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Posted 23 May 2002
Licenced CPOL

The MFC unclickable button ported to Managed C++

, , 23 May 2002
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This article presents a port of the MFC Trick button to .NET using Managed C++ and Windows Forms


This article presents a port of the MFC unclickable button to .NET using Managed C++ and Windows Forms. Nish did the original 1:1 port of the original MFC control to Managed C++ to demonstrate how easy it was to port. Chris then took this, rounded off some of the corners and wrapped the control up in an assembly in order to demonstrate the class in use in a C# application.

Porting to .NET

The MCTrickButton class is a fully managed Windows Form class derived from System::Windows::Forms::Button.. Moving from MFC to Windows Forms was relatively painless - and in some cases positively sweet. There were a couple of issues though

As in the original we override the

method. Initially an attempt was made to override OnSetFocus as well, but the .NET OnSetFocus won't tell you what the previous control was which had the focus. Thus WndProc has been overridden and WM_SETFOCUS has been handled directly. The source code is commented and mostly self-explanatory.

There were also small changes such as having the desktop window be a Screen object instead of a Control (the analogy to Win32 being that the desktop is just another HWND) meant a minor change to the code but apart from that it was smooth sailing

The control has been compiled to an assembly "CodeProject.WinForms" (CodeProject.WinForms.dll)


Our Managed C++ WinForms control does not work inside the VS.NET Forms designer. I'm not sure if that's simply a case of C++ not having RAD support or if it's merely a problem with our code. Suggestions welcome.

TrickButton Source listing


<pre lang=mc++>// MCTrickButton.h #pragma once using namespace System::Windows::Forms; namespace CodeProject { namespace WinForms { public __gc class MCTrickButton : public Button { // Constructor public: MCTrickButton(); // Properties public: __property int get_JumpDistance() { return m_nJumpDistance; } __property void set_JumpDistance(int value) { m_nJumpDistance = value; } // Member variables protected: int m_nJumpDistance; // Pixels to jump protected: virtual void OnMouseMove(MouseEventArgs* e); virtual void WndProc(Message *pmsg); }; } }


<pre lang=mc++>#include "StdAfx.h" using namespace System; using namespace System::ComponentModel; using namespace System::Drawing; using namespace System::Windows::Forms; using namespace System::Runtime::InteropServices; #include "MCTrickButton.h" using namespace CodeProject::WinForms; MCTrickButton::MCTrickButton() { m_nJumpDistance = 5; TabStop = false; } // Called when the mouse moves over the button void MCTrickButton::OnMouseMove(MouseEventArgs* e) { // Get the current mouse position from the MouseEventArgs // object and convert to screen coords Point point(e->X,e->Y); point = PointToScreen(point); // All pixels are used in parent client coordinates // So convert screen coords parent relative coords Control *pParent = Parent; if (pParent != NULL) point = pParent->PointToClient(point); // Get the client area of the parent (so we know the bounds // of movement for the button Drawing::Rectangle ParentRect; if (pParent == NULL) { // use the current screen if no parent Screen *currentScreen = Screen::FromPoint(point); ParentRect = currentScreen->WorkingArea; } else ParentRect = pParent->ClientRectangle; // Get the dimensions of this button and convert to parent // coords Drawing::Rectangle ButtonRect = RectangleToScreen(ClientRectangle); if (pParent != NULL) ButtonRect = pParent->RectangleToClient(ButtonRect); Drawing::Point Center((ButtonRect.Right+ButtonRect.Left)/2, (ButtonRect.Bottom+ButtonRect.Top)/2); // We now check where the mouse is relative to the center // of the button. We need to know from which direction the // mouse is coming from so we can move the button away from // the mouse Drawing::Rectangle NewButtonRect = ButtonRect; // mouse attack from the right side if (point.X > Center.X) { if (ButtonRect.Left > ParentRect.Left + ButtonRect.Width + m_nJumpDistance) { NewButtonRect.X -= ButtonRect.Right - point.X + m_nJumpDistance; } else { NewButtonRect.X += point.X - ButtonRect.Left + m_nJumpDistance; } } // mouse attack from the left else if (point.X < Center.X) { if (ButtonRect.Right < ParentRect.Right - ButtonRect.Width - m_nJumpDistance) { NewButtonRect.X += point.X - ButtonRect.Left + m_nJumpDistance; } else { NewButtonRect.X -= ButtonRect.Right - point.X + m_nJumpDistance; } } // mouse attack from below if (point.Y > Center.Y) { if (ButtonRect.Top > ParentRect.Top + ButtonRect.Height + m_nJumpDistance) { NewButtonRect.Y -= ButtonRect.Bottom - point.Y + m_nJumpDistance; } else { NewButtonRect.Y += point.Y - ButtonRect.Top + m_nJumpDistance; } } // attack from above else if (point.Y < Center.Y) { if (ButtonRect.Bottom < ParentRect.Bottom - ButtonRect.Height - m_nJumpDistance) { NewButtonRect.Y += point.Y - ButtonRect.Top + m_nJumpDistance; } else { NewButtonRect.Y -= ButtonRect.Bottom - point.Y + m_nJumpDistance; } } // now we move the button to the new point Location = Point(NewButtonRect.X, NewButtonRect.Y); Button::OnMouseMove(e); } void MCTrickButton::WndProc(Message *pMsg) { // Call the base class function first Button::WndProc(pMsg); // If the button is recieving the focus then pass // it back to the window that gave it the focus if (pMsg->Msg == WM_SETFOCUS) { Control *pOldWnd = FromHandle(pMsg->WParam); if (pOldWnd != NULL) pOldWnd->Focus(); //set focus to previous control } }

