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Posted 20 Mar 2006

Win32 C Easy Hyper Link

, 9 Jun 2006
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A Win32 C based approach for an essential Hyper Link control for the dialog box (based on the Button control).

Sample Image - Win32EasyHyperLink.png


There are couple different approaches for a Hyper Link control. Two major ones are based on either the STATIC TEXT control or the BUTTON control. As James R. Twine mentioned in his great article: A Better(?) (Hyper)Link Control, a Hyper Link control should behavior correctly in that it can only be reached by keyboard (Tab navigation) and be triggered by Button-Up, not Button-Down (check out any URL link in the web page). When you search online, most Hyper Link control examples are C++ approaches. Here an essential and neat Hyper Link control based on Win32 C approach is demonstrated.

Using the code

The source code is fully commented so it should be easy to understand. Here are the steps to add the Hyper Link control to your dialog box:

  1. Add the [BUTTON] control to your dialog. Set [Owner draw] style to the [BUTTON].
  2. Add HyperLink.h and HyperLink.c to your project. Include HyperLink.h to the dialog proc source file.
  3. Edit LinkInfo_Table in HyperLink.c according to your requirements.
  4. In the Dialog Proc function, do the following steps:
    • Add InitLink() after WM_INITDIALOG.
    • Add DrawLink() after WM_DRAWITEM.
    • Add OpenLink() after WM_COMMAND.
    • Add CloseLink() after WM_DESTROY.
  5. Add comctl32.lib to the project's link library.
  6. Compile and enjoy the Hyper Link.

Points of interest

I actually spent some time on how to refine the implementation. Some points need to be mentioned here.

  • The button control is the best one for Hyper Link, since it can be navigated by keyboard, can get focus correctly, and be triggered by Mouse-Button-Up. But you need to set Owner Draw style to the button control so you can make it look like a Hyper Link by responding to the WM_DRAWITEM message.
  • One of the steps that must be done is adjusting the Hyper Link control's size based on its caption. By using GetTextExtentPoint32() on the corresponding DC and Font, the text size can be obtained, and then we can use SetWindowPos() to adjust the control's size.
  • The Hyper Link control's default WindowProc needs to be subclassed so that we can do SetCursor() correctly when the WM_SETCURSOR message reaches.
  • The neatest way to draw the Hyper Link is by using ExtTextOut(), then DrawFocusRect().
  • If you don't need a tooltip, just comment out CreateLinkTooltip().


Shouldn't have any update since it's a small demonstration program, and you can modify it for your own purposes. Any comments or suggestions will be very welcomed.


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


About the Author

Hao Hu
Software Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

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SuggestionWindows XP and above Pin
Member 803644616-Oct-11 7:06
memberMember 803644616-Oct-11 7:06 

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