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Articles / Desktop Programming / MFC
Posted 4 Aug 2001


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Delphi/VB/VS.NET-style ObjectInspector Control

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4 Aug 20011 min read
A Delphi-Style Object Inspector

Sample Image #1 Sample Image #2


This control is an implementation of a Delphi/VB/VS.NET - Style Object-Inspector. I use this control in many of my applications' property pages to let the user quickly change application settings. I've tried to keep things as simple as possible, although usage of this control may look a bit strange at first sight - the interfaces of the control doesn't resemble the interfaces of other MFC controls, since it's intended to be special purpose control for changing properties only.

The documentation is sparse, because I do not have much time to write documentation. However, the included demo is hopefully a help in understanding how to use the features of the control.


The control supports many build-in property types (although adding your own propery-types should be no problem) :

  • bool
  • short
  • int
  • float
  • double
  • CString
  • CStringList
  • COleDateTime


To use this control in your own application, add CObjectInspector.cpp, CColorButton.cpp and CColourPopup.cpp to your project file. Open the resource editor and place a custom control on your dialog. In the control's properties enter "ObjectInspectorCtrl" as window-classname. Add a CObjectInspector variable to your dialog class :

CObjectInspector m_OI;

Add a DDX_Control handler to your DoDataExchange function :

void CMyDlg::DoDataExchange(CDataExchange* pDX)
	DDX_Control(pDX, IDC_OI, m_OI);

Override OnInitDialog to customize the Object-Inspector and to add groups and properties :

BOOL CMyDialog::OnInitDialog()

	CObjectInspector::CProperty *pGroup;
	// Create new property group
	m_OI.AddProperty (pProp = new CObjectInspector::CProperty("Group"));

	// Add properties to the group
	pProp->AddProperty (new CObjectInspector::CProperty("Integer-Value", &m_nIntValue));
	pProp->AddProperty (new CObjectInspector::CProperty("Bool Value", &m_bBoolVal));

Override OnNotify to receive notification messages from the control :

BOOL CMyDialog::OnNotify(WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam, LRESULT* pResult) 
    if (wParam == IDC_OI)

       CObjectInspector::NM_OIVIEW *nmHdr = (CObjectInspector::NM_OIVIEW*) lParam;

       // OIVN_ITEMCHANGED is sent after the user has changed a property
       if (nmHdr->hdr.code == OIVN_ITEMCHANGED)
           // Do some stuff (use nmHdr->pProperty to access the altered property)

       // OIVN_ITEMCHANGING is sent when the user is currently editing a property
       if (nmHdr->hdr.code == OIVN_ITEMCHANGING)
           // Do some stuff (use nmHdr->pProperty to access the currently edited property)
    return CDialog::OnNotify(wParam, lParam, pResult);

Known issues

Navigation with the cursor keys is quite unsatisfactorily.


  • Chris Maunder for his color picker
  • Keith Rule for his Memory DC class


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

Gunnar Bolle
Web Developer
Germany Germany
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRemaining Errors that Need to be Fixed.... Pin
Christopher Stratmann29-Apr-06 6:09
MemberChristopher Stratmann29-Apr-06 6:09 
GeneralFix: Entering in negative values for Shorts and Integers Pin
Christopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 6:24
MemberChristopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 6:24 
GeneralFix: Entering in negative values for Floats and Doubles Pin
Christopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 6:07
MemberChristopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 6:07 
QuestionHow to change the Scroll Amount Pin
Christopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 6:02
MemberChristopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 6:02 
GeneralColor Popup Flaw... Pin
Christopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 5:59
MemberChristopher Stratmann21-Apr-06 5:59 
GeneralChange This to Fix Check Button Pin
Christopher Stratmann19-Apr-06 3:39
MemberChristopher Stratmann19-Apr-06 3:39 
GeneralUse this to update data after closing control Pin
Christopher Stratmann19-Apr-06 1:51
MemberChristopher Stratmann19-Apr-06 1:51 
GeneralBug in CalculateScrollRange Pin
Einstand15-Aug-05 23:13
MemberEinstand15-Aug-05 23:13 
GeneralBug reports part 2. - The Fixes Pin
Yogurt11-Aug-03 3:37
MemberYogurt11-Aug-03 3:37 
GeneralBug reports (even if the author doesn't update this article...) Pin
Yogurt11-Aug-03 2:24
MemberYogurt11-Aug-03 2:24 
Generalsmall bug Pin
Member 10786-Jun-03 2:38
MemberMember 10786-Jun-03 2:38 
QuestionUpdate? Pin
Member 5267226-May-03 16:31
MemberMember 5267226-May-03 16:31 
GeneralDelete Property - Dynamic Pin
Anonymous2-Aug-02 23:50
MemberAnonymous2-Aug-02 23:50 
GeneralSomething wrong with the link. Pin
25-Sep-01 23:24
suss25-Sep-01 23:24 
GeneralWin95 problems Pin
6-Aug-01 9:41
suss6-Aug-01 9:41 
QuestionBroken link?? Pin
6-Aug-01 9:15
suss6-Aug-01 9:15 

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