In this tutorial we are going to create a simple dialog based application. We
will use Button, Edit Box, Combo Box, List Box and Static text controls to
develop our project. We will be going through the process of adding these
controls into their dialog box, using the ClassWizard to link these controls to
variables, and handle messages sent by the controls.
I am going to assume you have good knowledge in C++ and you are an absolute
beginner to Visual C++. The first thing you need to do is load up your Visual
C++ 6 software and create a new project.
Creating a new Project
To create a new project, start by clicking on File in the menu of the
Visual C++ 6 window then on New.
The view should look like the image below.
Write Dialog1 in the project name and choose an MFC AppWizard
(exe) from the list of the available Wizards, then click OK. The MFC
Application Wizard will start.
- In Step 1 of the Wizard, click on Dialog based option, then click Next.
- In Steps 2 and 3 accept the default settings, just click Next to do this.
- In Step 4 click Finish, then you will get the project information. Click OK.
Now the Wizard has created for you a simple empty Dialog Based application.
You will need to make few changes and write the necessary code for your
application to customise it to your specifications.
Designing the Dialog
Click on the text
TODO : Place dialog controls here,
then press Delete. This will remove the unwanted text label.
Click on bottom right edge of the dialog box. A rectangle appears around the
edges of the box itself. Resize the dialog box using the sizing points as shown
Click on the sizing point on the bottom-right corner, keeping the mouse
button pressed. Move the mouse, keeping the button pressed. An outline of the
new dialog box size is shown as the mouse is moved. Release the mouse button
when the dialog box size is 230 x 126.
Click on the Cancel button and press Delete to remove the
Cancel button, then right click the mouse on the OK button and a context
menu will appear as shown below.
Select Properties from the context menu.
The Push Button Properties dialog box appears. Select the
General tab; then in Caption box replace the word OK
with Close as shown below.
On the controls toolbar, select the static text control. Click the dialog box
near the upper left corner. A static text control appears on the dialog box,
with the default text Static.
Static text controls can be used to display some information (we going to use
few of them as labels). You need three static text controls. Therefore, you need
to repeat the process of dropping static text control on to the dialog box make
sure to drop each control next to each other.
On the controls toolbar, select the edit control and as you did before with
text control. Drop two edit controls. Select Combo Box from the controls toolbar
and drop it into the dialog box. Then select List Box control and drop it to the
dialog box. Select button control from the controls toolbar and drop it into the
Change the Caption of the new button to Add and
its ID to IDC_ADD, then arrange the controls on the dialog
box as show below. Right click static text control and change its properties
change Caption to Title as shown below.
Change the Caption for each static text control as shown below.
Change the ID in Edit Properties for first Edit Box control to
IDC_FIRSTNAME and the second edit control to IDC_LASTNAME.
Change the ID in List Box Properties to IDC_NAMELIST and
the ID Combo Box Properties to IDC_TITLE.
Click on Data in Combo Box Properties and populate the Data as shown
below. After each entry is added in the list remember to press Ctrl +
Enter to go to a new line.
On the Styles tab, change the Combo Box's Type to Drop List.
Position your mouse over the Combo Box dropdown button then left-click. Another
rectangle will appear (see below) that allows you to specify the size of the
open Combo Box's List.
Assigning Member variables to Controls
Press Ctrl + W to start ClassWizard, or from the
View menu select ClassWizard. The MFC ClassWizard
dialog box appears as shown below. Select the Member Variables tab, then
select the dialog class in the Class name : combo box; use
CDialog1Dlg. Select IDC_FIRSTNAME, click Add
Variable button. The dialog box appears (see below). Select Value
from Category and select
CString from Member variable
Type m_strFirstName for Member variable name.
Repeat the same process to add
CString member variable
m_strLastName for IDC_LASTNAME, and m_strTitle for
For IDC_NAMELIST add a Member variable of Category Control and
Variable Type CListBox as shown below. Select the ClassView tab
from the project workspace pane. The class list will appear as shown below.
Right click CDialog1Dlg class and select add member variable. The Add
Member Variable dialog box will appear. Type CString in the variable
and m_strFullName in Variable Name.
Adding message handlers for the controls
Press Ctrl + W to start the ClassWizard, or right click the
Add button and select ClassWizard from the context menu.
Open ClassWizard, select Message Maps tab. In Class
CDialog1Dlg, on Object IDs
select IDC_ADD , then choose BN_CLICKED from the Messages
list as shown below.
Click on Add Function. Click OK, then click Edit
Code. The ClassWizard will write a new empty function called
Add() with the proper prototype in the class header.
Add the code in bold - just below
//TODO: Add your control notification handler code here:
CString strTitle ;
nIndex = GetDlgItemText(IDC_TITLE, strTitle);
m_strFullName = strTitle + " " + m_strFirstName + " " + m_strLastName;
Building and running the program.
Click on the Title Combo Box and choose a Title. Write your first name in
first name edit box and last name in last name edit box then click Add.
If everything goes as planned, then you will get your full name and correct
title in the list box as shown below.
This program could be part of a large database project, but for now we going
to leave at that. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. In my next tutorial I am
going to use some of these controls to develop a simple, but very useful
project: a multi-internet search engine and much more.