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Setup a Tab Control Easily to Show and Hide Objects With STabCtrl

, 13 Mar 2002
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Set up a tab control easily to show and hide objects with STabCtrl

Sample Image - STabCtrl.gif


I first submitted this code and article way back in Feb '99 and Jul '99 on the CodeGuru site. Wow, do the years go by fast! It's still there and going strong, and I still use the control today in newer projects that I've worked on since the one in whcih the control first turned up in. I've never had a need to change the code so far, but have decided to re-submit here on CodeProject.

Anyway, a lot of projects that I've working make use of tab controls, and on the tab pages there are typically up to 10 controls! And using the ON_NOTIFY(TCN_SELCHANGE... ) message, in the parent window becomes painful. 'Why not use property pages?' people ask. Sure that would make things easier, but the pages on property pages take up the entire parent window and we've got layouts that require any number of controls to not be on a page but around the tab control somewhere. To do that with property pages requires a bit of painful coding to get things where you want them, and if scaling of the page is involved it's even harder!

The STabCtrl, although very simple, I've found to be extremely useful. It implements a tab control that automatically handles the showing and hiding of objects attached to a tab's various pages, eliminating the need to do so via the ON_NOTIFY(TCN_SELCHANGE... ) message in a parent window.

To use the control:

  1. Simply replace any instance of a CTabCtrl with CSTabCtrl (remember to include the header file STabCtrl.h), initialize it as you would an MFC CTabCtrl.
  2. Use the AttachControlToTab member to attach you objects to the various available pages.
  3. Use the SetCurSel member to programmatically show a tab's particular page.

Note Steps 1, 2 & 3 are typically done in the parent dialogs ::OnInitDialog() member. Once done, the tab control will show and hide the attached objects depending on the users tab selection.

// file : SomeDialogClass.h 

class CSomeDialogClass : public CDialog 
    CSTabCtrl m_TabCtrl; 
    CTreeCtrl m_TreeCtrl; 
    CListCtrl m_ListCtrl; 
    CComboBox m_ComboCtrl; 

    virtual BOOL OnInitDialog(); 

// file : SomeDialogClass.cpp
BOOL CSomeDialogClass::OnInitDialog() 

    // set up tabs. 

    PSTR pszTabItems[] = 
        "Tab Sheet 1 : Tree control", 
        "Tab Sheet 2 : List control", 
        "Tab Sheet 3 : Combobox control", 

    TC_ITEM tcItem; 

    for(INT i = 0; pszTabItems[i] != NULL; i++) 
        tcItem.mask = TCIF_TEXT; 
        tcItem.pszText = pszTabItems[i]; 
        tcItem.cchTextMax = strlen(pszTabItems[i]); 

    // attach controls to tabs pages.
    // attach tree control to first page 
    // attach list control to second page 
    // attach combo box control to third page

    // initialize tab to first page. 


Anyway...hope this is of use to everyone!


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

About the Author

Web Developer
Australia Australia
Parko, aka Simon Parkinson-Bates, spends his days cutting code, his evenings chasing after his 5.5 year old daughter and cleaning up after his 3.5 year old son, and his nights cutting code.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionIt couldn't work under SDI? PinmemberSyouki_kou6-May-08 17:15 
AnswerRe: It couldn't work under SDI? PinmemberMember 319503519-Jan-09 4:31 
GeneralUsing CSTabCtrl without a resource entry PinmemberMichael Farrugia11-Jun-07 11:00 
QuestionXP static background issue PinmemberCASILASI16-Apr-06 0:29 
GeneralRe: XP static background issue PinmemberDouglas Fraser28-Apr-08 3:50 
QuestionIs it possible to do multiline (stacked ) tabs with STabCtrl? PinmemberJimatKC28-Mar-06 16:05 
AnswerRe: Is it possible to do multiline (stacked ) tabs with STabCtrl? PinmemberParko28-Mar-06 17:26 
GeneralRe: Is it possible to do multiline (stacked ) tabs with STabCtrl? PinmemberJimatKC28-Mar-06 20:22 
General'AttachControlToTab' : is not a member of 'CTabCtrl' Pinmemberpepeyman19-Apr-05 2:58 
GeneralRe: 'AttachControlToTab' : is not a member of 'CTabCtrl' PinmemberParko19-Apr-05 12:11 
GeneralSTabCtrl without resource PinmemberFred_12323-Jan-03 20:23 
GeneralRe: STabCtrl without resource Pinmembermatlin12329-Mar-05 11:06 
GeneralRe: STabCtrl without resource PinmemberParko29-Mar-05 14:48 
QuestionResource View?? Pinsussanonymous26-Sep-02 9:46 
AnswerRe: Resource View?? PinmemberParko27-Sep-02 1:52 
GeneralRe: Resource View?? Pinmemberstealth kid31-Aug-03 22:49 
QuestionPaint? PinmemberTobias1-Jul-02 3:12 

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