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CResizableSheet and CResizablePage

, 27 Oct 2001 CPOL 309.7K 7.6K 97
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Two CPropertySheet/CPropertyPage derived classes to implement resizable property sheets or wizard dialogs with MFC

CResizableSheet(Ex) and CResizablePage(Ex)

These four classes handle resizable property sheets, wizards and the wizard 97 style dialogs, and are now fully based on my ResizableLib class library (see article).

The user will have the ability to resize the dialog, with consequent rearrangement of child windows. You can control the minimum and maximum size allowed, as well as the maximized size and position of the dialog. The size grip is displayed by default, but you may turn it off. Automatic Save/Restore the dialog's size and position, along with the active page, is also supported.

Conversion of a previously existant property sheet or wizard should be very simple.

I will talk about non-Ex classes for the rest of the article, but the same concepts applies for Wizard 97 dialogs.

The Sample Applications

This is a view of the sample dialog at minimum size as a property sheet and in wizard mode:

Property sheet with smaller size and proportional resizing Wizard mode with help button and minimal size

Note that the minimum width is not the default. You may see how to do this in the next section.

This is a screenshot of the resizable version of Wizard97 sample project coming with Visual C++.

A resizable Wizard 97 dialog

Usage - Step by Step

Add the ResizableLib to your project's workspace, as explained in the relative article.

Create a property sheet or wizard dialog and do the relative associations with MFC classes, for example using the Property Sheet component, or take one you have already made which you want to be resizable. You don't need to change any window style to have the dialog resizing.

Include 'ResizableSheet.h' in the property sheet associated header file.

Search and replace all CPropertySheet occurences with CResizableSheet in both your .cpp and .h files, just as if your property sheet class was derived from CResizableSheet instead of CPropertySheet.

Include 'ResizablePage.h' in the property pages associated header file.

Search and replace all CPropertyPage occurences with CResizablePage in both your .cpp and .h files, just as if your property page classes were derived from CResizablePage instead of CPropertyPage.

The same applies for wizard dialogs, of course.

Your property sheet header file should appear like this:

// MyPropertySheet.h : header file

#include <span class="code-string">"MyPropertyPages.h"</span>

// CMyPropertySheet

#include <span class="code-string">"ResizableSheet.h"</span>

class CMyPropertySheet : public CResizableSheet

// Construction
    CMyPropertySheet(CWnd* pWndParent = NULL);

// ( other stuff )
// ...

In your OnInitDialog override you may change the initial settings of your property sheet, such as the minimum size and automatic save/restore, that can optionally set also the active page.

BOOL CMyPropertySheet::OnInitDialog() 
    // set minimal size
    CRect rc;

    SetMinTrackSize(CSize(GetMinWidth(), rc.Height()));

    // enable save/restore, with active page
    EnableSaveRestore(_T("Properties"), TRUE, TRUE);

    return TRUE;

Your property pages header file should appear like this:

// MyPropertyPages.h : header file

// CMyPropertyPage1 dialog

#include <span class="code-string">"ResizablePage.h"</span>

class CMyPropertyPage1 : public CResizablePage
// ...

// and so on for the other pages ...

In each page's OnInitDialog override you only have to set a layout for your controls. You specify where to attach the top-left and bottom-right corners by horizontal/vertical percentage or using predefined constants.

BOOL CMyPropertyPage2::OnInitDialog() 
    // preset layout
    AddAnchor(IDC_LIST1, TOP_LEFT, CSize(50,70));
    AddAnchor(IDC_PICTURE1, CSize(50,0), CSize(100,70));
    AddAnchor(IDC_GROUP1, CSize(0,70), BOTTOM_RIGHT);
    AddAnchor(IDC_CHECK1, CSize(0,85));
    AddAnchor(IDC_RADIO1, CSize(100,85));
    AddAnchor(IDC_COMBO1, CSize(100,70));

    m_ctlEdit1.AddString(_T("Just a single item to test the "
        "listbox behavior with very long lines..."));

    return TRUE;

You are ready to rebuild your project and you will have a resizable property sheet or a wizard dialog just as you wanted.

For further details, see the next section.

Class Reference

The property sheet class inherits from CResizableLayout, CResizableGrip, CResizableMinMax, CResizableState and obviously from CPropertySheet.

