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Articles / Desktop Programming / MFC
Posted 17 May 2001


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4 Nov 2001CPOL4 min read
An owner-drawn button class that gives a professional look to your buttons.

Sample Image - sample.jpg


With this class you can easily give a professional look to your buttons in a few steps. No bitmap resources are needed - all bitmaps are generated at runtime. Parts of the code come from the CxSkinButton article. The goal is to replace the standard buttons, check boxes, and radio buttons with minimal modifications in the application code.

  1. Add "xShadeButton.cpp" and "xShadeButton.h" to the project.
  2. Include "xShadeButton.h" in the header file where the controls are defined.
  3. Create (or edit) a member variable for each button you want to customize as CxShadeButton. If the Class Wizard doesn't show the CxShadeButton type, select CButton and then edit the code manually.
  4. In the window initialization, add the CxShadeButton methods:
  5. C++
    BOOL CxShadeButtonDemoDlg::OnInitDialog()
        //    ...
        //    ...

CxShadeButton Class Members and Operations

CxShadeButton is derived from CButton. The BS_OWNERDRAW style is added automatically, you don't need to set the "Owner draw" property in the resource editor. You can change some styles (flat, push-like, text alignment, group,...) using the resource editor, however not all the styles are currently supported. If you change the aspect of the button at runtime, to avoid flicker, first call the functions that don't cause invalidation (like SetShade, SetIcon, or SetFont) and than invalidate the button, for example with SetWindowText, or directly with Invalidate.

void SetShade(UINT shadeID=0, BYTE granularity=8,
              BYTE highlight=10,BYTE coloring=0,COLORREF color=0);
    Generates the button bitmaps.
  • shadeID: can be one of these effects:
    • SHS_NOISE = 0
    • SHS_HSHADE = 2
    • SHS_VSHADE = 3
    • SHS_HBUMP = 4
    • SHS_VBUMP = 5
    • SHS_HARDBUMP = 7
    • SHS_METAL = 8
  • granularity: this parameter adds a uniform noise to the button bitmaps. A good value is from 5 to 20; 0 to disable the effect. The noise has a positive effect because it hides the palette steps.
  • highlight: sets the highlight level when the mouse is over the button. A good value is from 5 to 20; 0 to disable the effect.
  • coloring: sets the percentage of color to blend in the button palette. The value can range from 0 to 100; 0 to disable the effect.
  • color: if coloring is greater than zero, color is mixed with the standard button colors.
  • Remarks: the coloring and color parameters should be used carefully to guarantee a good aspect in all the situations.

void SetToolTipText(CString s, CString sDown="");
    Sets or changes the tool tip text.
  • s: string displayed in normal state.
  • sDown: (optional) specifies a second text to be displayed when a check box or radio button is checked.
COLORREF SetTextColor(COLORREF new_color);
    Sets or changes the button text color. Returns the previous button text color.
void SetIcon(UINT nIcon, UINT nIconAlign=BS_CENTER, UINT nIconDown=0, 
             UINT nIconHighLight=0);
    Similar to the BS_ICON style.
  • nIcon: ID number of the icon resource.
  • nIconAlign: icon alignment, can be one of the following values:
    • BS_LEFT
    • BS_RIGHT
  • nIconDown: (optional) ID number of the icon resource displayed when the button is checked.
  • nIconHighLight: (optional) ID number of the icon resource displayed when the mouse pointer is over the button.
  • Remarks: the button text is automatically placed so that the icon and the text don't overlap.

bool SetFont(CString sFontName, long lSize=0, long 
             lWeight=400, BYTE bItalic=0, BYTE bUnderline=0);
bool SetFont(LOGFONT* pNewStyle); / LOGFONT* GetFont();
    Changes the text font.
  • sFontName : specifies the typeface name of the font.
  • lSize : (optional) text height.
  • lWeight : (optional) text weight can range from 0 to 1000; 100=thin, 300=light, 400=normal, 700=bold.
  • bItalic : (optional) italic style.
  • bUnderline : (optional) underline style.
  • Remarks: use GetFont/SetFont with a LOGFONT structure to get/set the complete attributes of the font. GetFont returns NULL if the button is using the default system font.

void SetTextAlign(UINT nTextAlign=BS_CENTER);
    Sets the text alignment
  • nTextAlign: button text alignment, can be one of the following values:
    • BS_LEFT
    • BS_RIGHT
void SetFlat(bool bFlag);
    Sets the border style:
  • bFlag can have the following values:
    • FALSE = standard 3D border.
    • TRUE = flat border.


  • Win95, WinNT = Yes, requires IE3.0 or higher
  • Win98, WinME, W2K, WinXP = Yes


Thanks to all the CodeProject developers! Special thanks to:

  • Milan Gardian for mouse and keyboard tracking code.
  • Davide Calabro for CButtonST code snippets.
  • Rainer Mangold for radio-button and check-box code.
  • Jeremy Davis, Andre Brogli, Richard Cunday, Shanker Chandrabose, Luis, Gilad, Rui Lopes, Tom Archer, Tommy Svensson, David Scambler, Orioli Alessandro, João Filipe de Castro Ferreira, Jesper Kinnås, and Derek Lakin for suggestions, debugging, and support.

