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Posted 25 Feb 2001

ZSplitter : adding automatic splitting for dialog controls

, 28 May 2001
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A set of classes that provide automatic adding nessasory splitters in your dialogs


The ZSplitterDlg and ZSplitter classes help you to add splitters to your dialog, property sheet or any other window. It splits your controls and makes them movable and resizeable. I think this way is better than "auto size" contol: it adds a "docking" opportunity. Moreover, one more control added that add "auto size" option. Finally, you can integrate the ZSplitterDlg with a resizable dialog (for example CResizableDialog by Paolo Messina).

Note that you shouldn't add anything to your resources and shouldn't describe the relations between controls. Just make the corresponding size and position of your controls and use the functions:

void addControls(int count, bool connectVertical, ...);
void addControl(int id);

Demo project shows using these automatically added controls in CDialog, CPropertyPage, CView and CFormView classes.

Sample Image

Using the class

The simplest way is to use the ZSplitterDlgImpl template. You should change:

  • The parent of your dialog ot view class,
  • the constructor implementation,
  • the second parameter in BEGIN_MESSAGE_MAP macros, and
  • the "on init" function of your window.
// in header
class CTestDlg1 : public ZSplitterDlgImpl<CPropertyPage>

// in source
CTestDlg1::CTestDlg1() : /*...*/ ZSplitterDlgImpl<CPropertyPage>(CTestDlg1::IDD) {}

BEGIN_MESSAGE_MAP(CTestDlg1, ZSplitterDlgImpl<CPropertyPage>)
	//	...

BOOL CTestDlg1::OnInitDialog() 
	// ... and use addControl(s) function here
	// ...

The ZSplitterDlgImpl template has a second parameter (ZSplitter2 by default). ZSplitter2 is the implementation of a spliter control. It has a virtual function OnPaint() - and you can change it's realisation to have different view of your control (see CMyView1 class in demo project).

The ZSplitterDlgImpl template helps you to implement splitter controls but you can use its base ZSplitterDlg class (look for CTestDlg2 class) in demo project.

I remade a little CResizableDialog with the permission of the author and you can use it with my splitters: use the ZSplitterDlgResizable class for this job. (look for CDemoDlg class) in the demo project.

resizable sample

This is a sample of your dialog in resource editor:

in vc++ editor

And user can change it in such way in runtime.

after user manipulations

You should use the addControls or addControl functions to add one control to the "splitter set" or a group of controls: they will move together. This is an example which you seen above


Moreover you can manually add a ZSplitter class (the most common splitter controls) to a page. Look at the images and in the CTestDlg3 class of the demo project for details.

before moving after moving

To Do list

I'd like to make the look (color, size, effects) of the splitter more presentable. So I want to get comments from you. First of all: is this technique useful to you?


Make sure to check out the my web site which is more likely to have updates and betas:


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

Mike Melnikov
Web Developer
Russian Federation Russian Federation
Mike has been programming in C/C++ for 11 years and Visual C++/MFC for 4 years. His background includes pure and applied mathematics, engineering and physics, and he is currently based in Moscow, Russia.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionThe compiler through not ah mistake too much Pin
37240589826-Aug-12 2:11
member37240589826-Aug-12 2:11 

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