Click here to Skip to main content
15,843,727 members
Articles / Desktop Programming / MFC

The Ultimate Toolbox Home Page

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
4.97/5 (141 votes)
25 Aug 2007CPOL13 min read 3.2M   91.3K   476   630
The Ultimate Toolbox is now Open Source

Image 1Image 2

Image 3 Image 4 Image 5



We are very happy to announce that we have made the decision to offer our commercial lineup of MFC libraries, including Ultimate Toolbox, Ultimate Grid, and Ultimate TCP/IP to The Code Project community free of charge.

These are the full and complete libraries including source code, documentation, samples and examples.

Ultimate Toolbox, Ultimate Grid and Ultimate TCP/IP come with full source code, and are compatible with Microsoft Visual Studio versions 6.0 through 2005.

The Ultimate Toolbox and line of related MFC libraries products have been powering professional MFC applications for more than 10 years. We realize that there is a very large number of users who are still coding new applications in Visual C++ and MFC and who are looking for effective and proven libraries to enhance their applications, as well as those with legacy code to maintain and update.

By releasing these long standing MFC libraries to The Code Project community we hope that the libraries will continue to grow, evolve and provide a library of useful controls to the development community through the auspices of The Code Project and its members.



The Ultimate Toolbox forms an extensive collection of classes dealing with many aspects of Windows programming. We have organized the samples and documentation into the following categories - each category page lists the main classes available in that group, and some will contain a link to sample accompanying short article. (Note that most of these are short overviews distilled from the existing documentation - for full class references, refer to the compiled HTML help documentation download.)

Ultimate Toolbox Features

Extended MFC UI Controls

Image 6

Controls that we derived from existing MFC controls and improved upon. These include components such as:

  • Office 2003-like and Office XP-like look and feel
  • Shortcut bars.
  • Extended combo boxes.
  • Extended tree controls, including an option tree.
  • Masked edit controls - generic and specialized

Classes Extending the MFC UI Framework

Image 7

These classes expand upon the document-view framework, and provide enhanced functionality such as:

  • Customization classes that let your users customize the UI of your application (e.g. the creation/modification of toolbars, menus, etc.).
  • Cool tool bar classes, letting you easily add controls to your toolbars (drop lists, check boxes, edit controls, etc.).
  • Cool menus, like cool toolbars, allow you to quickly provide advanced functionality to your menus (e.g. display icons/bitmaps).
  • Docking windows classes that give your docking windows the functionality and feel of Microsoft applications (e.g. Office 2000).
  • Tab view classes that let you display tab views using a wide variety of styles, such as Hot Track, Multi-line and Positioned (left, right, etc.) tabs.

Utility and Shell Extension Classes

Image 8 Image 9

These classes can enhance your applications by letting you retrieve system information, implement trace/debugging features, use sound effects, and perform other utility-related operations with ease. Examples of these utility and shell extension classes are:

  • A system information class.
  • Advanced trace and assert classes.
  • Sound effects class.
  • XML file parsing class.
  • Resource file modification and view classes.
  • Data Compression class
  • Task bar and Application bar classes.

Graphics Classes

Image 10

These classes let you display graphics (e.g. BMP, JPEG, etc.) with ease, and the kit also comes with JPEG compression and metafile creation/playback classes. Some examples are:

  • JPEG compressor and de-compressor libraries.
  • DIB manipulation/conversion classes.
  • Metafile classes that come with Ultimate Toolbox provide functionality to load all standard formats of Metafiles (*.wmf, *.emf) from either disk or resource, play back loaded metafiles, and even create new ones.



We've split up the code, samples and documentation of the Ultimate Toolbox into separate ZIP files, to make updates easier.

In general, for a code library such as the Ultimate Toolbox, installation files are a cumbersome nuisance. While they do allow the formality of license agreement acceptance, and are expected of a commercial offering, for our purposes it would be too much trouble to update an entire install in order to accommodate a small update to a core source file or sample - we may in the future provide updates in various formats, from a single class to an entire new distribution as situations warrant. And, of course, the CP community is more than welcome to contribute.

