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Creating DeskBands with an ATL Object Wizard

, 21 Mar 2001
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An ATL Object Wizard that helps create a COM Object implementation of a DeskBand. Web Accessories for Internet Explorer and the Desktop. History, Favorites, Search, Radio, and Address Bands ... You have seen them since Internet Explorer 4.0. Now create your own!
<!-- Link to source file download -->
  • Download Source Files - 32.3 Kb
  • <!-- Article image -->

    Sample Image - RBDeskBand.gif

    <!-- Add the rest of your HTML here -->

    What Are DeskBands?

    There are 4 types of deskbands. A Communications Band which sits at the bottom of an instance of IE4+. An Information Band sits on the left hand side of an instance of IE4+, like the search bar that allows you to search for files or folders on a hard drive. A Desk Band sits on the desktop, it can float or dock to any of the 4 sides of your monitor. The final type is a Toolbar which sits in the rebar space of Internet Explorer, like the address bar.

    To see this, start IE4+. Click the "View" menu item, go down to the "Explorer Bar" menu item. The top half above the seperator are the available Information Bands, the bottom half are the communication bands.

    To see a deskband, right click on the taskbar (area connected to the start button). Select the toolbar's menu item from the context menu. listed are the available deskbands.

    Deskbands can also reside as toolbars inside IE4+. The wizard does not currently provide this code although I do have it available. I will be updating the wizard in the next week or so to support toolbars and be more configurable.


    In this version you no longer need the Microsoft Installer installed to be able to use this ATL Object Wizard. In the past the files were stored in an MSI file which would install the files to the correct location and allow for easy uninstalltion. To allow more people to use the Wizard. I have moved the files out of the MSI and leave it to the user to place them in the correct location using the instructions below.

    • Extract the files from the source zip above to your Visual Studio location under the following relative path Common\MSDev98\Template\ATL.
    • Run the RegSvr32.exe from a command prompt on RBDeskband.dll. RegSvr32 RBDeskBand

    Path Examples For Step 1:

    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\MSDev98\Template\ATL
    • C:\MyDevEnv\Common\MSDev98\Template\ATL


    To create a DeskBand base implementation, do the following:
    1. Start the ATL Object Wizard using the 'New ATL Object' option avalable from the Insert menu.
    2. Select the "DeskBand" ATL Object Wizard component from the "RadBytes" category.
    3. Fill in the Names Dialog page with your Deskband information.
    4. Select the "DeskBand ATL Object Wizard" Tab.
    5. Select at least one DeskBand type you want to expose your band as.
    6. Click Ok
    7. Your project will be updated with the associated class files needed to compile your base implemenation of a deskband.

    I Ran The Wizard But Now What?

    All that is required of you is to implement your content and inner workings for the band you created. A base window exists that is a static. This is there for easy pullout and inseration of any replacement code. I choose this instead of attaching a CWindowImpl directly to the deskband for ease of change, use, and adaptability.

    My Deskband Is Not Listed In The Menu Items

  • Make sure that you are looking at the correct list of menu items for the type of band you created.
  • Also remember that the explorer.exe process caches the list of Explorer Bars and Toolbars on first access of the menu for the life of your Windows session, not IE session. So if you have accessed the menu during this session you will either need to log off and log back on or kill the explorer.exe process.

    Auto Generated Code

    The output created is a Source, Header, and Registry Resource files from the Short Name supplied in the ATL Object Wizard property page. The files that get modified by the wizard are: your main source, IDL, RC, and DSP files.


    The code generated will compile both under UNICODE and ANSI.


    [March 22, 2001]
  • Band Registration problem, Threading model was set to Single [Hwan, Erik Funkenbusch]
  • Removed MSI requirment. [Siddhartha Ghosal]
  • Removed the Thank you dialog. I decided it was annoying and useless.

