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CSizingControlBar - a resizable control bar

, 15 Aug 2000 CPOL
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DevStudio-like docking window

Sample Image

Features of CSizingControlBar 2.43

  • Resizable control bar, that can be resized both when docked and when floating.
  • Multiple sizing control bars can be docked on the same row/column.
  • Full dynamic resizing, both when docked and floating, including diagonal resizing when floating.
  • State persistence support (SaveState/LoadState).
  • Gripper with "hide bar" flat button.
  • Memory DC flickerless NC painting.
  • Sample extension class with focus autosensing text caption. On Win98/Win2k, the caption is painted with gradient.
  • No custom resources were used (bitmaps, cursors, strings, etc.), so the integration is easier and you have full control over the resources you eventually use in derived classes.
  • Easy to use: use directly one of the CSizingControlBar* classes or derive your own control bar class, then add your child controls.


Getting Started

1. Include the following files in your project:


2. Add these lines to your stdafx.h (if the files are in a different directory, include the path - see the stdafx.h file in the samples):

#include "sizecbar.h"
#include "scbarg.h"

3. Derive a class from CSizingControlBarG (you have an example in mybar.* files).

4. In mainfrm.h, include your class' header:

#include "mybar.h"
then add a member variable to CMainFrame:
CMyBar m_wndMyBar;

5. Create the bar in CMainFrame::OnCreate(). Then set bar styles, enable it to dock... like any control bar.

if (!m_wndMyBar.Create(_T("My Bar"), this, 123)
    TRACE0("Failed to create mybar\n");
    return -1;
    // fail to create
m_wndMyBar.SetBarStyle(m_wndMyBar.GetBarStyle() |



DockControlBar(&m_wndMyBar, AFX_IDW_DOCKBAR_LEFT);

Advanced Example

The instructions above will make a docking bar with a DevStudio-like gripper (with 2 raised lines and a hide button) when docked, and with no gripper when floating.

Let's explore some advanced features. Now we will use the CSizingControlBarCF class as a base class, and will hide the miniframe caption, showing the gripper in the floating state too. That's possible, because CSizingControlBarCF's gripper looks like a small caption. As a side effect of using a custom miniframe class, the resizing of the floating bar will be dynamic if "Show window contents while dragging" display property is enabled.

1. Add these files to your project too:


2. Change the stdafx.h file to look like this:

#include "sizecbar.h"
#include "scbarg.h"
#include "scbarcf.h"
#define baseCMyBar CSizingControlBarCF

3. Add these lines in CMainFrame::OnCreate(), after the EnableDocking() call

    m_pFloatingFrameClass = RUNTIME_CLASS(CSCBMiniDockFrameWnd);


These classes are intended to be used as base classes. Do not simply add your code to the files - instead create a new class derived from CSizingControlBarG or CSizingControlBarCF and put there what you need. If you want to customize your gripper, or simply don't want a gripper, you can use CSizingControlBar as a base class.

Window IDs: The usage of IDs in the range of AFX_IDW_CONTROLBAR_FIRST + 32 .. AFX_IDW_CONTROLBAR_LAST is required only if the bar will not be enabled for docking (that's is - it will stay fixed right under the frame's menu). But in this situation you won't be able to fully use the features of this class, so if you will enable it to dock (a reasonable guess Smile | :) then you can use any valid window ID.
Another place where the IDs are important is the saving/loading of the bar's state. You must use different IDs for each control bar that is enabled to dock, and this includes the other bars too. For example, if you have two toolbars, you can create the first one with the default ID (which is AFX_IDW_TOOLBAR = AFX_IDW_CONTROLBAR_FIRST), but the second one must have a different ID.

OnUpdateCmdUI: This member function is pure virtual in CControlBar (the base class of CSizingControlBar). Its purpose is to allow updating of controls at idle time (from here CCmdUI::DoUpdate() is called for the toolbars buttons, controls on dialog bars, panes of status bar, etc.).
However, I found it very useful to update the look of the "x" flat button in CSizingControlBarG and the color of the caption in CSizingControlBarCF (no timers needed). So, if you will use this function, don't forget to call the base class' member (see mybar.cpp).

Dynamic resizing: This feature allows redrawing of the bar during resizing. Also all the bars are repositioned and redrawn if necessary.
The SPI_GETDRAGFULLWINDOWS system parameter is queried for this (it is enabled by the "Show window contents while dragging" checkbox in Display Properties).

