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Posted 14 Sep 2003

Easy dialog control resizer

, 22 Sep 2003
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Simple implementation of "anchors" and "docking" features implemented in .NET forms

dialog window before resizing

dialog window after resizing


Yesterday when I wrote a simple Win32 dialog application, I missed one handy feature that is implemented in .NET forms; anchors and docking for controls. I took a look at the CodeProject, but I did not find exactly what I was looking for, so I wrote a simple solution for myself. I put it here with hope that it will be useful for some other programmers. This solution has two advantages. First is that, you can use this simple class in MFC and non-MFC applications too. Second is that you can use add/remove for dynamically created controls during running application.

Using the code

First of all, if you want to use this class in your application, you must include this header file:

#include "anchor.h"
CDlgAnchor dlgAnchor;
CDlgMan dlgMan;     

In WM_INITDIALOG handler routine or OnInitDialog (MFC applications), you must initialize this class:

static BOOL CALLBACK DialogFunc(HWND hwndDlg, UINT msg, 
                                   WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
    switch (msg) {
      case WM_INITDIALOG:
        // load pos/sizes of dialog window and all child windows
        dlgMan.Load(hwndDlg, "Software\\CodeProject\\AnchorExample");

Now you can set anchors and/or docking for the controls you want from the list in the header file. You can use add/remove controls during the life of the dialog window as you will need, e.g. you can use Add function for dynamically created controls.

dlgAnchor.Add(IDC_EDIT1, ANCHOR_ALL);

Lastly you will need to add to the WM_SIZE handler routine, code that will execute the OnSize class routine, and add to the WM_DESTROY handler routine, code that will save window position and size.

case WM_SIZE:

That's all. I hope, you find this class useful.


  • 19 September 2003
    • Added Update and UpdateAll functions that you may use if some other dialog handler (like Splitter) will change size of controls.
    • Added helper class CDlgMan (saving/restoring window position and position of all child windows).
  • 11 September 2003
    • First release.


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

Web Developer
Slovakia Slovakia
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: Does not link. Pin
WREY16-Sep-03 11:06
memberWREY16-Sep-03 11:06 
GeneralRe: Does not link. Pin
uemaker16-Sep-03 12:17
memberuemaker16-Sep-03 12:17 
GeneralRe: Does not link. Pin
WREY17-Sep-03 0:59
memberWREY17-Sep-03 0:59 
GeneralLooks good... Pin
WolfSupernova15-Sep-03 7:14
memberWolfSupernova15-Sep-03 7:14 
GeneralRe: Looks good... Pin
uemaker15-Sep-03 7:21
memberuemaker15-Sep-03 7:21 
GeneralRe: Looks good... Pin
WolfSupernova15-Sep-03 7:30
memberWolfSupernova15-Sep-03 7:30 
GeneralRe: Looks good... Pin
uemaker15-Sep-03 7:48
memberuemaker15-Sep-03 7:48 
GeneralRe: Looks good... Pin
WolfSupernova16-Sep-03 17:40
memberWolfSupernova16-Sep-03 17:40 

I tried to respond to your email but it bounced back. Honestly, I haven't had a chance to continue with this particular endeavor. I spent the better part of the morning trying to figure out the whole makefile thing and only have so much time to kill in a given day. Wink | ;)

It looks like you have some nice code here, pretty lightweight from what I can see, and doesn't require you to give up the "CDialog". I've been using a similar class from CP for some time now (everybody already probably knows which one) but it's not playing very well with the ActiveX Microsoft WebBrowser control that I just added, so I thought I'd check out some other options.

I feel compelled to mention the fact that I've been fan of CP for some time now, having read through many of these articles, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that it would be nice if you hadn't done the whole makefile thing. Just being honest. Smile | :)

Maybe if you just zipped up your demo so people have a good working example of what it's doing, you'll get a better response and not so many issues. I think people have a certain threshold of time that they'll spend on any given class here, and if they don't get it working in that time frame, they'll give up and move on. The easier it is to demonstrate, implement, and incorporate, the better your responses will be. Just a thought.

I do appreciate you getting back to me, and I'm glad that I'm not the only one having trouble! It is obvious that you're sincerely attempting to assist others and that's a good thing. Smile | :)

Thanks again,
GeneralRe: Looks good... Pin
WolfSupernova17-Sep-03 1:50
memberWolfSupernova17-Sep-03 1:50 

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