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Using Button Controls in an Application

, 22 Aug 2000 CPOL
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How to get a button control wired-in and working


This tutorial could well be the simplest Windows program you could ever write. All you need to understand this tutorial is the basics of Windows messaging. This tutorial is about the CButton class, and how to get a simple button working.

This tutorial simply takes input for two numbers and depending on what button you click, does the math, i.e., if you enter 1 and 2, then click on 'Plus' the answer will be 3. Pretty basic.

To create this program, first we need to get the framework laid out. Now 99.9% of the time, you will be using buttons via a dialog box so that is where we will start. Open up the AppWizard and create a new project titled ButtonDemo. Just create a basic dialog box without any document / view architecture.

Then click on the ResourceView tab in the 'Workspace' window. Proceed to edit the dialog box IDD_BUTTONDEMO_DLG. It will already contain the Buttons 'Ok' and 'Cancel'. Delete the 'TODO :' message and the 'Cancel' button so we can get to work.

Just drag n' drop the buttons needed, in this example 'Plus' and 'Minus'. Then select and right click to edit their properties. The MFC keeps track of these buttons by their unique ID, a macro located in the "Resource.h" file. For code clarity, change the name of the ID to ID_BUTTON_ADD and modify the caption of the button.

Next, let's add the Edit boxes to house the values to be added or subtracted, do this in a very similar manner to the way you added the buttons. Just drag and drop them in and then modify their ID. We will need an Edit box for the left and right side of the equation as well as one to house the answer. Just for clarity to the end user, check the 'disable' property of the last Edit box. Since we won't directly be able to specify the answer, we will also add a Static control for the equals sign. Just drop one in and then change the caption.

Now that our buttons are in place, we need to wire them into our application. We do this via the class wizard. (Control + W) Click on the Member Variables tab and proceed to add the variables m_nX, m_nY, and m_nAnswer. All integers; these will hold the values inputted from the Edit controls.

Then click on the Message Maps tab. And add a new function for the object ID ID_BUTTON_ADD and ID_BUTTON_SUBTRACT message BN_CLICK. This creates a function which is called whenever that button is clicked once, denoted by OnButtonAdd and OnButtonSubtract.

Now that we have created our buttons, this is all the code we need to write to get this program working. It is fairly self explanatory: what we did was create two functions to be called whenever the respective buttons were pressed. The UpdateData (BOOL) functions are used to manage the data in the Edit boxes of the dialog. UpdataData (TRUE), 'updates' the member variables linked to the Edit boxes to whatever is the current value. UpdataData (FALSE), updates the Edit box to whatever our variable is.

void CButtonDemoDlg::OnButtonAdd() 
	UpdateData (TRUE);
	m_nAnswer = m_nX + m_nY;
	UpdateData (FALSE);

void CButtonDemoDlg::OnButtonSubtract() 
	UpdateData (TRUE);
	m_nAnswer = m_nX - m_nY;
	UpdateData (FALSE);

That is all we need to do to implement a simple button.


  • 22nd August, 2000: Initial post


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


About the Author

Chris Smith

United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberwipin (Vipin Arora)19-Apr-12 19:05 
GeneralInstructions Pinmembermojens3-Jun-09 11:54 
Generaltest PinmemberMerlin Rose6-May-09 22:23 
GeneralRe: test PinmemberMerlin Rose6-May-09 22:24 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberRam Jawahar Pandey12-Jan-09 1:34 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 20:11 
Generalabout the application of the button PinmemberMOHYUSUF21-Aug-08 2:23 
GeneralRe: about the application of the button Pinmemberwoguolyg@126.com11-Nov-08 18:00 
GeneralRe: about the application of the button Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 20:07 
Generalabout the button application PinmemberMOHYUSUF21-Aug-08 2:01 
GeneralRe: about the button application Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 19:58 
Generalbutton demo beginner PinmemberMOHYUSUF20-Aug-08 13:01 
GeneralRe: button demo beginner Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 20:08 
Generaltest [modified] Pinmemberlfq09062-Jun-08 16:33 
GeneralRe: test Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 20:13 
GeneralGetting an Error while Adding member variable [modified] Pinmembervijay_k24-Apr-08 19:59 
GeneralRe: Getting an Error while Adding member variable Pinmembernimeshmca27-Jan-10 19:37 
GeneralRe: Getting an Error while Adding member variable Pinmembernimeshmca27-Jan-10 19:41 
RantRe: Getting an Error while Adding member variable Pinmembernimeshmca27-Jan-10 19:59 
QuestionConnecting 2 resources using 'Button' control PinmemberSamolsharma10-Nov-07 6:42 
AnswerRe: Connecting 2 resources using 'Button' control Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 20:17 
GeneralNeed help Pinmemberdesk11185-Aug-07 22:51 
GeneralChange the color and/or 2 section boxes in 1 button PinmemberDavenish10-Apr-07 11:40 
GeneralRe: Change the color and/or 2 section boxes in 1 button Pinmemberyule7722-Feb-11 15:10 
Generalaccessing the tree control PinmemberMember #38765198-Mar-07 2:46 
Questionadd/remove opreation is impossible coz the code element 'CCalcview' is read only Pinmembersumit.mishra31-Oct-06 5:47 
GeneralButton and focus PinmemberArielR25-Sep-06 6:02 
GeneralRe: Button and focus Pinmemberyathirajkulal29-Dec-10 22:42 
Generalscientific calculator Pinmemberjalpari30-Apr-06 3:39 
Questioncan we create the default start value for edit box Pinmembertekxxxx4-Oct-05 18:57 
AnswerRe: can we create the default start value for edit box Pinmembercristitomi17-Mar-07 5:58 
Generalplease help me to find the mistake of my programe!!!Thank you Pinmemberlinda_zjj29-Aug-05 0:25 
QuestionHow to set the button for wizard application? Pinmemberdeath_8320-Jul-05 17:10 
Generalunderlines and focus rectangle disappear PinmemberRidgeley Yu2-May-05 18:21 
GeneralRe: underlines and focus rectangle disappear PinmemberRidgeley Yu2-May-05 18:56 
GeneralCreate trial version Pinmemberrajpalmanish24-Apr-05 3:48 
Generaltransform a bitmap button to other symbol Pinmemberfaridah_hani20-Mar-05 16:10 
GeneralWin32 Programming Pinmemberradumihai23-Jun-04 23:37 
GeneralChanging default button PinmemberChulips6-May-04 10:30 
GeneralRe: Changing default button Pinmembercristitomi18-Mar-07 1:38 
AnswerRe: Changing default button Pinmemberfinalman19-Mar-08 19:36 
GeneralRadio button message processing PinmemberGuruhema20-Jan-04 21:51 
GeneralRe: Radio button message processing Pinmembersuniljoshi_MCA24-Mar-04 19:10 
GeneralRe: Radio button message processing Pinmemberzlataneskic23-Mar-07 0:50 
QuestionHow it operate... Pinmemberdeven_chin3-Dec-03 19:59 
AnswerRe: How it operate... PinmemberR.selvam30-Dec-03 12:37 
GeneralAdd button MS Outlook200 and child window Pinmemberriaz33bd4-Nov-03 18:42 
GeneralAssistance needed... Pinmembercrystalyd20-Aug-03 0:30 
QuestionHow to Draw a Picture On a CDialog's Form without Any Controls? PinmemberShineStar31-Jul-03 22:20 
Generalhelp Pinmembersisijian14-Jul-03 9:27 

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