The property page class inherits from CResizableLayout and obviously from CPropertyPage. The other classes are not needed.


CResizableSheet(UINT nIDTemplate, CWnd* pParentWnd = NULL)
CResizableSheet(LPCTSTR lpszTemplateName, CWnd* pParentWnd = NULL)


CResizablePage(UINT nIDTemplate, CWnd* pParentWnd = NULL)
CResizablePAge(LPCTSTR lpszTemplateName, CWnd* pParentWnd = NULL)

The first form is the default constructor.

The second and the third forms are needed to reproduce the construction scheme of a CPropertySheet/Page derived class. Since the dialog resource template is needed by the CPropertySheet/Page constructor, you have to call one of these forms of the CResizableSheet/Page constructor. This is the reason why replacing one class with the other will work.


void EnableSaveRestore(LPCTSTR pszSection, BOOL bRectOnly, BOOL bWithPage = FALSE)

Enables automatic save/restore on dialog's open/close operations. The first argument is the same as in CWinApp::WriteProfileString. If bRectOnly is TRUE, the minimized/maximized state is not saved/restored. The last argument is a flag for restoring the active page (active page is always saved). Should be called after all the layout settings.

If you want details on how these settings are stored, look at CWinApp::SetRegistryKey, CWinApp::m_pszProfileName, CWinApp::m_pszRegistryKey on MFC documentation.


Implemented in the various base classes, see ResizableLib article.

Member functions to set/reset maximized size and position may seem rather useless, since you don't have a maximize box in the window's caption. I left them because I think it should be possible to enable caption buttons, playing a little with window's styles.


I hope these classes can make some programmers' life a little easier. I also want to thank Jerzy Kaczorowski for his unique support during the port of CResizableDialog code to property sheets.

Integration with ResizableLib is now complete. This required a partial rewriting, but I hope it will benefit of all the improvements made to the library (and the bugs too).

The CVS tree is now on Source Forge.


28 Jul 2000

Initial public release.

27 Oct 2000

Fixed bug with stacked tabs.
Controls that need refresh now display correctly.
Replaced internal structure with a CArray.

13 Mar 2001

Fixed a bug with radio buttons and group boxes (thanks to Matt Philmon)
Changed copyright note

11 Jun 2001

New implementation and integration with ResizableLib

15 Jul 2001

Updated to new ResizableLib release
Complete integration with the library, now using new callback anchors
Added support for 'Wizard 97' style dialogs

28 Oct 2001

Version 1.1 (CVS Tag: SF_1_1)
Fixed a bug with CTRL+Tab while navigating Wizard dialogs
Added static build configurations to all projects


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


About the Author

Paolo Messina
Software Developer RoboTech srl
Italy Italy
Paolo began programming at the age of 9 with a glorious 8086 and GW-BASIC, then he played a bit with C, ASM and Pascal. He tought himself MFC and Windows programming, to exploit his studies of C++. Always attracted by low-level programming and Assembly, he's beginning to appreciate the joys of templates and STL. At work he changed his mind about Java, discovered Eclipse IDE, and now think it's cool.

He lives in Follonica, Italy.

He has been abroad in the U.S. to work on his final thesis before graduating. For seven months he was playing with airplanes and automatic control at the Unversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He graduated in Computer Science Engineering at the University of Pisa, Italy, in December 2003.

Currently working for an edutainment robotics company (

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralOnSetActive lost for the first page Pin
small Smiley14-Aug-06 5:15
membersmall Smiley14-Aug-06 5:15 
AnswerRe: OnSetActive lost for the first page Pin
Paolo Messina14-Aug-06 23:36
memberPaolo Messina14-Aug-06 23:36 
Well, I don't remember all that stuff, some time has passed since I wrote that, but you're right: I don't see why I was using IsWindowVisible to determine which page was the active one.

My suggestion is to compare pWnd->m_hWnd and GetActivePage()->GetSafeHwnd() instead. Can you try that and report if it still works?

With your solution all the pages gets activated in turn, and I don't know if the order of activation leads to a correct result every time. Most of all, I'm not sure that they should all get the activation at all. I guess the system behavior that we lose with the hack is just a single page activation, so that behavior is the one to recover.


Why spend 2 minutes doing it by hand when you can spend all night plus most of the following day writing a system to do it for you? - (Chris Maunder)

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