The samples and library projects all reference relative paths with respect to source and include files, and should compile 'out of the box' if the ZIP files are extracted to a common directory - by default, Ultimate Toolbox, which should look more or less like this:

Image 11

Getting Started

Once the main source and sample distribution is installed, you'll find that most of the samples can be built and run without the need to build any libraries or DLLs. This source code download has been stripped of some of the pre-built libraries that were shipped with previous commercial installations in order to conserve bandwidth - notably the proprietary JPEG libraries, which should be built ( Ultimate Toolbox\lib\JPEG\jpg.dsw ) before building the samples that reference it and the static libraries or DLLs. The jpg VC6 workspace should convert and build without problem with Visual Studio .NET or 2005, and the resulting libraries placed in the Ultimate Toolbox\lib\Libs directory. The static libs and DLL builds in the lib\Build Libs and lib\Build DLLs can then be built.

The static library is handy when using one of the frameworks (docking windows or app customization), but many classes can be easily used directly in your project with the addition of only one or two source and header files - season to taste. For the most part, except for samples that show the use of the DLL or static lib, the samples use the source directly allowing for direct debugging and testing as the need arises.

The CHM DOC file will provide more detailed information on each of the classes and their interfaces, and has an index and full text search - great for 'hmmm... I wonder if there's a class for...' type scientific explorations.

Community Support

Support for the products will be community based, and will include participation from core developers of the products, long standing and informed users of the products, and other members of the community.


It is our intention that you be able to use the libraries in any manner you wish, however, specific details of licensing rights, limitation of liability, and other details are included both here, and in a license.txt file included with the downloadable packages


August 2007 - Ultimate Toolbox Version 9.3 forms the initial CodeProject community release.

Version 9.3


  • The Hyperbar classes provide an easy way to add some cool UI functionality to any existing or new project that uses a toolbar.

Bug Fixes:

  • Missing VS2003 static lib build project files reinstated.
  • Vista problems with 'shadow window' rendering addressed.
  • OXSkins - it's now possible ( and preferred ) to specify the desired skin using an enum
  • The CustomiseManager sample has a minor bug fix, which caused a very rare crash
  • OutlookStyleDemo : Added ability to change skin type at runtime, and improved overall skin support.
  • COXBItmapMenu : Fixed bug which caused documents to close when dirty without prompting
  • COXFrameWndDock::MakeItDockable : Can now specify which sides to support and if we should dock immediately
  • COXFrameWndDock::AttachMDIChild : Allows users to specify the side to dock to, before it would dock to the first one that was available. Also fixed some docking bugs in this class.
  • COXListEdit : Added code to send a message to indicate editing has ended when the drop button is pressed.
  • COXPropertyTree : Added code to send a message to indicate editing has ended when focus is lost.
  • Moved all the skinning drawing into seperate classes, so they are all handled polymorphically by the toolbox controls.
  • COXSizeDockBar::TabAllDockedControlBars : Added code so that the visible bar can be selected, via a pointer or by index.

Version 9.2

Major release feature:

  • The entire code base is now compatible with VC++ 2005, VC++ 2003, and VC++ 6. You get zero-warning compilation on VC++ 2005.

Bug Fixes:

  • COXComboPickerCtrl::OnPaint now checks if the OS version is XP or higher, and if so it uses the default OS painting, else it does custom painting for the combo box arrow
  • COXCalendarPopup::OnPaint : A bug (missing cast) has been fixed which caused an error in VC++ 7.1 or higher
  • COXDateTimeCtrl::OnDropDown : The return value has been changed from TRUE to FALSE, thus fixing a bad bug where the parent window never gets to handle the notification.
  • The bug in MDI child menus (in skinned mode) where the restore, minimize, and close items were shown in an un-skinned condition has been fixed.
  • COXSysInfo has been updated to correctly identify all OSes up to Windows Vista.
  • The Cool Controls demo had a bug where the Listbox tooltips came up as garbage - this has been fixed.
  • Minor bugs have been fixed in the Status Bar demo (which caused garbage to show up in it)
  • The Screen Grabber demo has been fixed to not crash on a multiple monitor setup.
  • A trivial bug in COXMDIFrameWndSizeDock::OnActivate has been fixed.
  • A bug in COXTreeCtrl that caused random crashes during drag/drop scenarios has been fixed.