A sample app

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Data;

using CodeProject.WinForms;

namespace TrickButtonDemo
    /// Summary description for Form1.
    public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
        private System.Windows.Forms.Button QuitButton;
        private CodeProject.WinForms.MCTrickButton TrickButton;

        /// Required designer variable.
        private System.ComponentModel.Container components = null;

        public Form1()

        /// Clean up any resources being used.
        protected override void Dispose( bool disposing )
            if( disposing )
                if (components != null) 
            base.Dispose( disposing );

        #region Windows Form Designer generated code
        /// <summary>
        /// Required method for Designer support - do not modify
        /// the contents of this method with the code editor.
        /// </summary>
        private void InitializeComponent()
            this.QuitButton = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
            this.TrickButton = new CodeProject.WinForms.MCTrickButton();
            // QuitButton
            this.QuitButton.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(208, 128);
            this.QuitButton.Name = "QuitButton";
            this.QuitButton.TabIndex = 0;
            this.QuitButton.Text = "Quit";
            this.QuitButton.Click += 
                          new System.EventHandler(this.QuitButton_Click);
            // TrickButton
            this.TrickButton.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(100, 60);
            this.TrickButton.Name = "TrickButton";
            this.TrickButton.Text = "Click Me!";
            this.TrickButton.Click += 
                          new System.EventHandler(this.TrickButton_Click);
            // Form1
            this.AutoScaleBaseSize = new System.Drawing.Size(5, 13);
            this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(292, 165);
            this.Controls.AddRange(new System.Windows.Forms.Control[] { 
                                     this.TrickButton, this.QuitButton });
            this.Name = "Form1";
            this.Text = "Form1";


        /// <summary>
        /// The main entry point for the application.
        /// </summary>
        static void Main() 
            Application.Run(new Form1());

        private void QuitButton_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)

        private void TrickButton_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
            System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("You clicked me!");


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


About the Authors

Chris Maunder
Founder CodeProject
Canada Canada
Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.

His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.

He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.

Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.

Nish Nishant
United States United States
Nish Nishant is a Principal Software Architect based out of Columbus, Ohio. He has over 17 years of software industry experience in various roles including Lead Software Architect, Principal Software Engineer, and Product Manager. Nish was a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP between 2002 and 2015.

Nish is an industry acknowledged expert in the Microsoft technology stack. He authored C++/CLI in Action for Manning Publications in 2005, and had previously co-authored Extending MFC Applications with the .NET Framework for Addison Wesley in 2003. In addition, he has over 140 published technology articles on and another 250+ blog articles on his WordPress blog. Nish is vastly experienced in team management, mentoring teams, and directing all stages of software development.

Contact Nish : If you are interested in hiring Nish as a consultant, you can reach him via his google email id voidnish.

Company Website :

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralYour code ported to C# Pin
georani21-Apr-05 11:55
membergeorani21-Apr-05 11:55 
GeneralYour Code Ported to VB (It works) Pin
georani21-Apr-05 10:18
membergeorani21-Apr-05 10:18 
GeneralI want to ask a question! Pin
Member 39655012-Jun-03 3:40
memberMember 39655012-Jun-03 3:40 
GeneralWindows.Forms.Control in Browser: Pin
Anonymous29-Mar-03 22:30
memberAnonymous29-Mar-03 22:30 
GeneralVC++ Pin
Ayman Rabee1-Aug-02 1:04
sussAyman Rabee1-Aug-02 1:04 
GeneralRe: VC++ Pin
Nish Nishant1-Aug-02 1:08
sitebuilderNish Nishant1-Aug-02 1:08 
GeneralActually... Pin
Tim Smith24-May-02 9:50
memberTim Smith24-May-02 9:50 
GeneralRe: Actually... Pin
Nish Nishant24-May-02 18:15
sitebuilderNish Nishant24-May-02 18:15 
QuestionThe quit button should be unclickable ? Pin
Daniel Turini24-May-02 9:36
memberDaniel Turini24-May-02 9:36 
AnswerRe: The quit button should be unclickable ? Pin
Nish Nishant24-May-02 18:16
sitebuilderNish Nishant24-May-02 18:16 
GeneralA request from users ... Pin
24-May-02 8:36
suss24-May-02 8:36 
GeneralRe: A request from users ... Pin
Shog924-May-02 12:59
sitebuilderShog924-May-02 12:59 
GeneralRe: A request from users ... Pin
Brian Olej24-May-02 16:03
memberBrian Olej24-May-02 16:03 
GeneralRe: A request from users ... Pin
Shog924-May-02 17:24
sitebuilderShog924-May-02 17:24 

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