CBRS_SIZE_DYNAMIC: This bar style is required. Make sure you add it to the bar, otherwise the application will crash when the user floats a bar. You can add it using SetBarStyle() after Create(), or by changing the default style for Create() to something like: WS_VISIBLE|WS_CHILD|CBRS_TOP|CBRS_SIZE_DYNAMIC.

State persistence: The common MFC control bars' docking state is saved using CMainFrame::SaveBarState(). In addition to the info saved by this function, the CSizingControlBar class needs to save 3 sizes. This is done in CSizingControlBar::SaveState() function, so a m_wndMyBar.SaveState() call is required. Please note that the state storing code must be placed in CMainFrame's OnClose() or DestroyWindow(), not in OnDestroy(), because at the time the WM_DESTROY message is received, the floating bars are already destroyed.
In CMainFrame::OnCreate(), the m_wndMyBar.LoadState() call must be placed before LoadBarState().
Alternatively, if you have more than one resizable bars, you can call once the static member SizingControlBar::GlobalSaveState() instead of calling each bar's SaveState(). The same for LoadState() - there is a CSizingControlBar::GlobalLoadState() function. See both samples here for more details.

Precompiler flags: There are 2 symbols which can be defined to cause the floating bars to have different appearance and functionality:

  1. _SCB_REPLACE_MINIFRAME can be used to plug in CSCBMiniDockFrameWnd, which is a custom miniframe class. The main gain of using this class is that the floating bars can be resized dynamically, like all other windows. The other advantage is that the miniframe caption can be turned off, allowing the bar to display its own gripper, for increased functionality and/or custom designs.
    If you use this flag, you have to change the m_pFloatingFrameClass member of the main frame (see the advanced example above).
  2. _SCB_MINIFRAME_CAPTION can be defined only if the previous flag is also defined. It causes the custom miniframe to keep the tool window caption.
    Both CSizingControlBarG and CSizingControlBarCF classes do not display a gripper when floating if this flag is set.

See also for class reference, a full changelog, FAQ, a dedicated message board and more.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Cristi Posea

