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Posted 24 Feb 2004

How to prevent resizing of views in a splitter window

, 24 Feb 2004
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Disabling mouse input to a splitter window
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I suspect this may be the most trivial class ever presented on CodeProject.

In an MFC application I'm writing I wanted an explorer style interface with a tree control on the left and a view class on the right. But I wanted to prevent the user being able to grab the divider and resize the views.

The application was created using the AppWizard, selecting MFC, Explorer style and a splitter. The resulting project contains the standard classes one would expect, CMainFrame, a CDocument derivative, a CLeftView derived from CTreeView and another view class for the right hand side of the application.

The two views are managed by an instance of CSplitterWnd embedded in the CMainFrame object. All of this is MFC 101 material.

Given that I wanted to prevent resizing of the views via the splitter it made sense to look at the MSDN documentation for CSplitterWnd. There are a bunch of functions in that class but not one to let you disable mouse operations on the splitter. Hmmm... A quick check on CodeProject under the Splitter Windows[^] topic offered nothing obvious. And then the penny dropped. A CSplitterWnd is a CWnd with some extra functionality.

Since CSplitterWnd is derived from CWnd it's easy to intercept Windows messages. In this case the windows message I was interested in is WM_NCHITTEST which is Windows way of asking a window, is the mouse over something special? In the case of a splitter window, the answer is yes if the mouse is over the splitter. If we change that answer to no the extra logic in CSplitterWnd won't kick in.

The CSplitOverride class

Here's the declaration. It's an extremely simple class containing only a constructor, a message map and a single message map entry. <pre lang=c++> class CSplitOverride : public CSplitterWnd { DECLARE_DYNAMIC(CSplitOverride) public: CSplitOverride() { } protected: DECLARE_MESSAGE_MAP() afx_msg UINT OnNcHitTest(CPoint point); } And here's the implementation. <pre lang=c++> IMPLEMENT_DYNAMIC(CSplitOverride, CSplitterWnd) BEGIN_MESSAGE_MAP(CSplitOverride, CSplitterWnd) ON_WM_NCHITTEST() END_MESSAGE_MAP() // CSplitOverride message handlers afx_msg UINT CSplitOverride::OnNcHitTest(CPoint /*point*/) { return HTNOWHERE; } Hey, I did say it was a trivial class! The override for the WM_NCHITTEST message handler simply returns HTNOWHERE which tells Windows there's nothing special about the location of the mouse pointer.

Using the code

To use the class add the two files in the download to your project and then, in the header for your CMainFrame class change the CSplitterWnd variable type to CSplitOverride. Bingo! Your app will now ignore mouse operations on the splitter window. Don't forget to disable any menu or keyboard access to splitter resizing.


February 25, 2004 - Initial version (and probably the last).


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


About the Author

Rob Manderson
United States United States
I've been programming for 35 years - started in machine language on the National Semiconductor SC/MP chip, moved via the 8080 to the Z80 - graduated through HP Rocky Mountain Basic and HPL - then to C and C++ and now C#.

I used (30 or so years ago when I worked for Hewlett Packard) to repair HP Oscilloscopes and Spectrum Analysers - for a while there I was the one repairing DC to daylight SpecAns in the Asia Pacific area.

Afterward I was the fourth team member added to the Australia Post EPOS project at Unisys Australia. We grew to become an A$400 million project. I wrote a few device drivers for the project under Microsoft OS/2 v 1.3 - did hardware qualification and was part of the rollout team dealing directly with the customer.

Born and bred in Melbourne Australia, now living in Scottsdale Arizona USA, became a US Citizen on September 29th, 2006.

I work for a medical insurance broker, learning how to create ASP.NET websites in VB.Net and C#. It's all good.

Oh, I'm also a Kentucky Colonel.

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Comments and Discussions

Questionwtl CSplitterWindow Pin
Member 1174856831-Jan-17 20:57
memberMember 1174856831-Jan-17 20:57 
GeneralA little enhancement Pin
wct8-Jan-09 16:47
memberwct8-Jan-09 16:47 
GeneralReally useful! Pin
nightbat200731-May-07 0:01
membernightbat200731-May-07 0:01 
GeneralGood stuff Pin
neilsolent31-Jan-07 0:43
memberneilsolent31-Jan-07 0:43 
GeneralExcellent! Pin
Aryana12-Apr-05 21:40
memberAryana12-Apr-05 21:40 
Generalm_wndSplitter.EnableWindow(FALSE); Pin
PunkFloyd30-Dec-04 10:35
memberPunkFloyd30-Dec-04 10:35 
GeneralRe: m_wndSplitter.EnableWindow(FALSE); Pin
darkbrat7-May-05 2:17
memberdarkbrat7-May-05 2:17 
Generalanother thing wrong with MFC Pin
jtorjo15-Jul-04 8:58
memberjtorjo15-Jul-04 8:58 
QuestionHow to resize views in a splitter window Pin
Priyank Bolia13-May-04 1:12
memberPriyank Bolia13-May-04 1:12 
GeneralI always felt there must be an easy solution for this Pin
Qibono6-Mar-04 4:44
memberQibono6-Mar-04 4:44 
GeneralRe: I always felt there must be an easy solution for this Pin
Rob Manderson6-Mar-04 22:59
editorRob Manderson6-Mar-04 22:59 
GeneralExcellent Work!!! Pin
AntMan25-Feb-04 10:57
memberAntMan25-Feb-04 10:57 
GeneralRe: Excellent Work!!! Pin
Jubjub25-Feb-04 17:05
memberJubjub25-Feb-04 17:05 
GeneralAlready implemented Pin
Esko Lakso25-Feb-04 5:21
memberEsko Lakso25-Feb-04 5:21 
Generalfunny... Pin
Jubjub25-Feb-04 1:54
memberJubjub25-Feb-04 1:54 

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