Release History

  • v1.00 - 12/05/2001
    • Basic implementation and interface.
  • v1.10 - 23/05/2001
    • Added text shift on button down.
    • Fixed many CxDib bugs.
    • Fixed SHS_HARDBUMP bug.
    • Added icon support.
    • Added text alignment.
    • Added flat style.
  • v1.20 - 23/06/2001
    • Fixed keyboard shortcut bug.
    • Check box and radio button add on.
    • Second icon and second tooltip add on.
    • Memory DC for painting operations.
  • v1.30 - 03/08/2001
    • Fixed SetIcon bug.
    • Added Font support.
  • v1.40 - 23/09/2001
    • Fixed memory leakage bug in DrawItem() and SetIcon().
    • Fixed second tooltip initialization bug.
    • Fixed OnLButtonUp() problem with drag and drop.
    • Added multiline tooltip support.
  • v1.41 - 4/11/2001
    • Fixed memory leakage bug in SetIcon() and in the destructor.
    • Added third icon for highlighted state.


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


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Comments and Discussions

General3D double colored button Pin
vijayvinoth23-Apr-10 5:02
Membervijayvinoth23-Apr-10 5:02 
GeneralRe: 3D double colored button Pin
Davide Pizzolato25-Apr-10 6:39
MemberDavide Pizzolato25-Apr-10 6:39 
GeneralRe: 3D double colored button Pin
vijayvinoth25-Apr-10 19:38
Membervijayvinoth25-Apr-10 19:38 
GeneralRe: 3D double colored button Pin
Davide Pizzolato26-Apr-10 7:24
MemberDavide Pizzolato26-Apr-10 7:24 
GeneralTiny bug Pin
Raptor129-Dec-09 21:56
MemberRaptor129-Dec-09 21:56 
GeneralVery nicely done! Pin
Doug Knudson11-Jun-04 1:56
MemberDoug Knudson11-Jun-04 1:56 
GeneralHelp on this button in DLLs Pin
Sreekanth Muralidharan12-Oct-05 17:21
MemberSreekanth Muralidharan12-Oct-05 17:21 
GeneralRe: Help on this button in DLLs Pin
deepakgupta11113-Feb-06 0:16
Memberdeepakgupta11113-Feb-06 0:16 
GeneralDisabled state of radio buttons Pin
kits23-May-04 19:43
Memberkits23-May-04 19:43 
QuestionBlinking buttons? Pin
Josiemaran6-Apr-04 19:57
MemberJosiemaran6-Apr-04 19:57 
Generalcorrect shade combination Pin
Josiemaran28-Mar-04 16:20
MemberJosiemaran28-Mar-04 16:20 
GeneralApply CxShadeButton to MessageBox Pin
MickeyJC19-Nov-03 8:59
MemberMickeyJC19-Nov-03 8:59 
GeneralRe: Apply CxShadeButton to MessageBox Pin
Davide Pizzolato19-Nov-03 13:04
MemberDavide Pizzolato19-Nov-03 13:04 
GeneralBitmaps on Buttons Pin
AntonDel3-Oct-03 6:36
MemberAntonDel3-Oct-03 6:36 
GeneralRe: Bitmaps on Buttons Pin
Davide Pizzolato3-Oct-03 22:13
MemberDavide Pizzolato3-Oct-03 22:13 
GeneralSome problems with using SetIcon Pin
lijd7524-Mar-03 3:40
Memberlijd7524-Mar-03 3:40 
QuestionCombination Shaded and Round Buttons? Pin
WGC28-Feb-03 3:42
MemberWGC28-Feb-03 3:42 
GeneralStatic Linking Pin
Anonymous5-Feb-03 2:32
MemberAnonymous5-Feb-03 2:32 
GeneralRe: Static Linking Pin
Davide Pizzolato5-Feb-03 8:08
MemberDavide Pizzolato5-Feb-03 8:08 
GeneralDoubleClick on Checkbox not working Pin
Jack_pt22-Nov-02 17:13
MemberJack_pt22-Nov-02 17:13 
GeneralRe: DoubleClick on Checkbox not working Pin
Davide Pizzolato23-Nov-02 1:45
MemberDavide Pizzolato23-Nov-02 1:45 
GeneralRe: DoubleClick on Checkbox not working Pin
Jack_pt23-Nov-02 2:40
MemberJack_pt23-Nov-02 2:40 
GeneralRe: DoubleClick on Checkbox not working Pin
sky_tiger_200423-Oct-05 5:07
Membersky_tiger_200423-Oct-05 5:07 
GeneralNo DDX_Radio support Pin
igrzalja14-Oct-02 3:40
Memberigrzalja14-Oct-02 3:40 
GeneralRe: No DDX_Radio support Pin
Davide Pizzolato14-Oct-02 19:38
MemberDavide Pizzolato14-Oct-02 19:38 

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