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Simple way to create non-rectangular shaped dialogs

, 6 Dec 2003
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This article outlines a simple way to create dialogs which are not rectangular in shape

Introduction

Normally Dialog Boxes are rectangular in shape. Various methods can be adopted to make them non-rectangular in shape. However, most of these methods are complicated and suited for application that uses skinning to create dialogs with the shape of a skin or image. If the required shape of the dialog is simple like a rectangle with rounded corners or an ellipse, then a much simpler method can be used. In this method multiple CRgn objects are created and then combined (union of regions) to create a compound region. The dialog is then given the shape of the compound region.

The Code

All the required code is in the OnInitDialog method of the dialog

Step 1: Set Dialog style

To change the shape of the dialog, in the OnInitDialog of the dialog the Caption and the Border of the dialog is removed.

    ...
   //  Remove caption and border
   SetWindowLong(m_hWnd, GWL_STYLE, GetWindowLong(m_hWnd, GWL_STYLE) 
        & (~(WS_CAPTION | WS_BORDER)));
   ...

Step 2: Create individual regions

Individual elliptic regions are then created using the coordinates of the dialog's window

    //  Get the rectangle
    CRect rect;
    GetWindowRect(&rect);
    int w = rect.Width();
    int h = rect.Height();
    
    CRgn rgn1;
    CRgn rgn2;

    //  Create the top ellipse 
    rgn1.CreateEllipticRgn(1, 1, w, h/2 + 30);

    //  Create the bottom ellipse 
    rgn2.CreateEllipticRgn(1, h/2 - 30, w, h);

Step 3: Combine the regions into one

The regions are combined to create a single region. The combination is actually a UNION of all the individual regions

    //  Combine the two ellipses 
    CombineRgn(rgn1, rgn1, rgn2, RGN_OR);

Step 4: Change the shape of the dialog to the region

The dialogs shape is changed using the following code

    //  Set the window region
    SetWindowRgn(static_cast<HRGN>(rgn1.GetSafeHandle()), TRUE);

Step 5: Cleaning up

The CRgn object needs to be detached from the region, or else the CRgn destructor closes the HRGN handle when rgn objects go out of scope

    rgn1.Detach();
    rgn2.Detach();

History

  • Initial version

License

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About the Author

abhinaba
Web Developer
United States United States
I just love coding. I started programming in 1995 with BASIC and then moved through Cobol, Pascal, Prolog, C, C++, VB, VC++ and now C#/.NET.

I received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from University of Calcutta in 2001.

I worked for some time in Texas Instruments, Adobe Systems and now in Microsoft India Development Center in the Visual Studio Team Systems.

I am from the City of Joy, Kolkata in India, but now live and code Hyderabad.

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
onlybj, 23-Jul-10 0:24
memberonlybj23-Jul-10 0:24 
GeneralCreate a Non Rectangle shaped Dialog Pin
Dabara, 29-Jul-08 5:51
memberDabara29-Jul-08 5:51 
GeneralSimple but helpful. Pin
Zhou'Liang, 10-Apr-08 17:23
memberZhou'Liang10-Apr-08 17:23 
GeneralExcellent sample code Pin
TigerTom, 21-Feb-08 1:44
memberTigerTom21-Feb-08 1:44 
QuestionGood work, how about border? Pin
Raj Gopal, 5-Dec-06 17:55
memberRaj Gopal5-Dec-06 17:55 
QuestionHow to create non-rectangular shaped Buttons Pin
PravinSingh, 19-May-06 3:11
memberPravinSingh19-May-06 3:11 
AnswerRe: How to create non-rectangular shaped Buttons Pin
abhinaba, 19-May-06 11:58
memberabhinaba19-May-06 11:58 
QuestionHow to create complex shape windows? Pin
Tom427, 10-Mar-04 8:53
memberTom42710-Mar-04 8:53 
AnswerRe: How to create complex shape windows? Pin
abhinaba, 12-Mar-04 3:27
memberabhinaba12-Mar-04 3:27 
GeneralSomething so cool... Pin
Andrew Lawrence, 2-Mar-04 10:16
memberAndrew Lawrence2-Mar-04 10:16 
Generalvery good Pin
ali_kh, 17-Dec-03 0:15
memberali_kh17-Dec-03 0:15 
GeneralVery Useful Pin
bkimble, 15-Dec-03 14:34
memberbkimble15-Dec-03 14:34 
GeneralThanks for the support Pin
abhinaba, 11-Dec-03 19:41
memberabhinaba11-Dec-03 19:41 
GeneralWhat's new here? Useless article Pin
Clevedon_Peanut, 11-Dec-03 3:56
memberClevedon_Peanut11-Dec-03 3:56 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article Pin
kriaz, 28-Jul-04 0:29
susskriaz28-Jul-04 0:29 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article Pin
Clevedon_Peanut, 28-Jul-04 1:59
memberClevedon_Peanut28-Jul-04 1:59 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article Pin
gmohanraj, 11-Feb-10 3:01
membergmohanraj11-Feb-10 3:01 
General[Message Deleted] Pin
Anonymous, 9-Dec-03 7:39
sussAnonymous9-Dec-03 7:39 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article. Pin
Tidhar, 9-Dec-03 22:02
memberTidhar9-Dec-03 22:02 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article. Pin
abhinaba, 9-Dec-03 22:06
memberabhinaba9-Dec-03 22:06 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article. Pin
Trollslayer, 5-Nov-06 7:55
memberTrollslayer5-Nov-06 7:55 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article. Pin
Forogar, 15-Dec-03 3:20
memberForogar15-Dec-03 3:20 
GeneralRe: What's new here? Useless article. Pin
binyo66, 30-Jun-09 2:07
memberbinyo6630-Jun-09 2:07 

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