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Posted 14 Oct 2001
Licenced CPOL

MSN Messenger type status bar popup message box

, 1 Apr 2012
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MSN Messenger type status bar popup message box

Sample Image - StatusBarMsgWnd.jpg


One of the interesting things I found in the recent times about Windows programming was the popping up of status bar message windows when somebody logs in MSN messenger. Here is the code I would like to share with anyone out there who would also like to use it, but was not able to do so because of no direct API help for the following task.

How to use the source code

Include the following files in your project.

  • StatusBarMsgWnd.h
  • StatusBarMsgWnd.cpp

Following lines show how to create an object of CStatusBarMsgWnd and use it to pop up a window. We use a pseudo contructor called CreateObject() because we want to force heap creation. For making the normal constructor unavailable we make it "private". We want to make the object on the heap because the PopMsg() function will trigger timers and animate the popping up and collapsing of the window even after it has returned. So the message window should remain in memory till all timers subside and the window collapses. This even makes the parent application more responsive than using Sleep() API which I had used earlier. Using Sleep() made the application block till the window got destroyed.

CStatusBarMsgWnd* t_MsgWnd = CStatusBarMsgWnd::CreateObject(
    _T("Some idiot has signed in !!"), // the message to be displayed
    180, // width of the window
    150, // height of window   
    4000, // time for the message to be displayed
    10, // delay for animation, how fast the window opens and closes
    CRect(30, 30, 130, 110), // rectangle in the window where the 
                             //message will be displayed 
    this // parent of the message window


The PopMsg() function first checks, where is the status bar on the desktop? There are only four cases

  1. Status bar at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Status bar at top of the screen.
  3. Status bar at the left of the screen
  4. Status bar at the right of the screen.

The following code of PopMsg() function is shown

void CStatusBarMsgWnd::PopMsg()
    if (CheckIfStatusBarBottom())  
        // Most frequent case is status bar at bottom
        if (CheckIfStatusBarTop())
            if (CheckIfStatusBarLeft())

The CheckIfStatusBarBottom() (or CheckIfStatusBarTop(), CheckIfStatusBarLeft()) functions use GetSystemMetrics() and SystemParatmeterInfo() APIs to calculate the full screen area and the area on the screen minus the status bar. Then with some elementary high school mathematics we calculate where exactly the status bar is (bottom, top, left or right) and appropriately show the message window with some animation.

The real action occurs in the OnTimer() function which gets triggered because of WM_TIMER messages. There are three timers

  1. IDT_POP_WINDOW_TIMER -> Gets triggered for animating popup
  2. IDT_SHOW_WINDOW_TIMER -> Gets triggered for showing and keeping the window in position for some time
  3. IDT_COLLAPSE_WINDOW_TIMER -> Gets triggered for animating window collapse

There are three other constants namely STP_BOTTOM, STP_TOP, STP_RIGHT and STP_LEFT which represent where the status bar position is. These are used in OnTimer) for the appropriate animation calculations.

The window is automatically deleted after collapsing in the OnTimer() function using delete this. That's the reason we force this window's creation on heap

Class Details

The class CStatusBarMsgWnd is derived from CFrameWnd. The title bar is removed in the OnCreate() member function. Two CFont objects are created, one underlined font and the other non-underlined. We show the underlined font when mouse is above the window using OnMouseHover() function (for WM_MOUSEHOVER message). Similarly we use the non-underlined font when the mouse leaves the window with OnMouseLeave() function (for WM_MOUSELEAVE message). Initialize a "hand" cursor m_hCursor for showing the mouse when it is over the window.

Rewrite the OnLButtonDown() for the WM_LBUTTONDOWN message to suit any thing you would like to do. At this point OnLButtonDown() only shows a message box. You can change and do anything to suit your needs.

int CStatusBarMsgWnd::OnCreate( LPCREATESTRUCT lpCreateStruct )
    if (CFrameWnd::OnCreate(lpCreateStruct) == -1)
        return -1;

    ModifyStyle(WS_CAPTION, 0, 
        SWP_FRAMECHANGED); // removes title bar

    // Start creating two fonts, one underlined , 
    // other non underlined 
    // LOGFONT structure for font properties
    LOGFONT lf;
    ::ZeroMemory (&lf, sizeof (lf));
    lf.lfHeight = 100;
    lf.lfWeight = FW_BOLD;
    lf.lfUnderline = TRUE;

    ::strcpy (lf.lfFaceName, _T("Arial"));

    // Prepare for an underlined font

    // Prepare  an non underlined font
    lf.lfUnderline = FALSE;

    // Initialize the cursor.
    m_hCursor = ::LoadCursor(NULL, IDC_HAND);

    return 0;

How to use the demo project exe

Double click the popwnd.exe and use the "Message Menu" to pop up a message window

Future Work to be done, in progress...