United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

AnswerRe: About docking quesiton Pinmembertangversion2-Oct-08 22:53 
AnswerRe: About docking question PinmemberPaul Darlington14-Jan-10 5:02 
GeneralIt Captures Mouse messages of Main Window Pinmembertheali5-Aug-08 22:44 
GeneralLimited size when docking and sizing, Solved. [modified] Pinmemberc.nicos21-Jun-08 5:13 
GeneralRe: Limited size when docking and sizing, Solved. PinmemberJake Jun11-Aug-08 20:39 
GeneralRe: Limited size when docking and sizing, Solved. Pinmemberc.nicos14-Aug-08 23:39 
GeneralRe: Limited size when docking and sizing, Solved. PinmemberBigsteve8719-Aug-11 8:38 
GeneralRe: Limited size when docking and sizing, Solved. Pinmemberc.nicos19-Aug-11 22:14 
Generalchanging caption of floating toolbar dynamically Pinmemberhari prasad sathpadi17-Jun-08 20:54 
GeneralAccelerators Copy, Paste, Select All ... PinmemberJulian Popov14-Apr-08 4:19 
GeneralTabbed?! Pinmembercorax@inbox.com16-Dec-07 16:24 
QuestionCSizingControlBar -- Help!who can help me? Pinmemberzhujt198129-Oct-07 20:56 
GeneralCSizingControlBar - a resizable control bar PinmemberSOUMEN BISWAS26-Sep-07 1:02 
Indeed it's a nice tool in VC++. Thanks to bob19672 for providing me the link info. I've utilised the suggestions in getting a dockable bar in my application. But I could not able to implement the to and fro Error Message passing both from Transmit and Receive ends.
I am developping one application in VC++ ver-6.0 using MFC. The Main Frame Window is divided into 2 using CreateStatic function of CSplitterWnd Class , upon one of which a Runtime Class namely CErrMsgView (Base Class CScrollView) is being attched. The other one, ( is again sub-divided into 2 with CreateStatic. Again it is being attached with 2 Run Time classes namely CMainView and CStatView (Base Class CFormView) respectively.
The CErrMsgView Class is meant to capture all the Messages being transferred to and fro. I would like to add an option under the View Menu Heading "Show/Hide ErrMsg View". The Clck on which alternately Show or hide the ErrMsgView. Would You Please Help Me Out.
Initially in my application, I have used a Run Time Class ClogView derived from CScrollView and mapped to one SplitterWindow in CMainFrame control all the messaging in my application.
Can You Please tell me how to map the MyBar docked control bar to use as a error message viewer.
Thank You and Best Regards.
Soumen Biswas
QuestionHow to set the size of CSizingControlBars docked on the same row/column? PinmemberMerlin Ran12-Sep-07 0:21 
GeneralIs possible to use your control on a Dialog Based application Pinmemberrbid21-May-07 21:48 
QuestionChange border color & Thin borders Pinmemberrm_pkt24-Jan-07 18:27 
GeneralDialog Window PinmemberC0LDZ3R019-Jan-07 10:06 
Generalsuggested feature [modified] Pinmemberbquintero9-Jan-07 21:52 
Questionproblem with position of the dockbars [modified] PinmemberChoi Sunok25-Dec-06 20:49 
GeneralTo avoid warning 4312 Pinmemberpnugoodman20-Nov-06 20:53 
QuestionGetting the message handler for Toolbar in Sizing control bar Pinmembershailesh429-Oct-06 20:13 
QuestionWhen control bar is floating,i can,t receive message . Pinmemberchihyu13-Oct-06 0:20 
QuestionCan we add multiple dialogs in control bar with only one is shown at a time? Pinmembershailesh410-Oct-06 4:46 
Questionfloating,how to change width and height of the bar? PinmemberChris_kun10-Sep-06 19:54 
AnswerRe: floating,how to change width and height of the bar? PinmemberThe Yariv9-Nov-08 21:18 
GeneralImprovement for multiple controls PinmemberSource13-Aug-06 15:07 
QuestionRe: Improvement for multiple controls PinmemberRoy F.1-Sep-06 2:40 
AnswerRe: Improvement for multiple controls PinmemberSource1-Sep-06 2:51 
AnswerRe: Improvement for multiple controls PinmemberRoy F.1-Sep-06 7:27 
Questionis this operating in MDI? PinmemberMyoung-seung,Lee7-May-06 22:56 
AnswerRe: is this operating in MDI? PinmemberWerner Keilholz21-Jul-06 3:51 
GeneralFloating and OnInitialUpdate() - PROBLEM ! PinmemberDiogenes Lazzarini20-Apr-06 8:54 
GeneralDoesn't work in windows XP Pinmemberanupk_sinha29-Mar-06 22:34 
GeneralRe: Doesn't work in windows XP Pinmemberanupk_sinha29-Mar-06 22:37 
GeneralRe: Doesn't work in windows XP Pinmemberanupk_sinha29-Mar-06 22:38 
QuestionRe: Doesn't work in windows XP Pinmemberrm_pkt14-Nov-06 1:25 
AnswerRe: Doesn't work in windows XP PinmemberKindy Chen10-Dec-06 21:30 
GeneralRe: Doesn't work in windows XP Pinmemberrm_pkt24-Jan-07 18:35 
GeneralRe: Doesn't work in windows XP PinmemberKindy Chen29-Jan-07 15:10 
Generalwhy the position is different after load state Pinmemberwp51_cn19-Mar-06 22:53 
GeneralCSizingControlBar with scrollbar Pinmemberalwittta9-Mar-06 6:01 
Questionexample and demo programs don't work in VS 2005 Pinmemberkumapu10-Feb-06 22:46 
QuestionRe: example and demo programs don't work in VS 2005 PinmemberExsilius6-Mar-06 22:18 
Questionhow to get rid of frame or border when docked Pinmemberauditory26-Jan-06 22:42 
AnswerRe: how to get rid of frame or border when docked PinmemberSastryC3-May-06 2:43 
GeneralNeed Help PinmemberEinst20-Jan-06 16:40 
GeneralUse this control in DLL. Pinmemberjuppe6917-Jan-06 22:49 
GeneralNice Sample PinmemberVider17-Jan-06 5:45 
Generalproblem compiling in VS 2005 Pinmemberbljacobs20-Dec-05 8:48 
GeneralRe: problem compiling in VS 2005 Pinmemberbljacobs20-Dec-05 10:57 

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