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Posted 19 Aug 2003

CCheckSK - An Extended Check-box class

, 19 Aug 2003
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This article discusses the CCheckSK class that extends CButton MFC and can be used to create check boxes that look like LEDs.

Sample Image


This class is derived from the MFC CButton. It supports the following features:

  1. Showing of On/Off LEDs to indicate state of the check box
  2. Showing an icon to indicate state of the check box. Icon can be specified using a resource ID, filename or HICON.
  3. Left/Center/Right aligned texts
  4. Text on the left or right of the LED
  5. Enabled/disabled check boxes
  6. Tool tips

This article demonstrates how to extend MFC to subclass common controls and to apply owner drawing to give them any desired look.

Using the code

To use the class follow the steps:

  1. Add the files CCheckSK.h and CCheckSK.cpp to your project.
  2. Create check boxes on the dialog.
  3. Open the class wizard and create control variables for the check boxes. Choose "Control" for the "Category" and "CButton" for the "Variable Type".
  4. Include CCheckSK.h in the .h file for your dialog class (in the demo the file is checkDlg.h)
  5. If you had named the check-box variable m_chk then in the header file for the dialog, there will be a line CButton m_chk; Replace the CButton with CCheckSK
  6. At the end of OnInitDialog of your dialog class, add calls to the appropriate methods in CCheckSK
    BOOL CCheckDlg::OnInitDialog()
        m_chk1.SetLedColor(RGB(255, 0, 0), RGB(128, 0, 0));
        m_chk1.SetToolTip("Click on this to change the state");
        m_chk5.SetIcon(IDI_ON, IDI_OFF);
  7. If you want to change the look of the check boxes later, you can call any of these methods from your code at run time.

How the code works

We start by deriving the CCheckSk class from the CButton MFC.

class CCheckSK : public CButton

To make the control owner drawn, the BS_OWNERDRAW style needs to be added to the window style. For this subclassing is used. To do this the PreSubclassWindow method is overridden as follows.

void CCheckSK::PreSubclassWindow() 
    UINT nBS = GetButtonStyle();
    //  the button should not be owner draw

    //  This class supports only check boxes
    // Switch to owner-draw
    m_nStyle = GetWindowLong(GetSafeHwnd(), GWL_STYLE);


Once the owner-draw style has been set, the framework will call the DrawItem method each time it requires the control to be redrawn. So this method has to be implemented and all code to draw the LED or display the icon has to be added to it. The implementation of this method is a bit long and the following snippet just gives the flow

    //  this class works only for push buttons
    ASSERT (lpDIS->CtlType == ODT_BUTTON);
    //  get the device context pointer to draw into
    CDC* pDC = CDC::FromHandle(lpDIS->hDC);

    //  get button state, selected? has focus? disabled?
    //  draw bounding rectangle with color based on whether
    //  the mouse is over the check box

    //  if check box has focus then draw the focus rectangle
    //  calculate LED's and text's rectangle
    //  If icon is given then draw the icon 
    //  otherwise draw the LED using GDI functions
    //  Calculate the rectangle for the text based on the
    //  horizontal alignment style of the check box
    //  if the button is disabled then draw etched text or draw plain text

    //  Release all resources


The following methods are present in CDialogSK class:

  1. DWORD SetIcon(int nIconOn, int nIconOff);

    Sets the icon based on resource ID

  2. DWORD SetIcon(HICON hIconOn, HICON hIconOff);

    Sets the icon based on handle to a icon

  3. DWORD SetIcon(LPCTSTR lpszFileNameIn, LPCTSTR lpszFileNameOut);

    Sets the icon based on the name of an icon file

  4. BOOL SetLedColor(COLORREF colLedOn, COLORREF colLedOff);

    If any icons are not used then this method is used to set the color of the on/off LED

  5. BOOL SetLedSize (int nSize);

    The size of the LED is changed with this method.

  6. void SetToolTip (LPCTSTR lpszText);

    The tool tip for the check box can be changed using this method


  • This is the initial version.


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.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Web Developer
United States United States
I just love coding. I started programming in 1995 with BASIC and then moved through Cobol, Pascal, Prolog, C, C++, VB, VC++ and now C#/.NET.

I received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from University of Calcutta in 2001.

I worked for some time in Texas Instruments, Adobe Systems and now in Microsoft India Development Center in the Visual Studio Team Systems.

I am from the City of Joy, Kolkata in India, but now live and code Hyderabad.

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralThank You, Nice Work! Pin
J Eakin28-Mar-14 14:59
memberJ Eakin28-Mar-14 14:59 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
Member 1869130-Jun-09 0:18
memberMember 1869130-Jun-09 0:18 
GeneralICON usage Pin
paulooch195822-Dec-05 15:33
memberpaulooch195822-Dec-05 15:33 
GeneralRe: ICON usage Pin
abhinaba23-Dec-05 7:26
memberabhinaba23-Dec-05 7:26 
This class right now supports ICONS and not bitmaps. ICONS support transparent color which is shown in the VC IDE as Teal (some what like Olive-green).

In case you need to use the class AS IS you'll need to convert your bitmaps to ICONS or else you need to extend the class for bitmaps as well.

Hope this helps....

AB => Code and let code
Go to my home
GeneralSmall Bug Pin
CodeHead6-Sep-05 5:15
memberCodeHead6-Sep-05 5:15 
GeneralRe: Small Bug Pin
edwardking6-Mar-08 4:59
memberedwardking6-Mar-08 4:59 
Questionhow to use of functional keys Pin
iipc9-Jul-04 20:33
memberiipc9-Jul-04 20:33 
GeneralCapturing/Saving the selected dialog Pin
aparajita11-Jun-04 15:47
memberaparajita11-Jun-04 15:47 
GeneralRe: Capturing/Saving the selected dialog Pin
abhinaba13-Jun-04 23:25
memberabhinaba13-Jun-04 23:25 
Generalbugs in the code Pin
abhinaba14-Jan-04 18:53
memberabhinaba14-Jan-04 18:53 
GeneralGreat Work Pin
ministerofwar13-Oct-03 11:06
memberministerofwar13-Oct-03 11:06 
GeneralRe: Great Work Pin
abhinaba13-Oct-03 20:04
memberabhinaba13-Oct-03 20:04 
GeneralVery Nice Pin
Deniz_at_Work18-Sep-03 17:30
memberDeniz_at_Work18-Sep-03 17:30 

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