  • Added new Wizard Page to allow creation of Band in multiple ways.
  • Added Internet Explorer toolbar support
  • Use ATL CATEGORY_MAP [Erik Funkenbusch]

    Outstanding Issues:
  • Testing has shown that adding numerous Bands to a project using the Wizard causes VC to insert #include directives at the bottom of the project source file. No known fix and infrequent occurance.
  • Adding multiple Internet Explorer Toolbars to one project will cause redefinition of HKEY hKeyLocal = NULL;. Fix is to remove redundant definition.
  • Initial Release
    [April 13, 2000]
    My first release of the ATL Object Wizard and article publishing.
  • License

    This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

    A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


    About the Author

    Erik Thompson
    Web Developer
    United States United States
    Erik lives in Redmond, Washington. He works as a Senior Software Engineer specializing in C++, COM, ATL and the middle-tier and now .NET. When he isn't coding for work, he can be found trying to extend Internet Explorer with yet another Desk band or simplifying his development process with ATL Object Wizards.

    He spends his free time snowboarding, mountain biking, and online gaming.

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    Comments and Discussions

    QuestionI can't download it Pin
    wangmin194410-Jul-12 17:15
    memberwangmin194410-Jul-12 17:15 
    GeneralSteps to create RBDeskBand.DLL file Pin
    prembudhwani21-Oct-09 0:40
    memberprembudhwani21-Oct-09 0:40 
    Questionnew Pin
    David Ju29-Aug-09 16:30
    memberDavid Ju29-Aug-09 16:30 
    GeneralNeed info for visual studion 2005 Pin
    rakesh_npguy14-Mar-09 22:08
    memberrakesh_npguy14-Mar-09 22:08 
    GeneralVisual Studio 2008 Pin
    doucol17-Dec-08 16:09
    memberdoucol17-Dec-08 16:09 
    GeneralGreat article Pin
    Sivan Manimala17-Jun-08 22:39
    memberSivan Manimala17-Jun-08 22:39 
    GeneralDeskband. Pin
    Vaibhav Gade2-Jan-08 19:59
    memberVaibhav Gade2-Jan-08 19:59 
    GeneralRe: Deskband. Pin
    Jeff Buzzard19-May-08 20:54
    memberJeff Buzzard19-May-08 20:54 
    GeneralVisual Studio Pin
    JonnoB11-Dec-07 7:53
    memberJonnoB11-Dec-07 7:53 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    Erik Thompson8-Aug-07 6:08
    sitebuilderErik Thompson8-Aug-07 6:08 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    liushuai068-Aug-07 22:49
    memberliushuai068-Aug-07 22:49 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    Erik Thompson9-Aug-07 6:23
    sitebuilderErik Thompson9-Aug-07 6:23 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    liushuai069-Aug-07 15:48
    memberliushuai069-Aug-07 15:48 
    GeneralI post my mail here for you Pin
    liushuai069-Aug-07 19:04
    memberliushuai069-Aug-07 19:04 
    GeneralRe: I post my mail here for you Pin
    Erik Thompson9-Aug-07 20:18
    sitebuilderErik Thompson9-Aug-07 20:18 
    QuestionIntegrating Info Band with Favorites/History etc? Pin
    David Claughton8-Mar-07 3:59
    memberDavid Claughton8-Mar-07 3:59 
    AnswerRe: Integrating Info Band with Favorites/History etc? Pin
    Erik Thompson9-Aug-07 20:20
    sitebuilderErik Thompson9-Aug-07 20:20 
    Generalunloading a deskband dll Pin
    RandyS6-Feb-07 10:09
    memberRandyS6-Feb-07 10:09 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    Erik Thompson6-Feb-07 11:03
    sitebuilderErik Thompson6-Feb-07 11:03 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    RandyS6-Feb-07 11:18
    memberRandyS6-Feb-07 11:18 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    Erik Thompson6-Feb-07 11:22
    sitebuilderErik Thompson6-Feb-07 11:22 
    GeneralRe: unloading a deskband dll Pin
    liushuai067-Aug-07 17:38
    memberliushuai067-Aug-07 17:38 
    GeneralVS 2005 Pin
    saminjesus31-Jan-07 16:53
    membersaminjesus31-Jan-07 16:53 
    GeneralRe: VS 2005 Pin
    Crispim13-Jul-07 1:02
    memberCrispim13-Jul-07 1:02 
    GeneralRe: VS 2005 Pin
    Erik Thompson9-Aug-07 20:22
    sitebuilderErik Thompson9-Aug-07 20:22 

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