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Posted 5 Aug 2002

X-Window Manager like dragging and resizing of windows

, 21 Sep 2005
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This article shows how to make use of a mouse hook to allow simple dragging and resizing of windows.


Hooks are a powerful feature of Windows and can be used to trap nearly all events in the Windows environment. This example shows how to trap mouse events and implements a simple window manager. It allows you to move and resize windows, easily following the style of many window managers in the UNIX X-Window environment.

With this tool, any window on your Desktop can easily be dragged with the left-mouse button while holding down the ALT key, starting anywhere in the window's client area. In the same way, it is possible to resize any window while dragging with the right mouse-button, holding down ALT. That's in my opinion far more comfortable than aiming with the mouse for the border or a corner of the window :)

The tool consists of two parts. First the main program that loads the second part - a DLL that will subsequently be injected in other processes to trap mouse events. For details about this, you may refer to other great articles at CodeProject as for example Hooks and DLLs by Joseph M. Newcomer in the DLL-section. The main program further installs a tray icon (warning: programmer's art :) ), that allows the user to quit the tool.


  • 06.08.2003

    Initial version.

  • 17.04.2003

    Bug fix: proper handling of Alt-key release while dragging or sizing (thanks Whosit).

  • 10.09.2005

    Bug fix: don't move or resize windows that are maximized (thanks TWink).


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.

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About the Author

Markus Rollmann
Web Developer
Germany Germany
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionOK to fork? Pin
foobarz29-Dec-08 12:31
memberfoobarz29-Dec-08 12:31 
AnswerRe: OK to fork? Pin
Markus Rollmann29-Dec-08 21:40
memberMarkus Rollmann29-Dec-08 21:40 
GeneralWorks in Vista! Pin
JXON4-Sep-08 20:49
memberJXON4-Sep-08 20:49 
GeneralGreat! Pin
Mwob2-May-07 23:18
memberMwob2-May-07 23:18 
GeneralRe: Great! Pin
AlexHaan3-May-07 1:38
memberAlexHaan3-May-07 1:38 
GeneralAwesome Pin
aijfisuhhtrtl16-Apr-07 4:34
memberaijfisuhhtrtl16-Apr-07 4:34 
GeneralPrevent Users from Resizing Windows Pin
mrtm30509-Mar-07 12:14
membermrtm30509-Mar-07 12:14 
Generalis snapping possible Pin
mmanson13219-Jan-07 10:26
membermmanson13219-Jan-07 10:26 
GeneralTwo suggestions Pin
Anonymous5-Oct-05 2:02
sussAnonymous5-Oct-05 2:02 
GeneralRe: Two suggestions Pin
Markus Rollmann5-Oct-05 2:16
memberMarkus Rollmann5-Oct-05 2:16 
GeneralCursor shape Pin
Eric Lapouge22-Sep-05 22:32
memberEric Lapouge22-Sep-05 22:32 
GeneralBugs and Improvements Pin
Twink7-Sep-05 14:54
memberTwink7-Sep-05 14:54 
GeneralRe: Bugs and Improvements Pin
Markus Rollmann10-Sep-05 1:30
memberMarkus Rollmann10-Sep-05 1:30 
GeneralRe: Bugs and Improvements Pin
Twink11-Sep-05 15:47
memberTwink11-Sep-05 15:47 
Questionbug? Pin
p1ayer7-Jul-03 20:27
memberp1ayer7-Jul-03 20:27 
AnswerRe: bug? Pin
Markus Rollmann7-Jul-03 21:23
memberMarkus Rollmann7-Jul-03 21:23 
GeneralGreat technique Pin
Vernero Cifagni17-Apr-03 3:26
memberVernero Cifagni17-Apr-03 3:26 
Generalvery creative, so 5 points! Pin
Zhefu Zhang17-Apr-03 3:13
memberZhefu Zhang17-Apr-03 3:13 
General(update) Pin
Markus Rollmann17-Apr-03 2:59
memberMarkus Rollmann17-Apr-03 2:59 
GeneralRe: (update) Pin
Whosit17-Apr-03 4:37
memberWhosit17-Apr-03 4:37 
GeneralDoesnt forget right away Pin
Whosit16-Apr-03 11:31
memberWhosit16-Apr-03 11:31 
GeneralRe: Doesnt forget right away Pin
Markus Rollmann16-Apr-03 11:40
memberMarkus Rollmann16-Apr-03 11:40 
GeneralRe: Doesnt forget right away Pin
Whosit16-Apr-03 11:47
memberWhosit16-Apr-03 11:47 
Well, i dont know how the UNIX ones work of that you talk about, but i kind of like that you can release the ALT key and it still goes as long as you hold the mouse button down.
I just think you when you release the mouse button it should then release its capture.
Im confused though, because it looks like it should do that in the default case for the top-level switch in the MouseProc, i just cant see why it doesnt.
GeneralRe: Doesnt forget right away Pin
Markus Rollmann16-Apr-03 11:59
memberMarkus Rollmann16-Apr-03 11:59 
GeneralChange for override Pin
Whosit16-Apr-03 11:55
memberWhosit16-Apr-03 11:55 

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