  • MSN messenger uses color scheme in the message box taking the color from the active title bar.


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


About the Author

Prateek Kaul
Web Developer
India India
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Cristian Amarie9-Oct-13 9:31
memberCristian Amarie9-Oct-13 9:31 
QuestionNot able to download Pin
Member 899584218-May-12 17:28
memberMember 899584218-May-12 17:28 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Abinash Bishoyi9-Apr-12 5:05
memberAbinash Bishoyi9-Apr-12 5:05 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Syed Javed4-Jul-11 17:13
memberSyed Javed4-Jul-11 17:13 
Questionhow can i do this in c#? Pin
codrobin28-Nov-07 2:09
membercodrobin28-Nov-07 2:09 
GeneralKilltimer Pin
carlos gomes5-Mar-06 11:26
membercarlos gomes5-Mar-06 11:26 
GeneralNot working when you uncheck the "Keep the task bar on top of the other windows" Pin
Venkatakrishnan Krishnan28-Jul-05 6:35
memberVenkatakrishnan Krishnan28-Jul-05 6:35 
GeneralTwo or more popups at the same time Pin
agabi715-Feb-05 6:57
memberagabi715-Feb-05 6:57 
GeneralMessage Box position Pin
toto_at29-Nov-04 6:17
susstoto_at29-Nov-04 6:17 
Questionhow to change the browser's status bar's font color Pin
karthi_dac200029-Sep-03 17:51
susskarthi_dac200029-Sep-03 17:51 
Question(Other) widgets on popup?? Pin
adonadon6-Jul-03 6:44
memberadonadon6-Jul-03 6:44 
GeneralMSN Autoresponder Pin
JDBarclay30-Jun-03 7:19
sussJDBarclay30-Jun-03 7:19 
Questionhow to change the background? Pin
happy888819-Jun-03 19:05
memberhappy888819-Jun-03 19:05 
GeneralImplementing this on a webpage !help! Pin
rtrajan9-Jun-03 6:28
memberrtrajan9-Jun-03 6:28 
GeneralDialog Based Application Pin
iffi99229-May-03 4:04
memberiffi99229-May-03 4:04 
QuestionMicrosoft Web Browser Object into DialogBox, without MFC? Pin
Adrian Bacaianu8-Apr-03 20:42
memberAdrian Bacaianu8-Apr-03 20:42 
AnswerRe: Microsoft Web Browser Object into DialogBox, without MFC? Pin
.S.Rod.8-Apr-03 21:11
member.S.Rod.8-Apr-03 21:11 
GeneralTaskbar position Pin
Weng Wei8-Feb-03 0:54
memberWeng Wei8-Feb-03 0:54 
QuestionHow i stop to transfer the focus on the popup window? Pin
Saeed A. Siddiqui5-Nov-02 20:21
memberSaeed A. Siddiqui5-Nov-02 20:21 
AnswerRe: How i stop to transfer the focus on the popup window? Pin
Prateek K6-Nov-02 4:37
sussPrateek K6-Nov-02 4:37 
GeneralRe: How i stop to transfer the focus on the popup window? Pin
sanpee21-Jul-04 16:27
membersanpee21-Jul-04 16:27 
GeneralRe: How i stop to transfer the focus on the popup window? Pin
Prateek Kaul21-Jul-04 19:28
memberPrateek Kaul21-Jul-04 19:28 
GeneralGDI leak Pin
AndreyZ18-Sep-02 5:25
sussAndreyZ18-Sep-02 5:25 
GeneralThanks Pin
Rob A.11-Sep-02 10:05
sussRob A.11-Sep-02 10:05 
Generalwill this popup during fullscreen directx games Pin
Anonymous14-Aug-02 10:09
sussAnonymous14-Aug-02 10:09 

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