Version 9.0

Major Upgrades:

  1. The Office 2003 Look and Feel was added. The following Ultimate ToolBox UI elements support this new skin:
    1. Menus
    2. Toolbars and menubars
    3. Docking windows
    4. MDI tabs and Tear-off tabs
    5. Shortcut bar
    6. Properties window
    7. Status bar
  1. The Properties window was enhanced to look more like the VS.NET properties window.

Minor Changes and Fixes:

  1. A bug causing the Caption Painter not to work in Windows XP was fixed.
  2. A problem casing excessive flashing of the toolbar, menu bar and docking windows under the Office XP skin was fixed.
  3. A problem causing the close, minimize and maximize buttons of the menu bar to appear too large in skinned Windows XP was fixed.
  4. A bug causing a floating toolbar to stick to the mouse cursor even after the user has released the button was fixed.
  5. A GDI leak found in the Office XP skin causing problems in Windows ME was removed.
  6. Several upgrades to the COXTreeCtrl were implemented:
    1. Arrow key navigation was added.
    2. Various drawing problems involving different back colors were fixed.
    3. An item indentation problem involving adding a child item to a collapsed parent was fixed.
  7. A problem in COXPreviewDialog caused by a font that does not exist in all operating systems was fixed.
  8. The classes COXTreeCtrl and COXGridCtrl will draw their sort headers correctly now in Windows XP skinned mode.
  9. Several upgrades to the COXPropertiesWnd class were implemented:
    1. OnDeleteProperty() notification was added.
    2. A method for deleting all properties called DeleteAll() was added.
    3. A problem causing a crash if a property is deleted while being edited was fixed.
    4. A problem causing the combo box drop list not to show in its entirety was fixed.
    5. Added the following functionality: when editing a property the changes will be accepted if Enter is pressed and discarded when Escape is pressed.
  10. Fixed a problem in COXMultiComboBox causing uncontrolled scrolling to the bottom of the drop list in Windows XP skinned mode.

Sample Changes:

  1. The SkinsDemo sample was enhanced to show the new Office 2003 look and feel.
  2. The SkinsDemo sample was upgraded to demonstrate how to show and hide the different docking windows from the View menu.

New Classes:

  1. COXUxTheme – internal class used by various Ultimate Toolbox classes designed to detect the presence of Windows XP skins and retrieve their color schemas.

Version 8.1

Major Upgrades:

  1. Visual Studio.NET 2003 full compatibility.
  2. Enhancements to the VS.NET like properties window: the following property types with their appropriate editors are now supported:
    1. Text
    2. Numeric (with the ability to specify the number of decimal places)
    3. List of items (enumeration)
    4. Date
    5. IP address
    6. Currency
    7. Color
    8. Filename
    9. Directory
    10. Time (from nanoseconds to days)
    11. Angle (degrees, radians or grades)
    12. Length (metric or imperial)
    13. Temperature (Celsius, Fahrenheit, Kelvin)
    14. Custom field with a custom editor.

Minor Changes and Fixes:

  1. The TVOXS_NOFOCUSRECT style was introduced in COXTreeView to provide the ability to turn off the item focus rectangle for selected items.
  2. A buggy assertion statement was removed from COXMDIChildWndSizeDock::Create(…)
  3. An auto-scrolling problem in COXMultiComboBox was fixed.
  4. A bug in COXPhysicalEdit causing a crash was fixed.
  5. A bug causing all drop edit controls to show garbage characters in the tooltips was fixed.
  6. A bug preventing COXTreeCtrl::SelectItem(…) from having any effect in single selection mode was fixed.
  7. A bug causing a floating menu to jump away from the mouse cursor was fixed.

