week, month, year)
  • display today's date highlighted
  • year digits kept in view
  • display n 'date-range bands' in whatever ordering is required
  • scroll limits can be set

Using CTimeLineCtrl in a WTL Application

This control was developed using VS.NET, WTL 7, and the Feb 2003 Platform SDK. It has been tested under WindowsXP only.

To use CTimeLineCtrl in your application:

  1. Copy the following files to your application directory:
    • atlgdix.h (it's included in the zip files, but you can also download it here)
    • TimeLineScroll.h
    • TimeLineCtrl.cpp
    • TimeLineCtrl.h
    • TimeLineBand.cpp
    • TimeLineBand.h

    If you want to use the Year, Month, or Week bands, also add the following files:
    • TimeLineBandImpl.cpp
    • TimeLineBandImpl.h
  2. Add these files to your project.
  3. If you're not already using them, add <atlcomtime.h> and <atltypes.h> to your <stdafx.h> file.
  4. Insert #include "TimeLineCtrl.h" prior to the definition of the parent window class.
  5. Add a new member variable to the parent window class. The class will be CTimeLineCtrl - give it any name you desire.
  6. Add code at an appropriate place (eg OnCreate or OnInitDialog) to create the control window.
Here is an example of how to create the control. <!-- If there's a better way to handle code-indenting in HTML, please let me know! This is butt-ugly. -->
CMainDlg::OnInitDialog(UINT /*uMsg*/, WPARAM /*wParam*/, <BR>    LPARAM /*lParam*/, BOOL& /*bHandled*/)
    m_wndTimeLine.Create(m_hWnd, 0, 0, WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE | WS_HSCROLL,
    m_wndTimeLine.AutoPosition(); // Position the control at the <BR>                                  // bottom of the parent window.

You can also add m_wndTimeLine.AutoPosition() to your OnSize handler to keep the control at the top or bottom of the parent window.

Implementation Details

This control is implemented using a combination of several classes:


This is a mix-in class that handles the WM_HSCROLL message. If you need to manage scrolling through a range of dates, you can use this class on it's own. For example:

class CMyWindow :
    public CWindowImpl<CMyWindow>
    public CTimeLineScroll<CMyWindow>
    // Handle the scroll request here.
    void DoScroll(int cxDelta);


This is an abstract base class used by CTimeLineCtrl to handle date-range rendering and selection.

I've included implementations for year, month, and week ranges (ie CTimeLineYearBand, CTimeLineMonthBand, and CTimeLineWeekBand respectively). If you want to add your own custom date-range bands, these will hopefully give you a good place to start.

Note that in this design, these classes are internal implementation classes for use by CTimeLineCtrl. Users of CTimeLineCtrl don't need to be aware of their existence.


This is a CWindowImpl-derived class that acts as a host for instances of CTimeLineBand-derived classes. It mixes in CTimeLineScroll to handled WM_HSCROLL, and delegates rendering requests to its collection of bands.

The collection of bands is kept in a std::deque. The order in which bands are displayed in the control follows the ordering of bands in this collection.

Incidentally, in this implementation, I chose to create the different bands on the heap (preferring to keep the implementation details of the bands hidden from users of the control). With a few changes, you could have them as member variables of this (or a derived) control instead. Just make sure you modify the memory management code in OnDestroy if you do.

Here's an example of adding a band to CTimeLineCtrl:

CTimeLineCtrl::OnCreate(LPCREATESTRUCT /*lpcs*/)
    AddBand(new CTimeLineWeekBand(*this));



  • Bjarke Viksoe - atlgdix.h (used for flicker-free drawing)


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.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Tony Ioanides
Web Developer
Australia Australia
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

Generalfatal error RC1015: cannot open include file 'atlres.h'. PinmemberVicky_Jain5-Oct-08 20:23 
GeneralRe: fatal error RC1015: cannot open include file 'atlres.h'. PinmemberRedFraggle28-Nov-08 6:59 
GeneralRe: fatal error RC1015: cannot open include file 'atlres.h'. PinmemberJamesDK9-Sep-09 19:56 
QuestionCan this code be in c# PinmemberNhilesh B23-Oct-07 23:12 
GeneralGeneral Purpose Timeline Control Pinmembersdancer7513-Sep-07 23:36 
GeneralRe: General Purpose Timeline Control PinmembergyingLiow20-Jul-08 23:06 
GeneralRe: General Purpose Timeline Control Pinmembermaddin23-Sep-09 9:50 
Generalnewer WTL versions compilation problems PinmemberJan Stetka10-Jun-07 1:48 
GeneralAnother timeline control... PinmemberDavidJonson3-Mar-06 15:37 
GeneralRe: Another timeline control... PinmemberSoliant3-Jun-06 17:05 
GeneralRe: Another timeline control... Pinmembermemo-517-Nov-07 7:53 
GeneralThe sample doesn't want to compile PinmemberRenny[RuS]28-Feb-06 1:15 
GeneralRe: The sample doesn't want to compile PinmemberRenny[RuS]28-Feb-06 2:54 
Generalatltypes and atlcomtime PinmemberDavid Horner27-May-03 13:04 
GeneralRe: atltypes and atlcomtime PinmemberTony I27-May-03 13:36 
GeneralRe: atltypes and atlcomtime PinmemberDavid Horner27-May-03 13:39 
GeneralRe: atltypes and atlcomtime PinsussMarc A. Brown14-Jul-03 2:01 
GeneralRe: atltypes and atlcomtime Pinmemberwayneamurphy10-Mar-04 16:07 
QuestionMissing the .dsw and .dsp file? Pinmemberdxhdxh25-May-03 20:50 
AnswerRe: Missing the .dsw and .dsp file? PinmemberTony I25-May-03 22:10 
AnswerRe: Missing the .dsw and .dsp file? PinsussAnonymous14-Jul-03 0:43 

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