CDC Class

Defines a class of device-context objects.

class CDC : public CObject


The CDC object provides member functions for working with a device context, such as a display or printer, as well as members for working with a display context associated with the client area of a window.

Do all drawing through the member functions of a CDC object. The class provides member functions for device-context operations, working with drawing tools, type-safe graphics device interface (GDI) object selection, and working with colors and palettes. It also provides member functions for getting and setting drawing attributes, mapping, working with the viewport, working with the window extent, converting coordinates, working with regions, clipping, drawing lines, and drawing simple shapes, ellipses, and polygons. Member functions are also provided for drawing text, working with fonts, using printer escapes, scrolling, and playing metafiles.

To use a CDC object, construct it, and then call its member functions that parallel Windows functions that use device contexts.


Under Windows 95/98, all screen coordinates are limited to 16 bits. Therefore, an int passed to a CDC member function must lie in the range –32768 to 32767.

For specific uses, the Microsoft Foundation Class Library provides several classes derived from CDC . CPaintDC encapsulates calls to BeginPaint and EndPaint. CClientDC manages a display context associated with a window's client area. CWindowDC manages a display context associated with an entire window, including its frame and controls. CMetaFileDC associates a device context with a metafile.

CDC provides two member functions, GetLayout and SetLayout, for reversing the layout of a device context, which does not inherit its layout from a window. Such right-to-left orientation is necessary for applications written for cultures, such as Arabic or Hebrew, where the character layout is not the European standard.

CDC contains two device contexts, m_hDC and m_hAttribDC, which, on creation of a CDC object, refer to the same device. CDC directs all output GDI calls to m_hDC and most attribute GDI calls to m_hAttribDC. (An example of an attribute call is GetTextColor, while SetTextColor is an output call.)

For example, the framework uses these two device contexts to implement a CMetaFileDC object that will send output to a metafile while reading attributes from a physical device. Print preview is implemented in the framework in a similar fashion. You can also use the two device contexts in a similar way in your application-specific code.

There are times when you may need text-metric information from both the m_hDC and m_hAttribDC device contexts. The following pairs of functions provide this capability:

Uses m_hAttribDC

Uses m_hDC









For more information on CDC, see Device Contexts.


Header: afxwin.h

See Also


CObject Class

Hierarchy Chart

CPaintDC Class

CWindowDC Class

CClientDC Class

CMetaFileDC Class

Other Resources

CDC Members