Sample Changes:

  1. The SkinsDemo sample was enhanced to demonstrate the use of COXPropertiesWnd and all the different type of properties that are supported.
  2. The CustomizeManager sample was modified to reflect that in CMainFrame::OnCreate() InitializeToolbars() must be called prior to calling InitializeCommands().

New Classes:

  1. COXPropertyTree – internal class used by COXPropertiesWnd.
  2. COXListEdit – A drop edit control with the ability to display a list of items.
  3. COXListPopup – internal class used by COXListEdit.
  4. COXIPEdit – A an IP address edit control.
  5. COXCalendarEdit – A drop edit control for dates.
  6. COXMonthCalPopup – internal class used by COXCalendarEdit.

Version 8.02

Changes and Fixes:

  1. When the snapping and tear-off behavior is enabled a floating window could not be resized. This was fixed.
  2. OXShdWnd.cpp was not added to the build library project causing link errors. This was fixed.
  3. In COXPropertiesWnd it was possible to edit a category name, which caused a crash. This was fixed.
  4. When the extended tree control (COXTreeCtrl) is automatically populated the user could not expand the tree by single clicking on the plus. This was fixed.
  5. Some painting problems of the edit control of the extended tree were fixed.
  6. A problem preventing a date item from being edited in the extended tree was fixed.
  7. The COXShdWnd class was not declared as exportable, which caused some link errors. This problem was fixed.
  8. In the Customize Manager it was possible to turn off the "cool look" of the toolbars while in OfficeXP skin mode, which caused a crash. This problem was fixed.
  9. A paining problem of COXCustomTBComboBox with the CBS_DROPLIST style under the Office XP skin was fixed.
  10. A problem causing COXSkinnedCombo not to send CBN_SELCHANGE message was fixed.
  11. A problem causing a floating window not to redraw the window behind it fast enough while moving was fixed.
  12. In COXDao the FindNext method will work properly with searches on string values.

Sample Changes:

  1. A new sample called CustomizeManager was added to the samples/advanced/ directory. This sample demonstrates how to use COXCustomizeManager. The different steps required are written as comments in the source code. Just search for the string "STEP".
  2. A new sample called ExtendedTreeControl was added to the samples/gui/ directory. This sample shows how to achieve the functionality of COXTreeCtrl demonstrated in the downloadable Demo Browser.
  3. The link errors in the TabViews sample were fixed.

Version 8.01

New Functionality:

  1. Ability to programmatically tab all docked windows on a dock bar. Use COXSizeDockBar:: TabAllDockedControlBars(…) to accomplish this.

Changes and Fixes:

  1. COXSkinnedComboBox now sends proper notification messages.
  2. A combo box custom toolbar button is now properly centered in the Windows XP skin.
  3. A behavior problem was fixed when the user double-clicks the gripper of a tabbed docking window.
  4. A behavior problem was fixed preventing the user from moving a docked toolbar to the left edge of the windows without the toolbar going into float mode.
  5. A crash in COXPreviewDialog which only occurred in Windows 2000 when compiled with VC7 was fixed.
  6. Missing files causing links errors were added to the SideBySideToolbars sample.


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

Written By
Web Developer
Canada Canada
In January 2005, David Cunningham and Chris Maunder created, a new group dedicated to the continued development, support and growth of Dundas Software’s award winning line of MFC, C++ and ActiveX control products.

Ultimate Grid for MFC, Ultimate Toolbox for MFC, and Ultimate TCP/IP have been stalwarts of C++/MFC development for a decade. Thousands of developers have used these products to speed their time to market, improve the quality of their finished products, and enhance the reliability and flexibility of their software.
This is a Organisation

476 members

Comments and Discussions

QuestionVS2017 compiling Pin
pdm19996-Apr-19 7:19
pdm19996-Apr-19 7:19 
AnswerRe: VS2017 compiling Pin
Tim Deveaux9-Apr-19 8:59
Tim Deveaux9-Apr-19 8:59 
QuestionCan this package be used for commercial propose? Pin
Kyle.CY3-May-18 20:34
Kyle.CY3-May-18 20:34 
AnswerRe: Can this package be used for commercial propose? Pin
Russell.Page13-May-20 2:25
Russell.Page13-May-20 2:25 
Question64-bit support Pin
Member-793255810-Aug-16 12:15
Member-793255810-Aug-16 12:15 
AnswerRe: 64-bit support Pin
burrow23-Jan-17 8:31
burrow23-Jan-17 8:31 
GeneralRe: 64-bit support Pin
Member 1226948122-Aug-17 0:11
Member 1226948122-Aug-17 0:11 
QuestionSource for Ultimate Layout Manager? Pin
Member 853403521-Mar-16 0:32
Member 853403521-Mar-16 0:32 
AnswerRe: Source for Ultimate Layout Manager? Pin
Tim Deveaux21-Mar-16 8:37
Tim Deveaux21-Mar-16 8:37 
GeneralRe: Source for Ultimate Layout Manager? Pin
Member 853403522-Mar-16 4:21
Member 853403522-Mar-16 4:21 
GeneralRe: Source for Ultimate Layout Manager? Pin
Tim Deveaux22-Mar-16 7:06
Tim Deveaux22-Mar-16 7:06 
QuestionI ve got error while compile DLLs. Pin
Kim hojin13-Dec-15 15:38
Kim hojin13-Dec-15 15:38 
AnswerRe: I ve got error while compile DLLs. Pin
Tim Deveaux14-Dec-15 7:49
Tim Deveaux14-Dec-15 7:49 
GeneralRe: I ve got error while compile DLLs. Pin
Kim hojin29-Dec-15 16:49
Kim hojin29-Dec-15 16:49 
GeneralRe: I ve got error while compile DLLs. Pin
Tim Deveaux30-Dec-15 9:14
Tim Deveaux30-Dec-15 9:14 
QuestionTim Deveaux , why not summit to GitHub? Pin
Jason.LYJ6-Dec-15 23:31
professionalJason.LYJ6-Dec-15 23:31 
AnswerRe: Tim Deveaux , why not summit to GitHub? Pin
Tim Deveaux7-Dec-15 6:34
Tim Deveaux7-Dec-15 6:34 
QuestionCOXTreeCtrl with multiline tooltip Pin
Rui Frazao26-Aug-14 5:12
Rui Frazao26-Aug-14 5:12 
QuestionHas anyone tried building Ultimate Toolbox with Visual Studio 2008 or 2010? PinPopular
Member 107907786-May-14 3:58
Member 107907786-May-14 3:58 
NewsRe: Has anyone tried building Ultimate Toolbox with Visual Studio 2008 or 2010? Pin
Member 1133085521-Jan-15 0:19
Member 1133085521-Jan-15 0:19 
AnswerRe: Has anyone tried building Ultimate Toolbox with Visual Studio 2008 or 2010? Pin
Member 1133085521-Jan-15 5:23
Member 1133085521-Jan-15 5:23 
QuestionLoosely coupled application using delegates Pin
Sumit Bhargav5-Jan-14 7:42
Sumit Bhargav5-Jan-14 7:42 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
SemiEleven18-Apr-13 23:13
SemiEleven18-Apr-13 23:13 
QuestionCan't find UTLibStaticD.lib Pin
Zamuel5-Apr-13 4:27
Zamuel5-Apr-13 4:27 
QuestionCOXTreeCtrl multi and single selection Pin
vvovv26-Mar-13 7:24
vvovv26-Mar-13 7:24 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.