Declares an event.


__event method-declarator;
__event __interface interface-specifier;
__event member-declarator;


The keyword __event can be applied to a method declaration, an interface declaration, or a data member declaration. However, you cannot use the __event keyword to qualify a member of a nested class.

Depending on whether your event source and receiver are native C++, COM, or managed (.NET Framework), you can use the following constructs as events:

Native C++ COM Managed (.NET Framework)
Method method
data member

Use __hook in an event receiver to associate a handler method with an event method. Note that after you create an event with the __event keyword, all event handlers subsequently hooked to that event will be called when the event is called.

An __event method declaration cannot have a definition; a definition is implicitly generated, so the event method can be called as if it were any ordinary method.


A templated class or struct cannot contain events.

Native Events

Native events are methods. The return type is typically HRESULT or void, but can be any integral type, including an enum. When an event uses an integral return type, an error condition is defined when an event handler returns a nonzero value, in which case the event being raised will call the other delegates.

// Examples of native C++ events:
__event void OnDblClick();
__event HRESULT OnClick(int* b, char* s);

See Event Handling in Native C++ for sample code.

COM Events

COM events are interfaces. The parameters of a method in an event source interface should be in parameters (but this is not rigorously enforced), because an out parameter is not useful when multicasting. A level 1 warning will be issued if you use an out parameter.

The return type is typically HRESULT or void, but can be any integral type, including enum. When an event uses an integral return type and an event handler returns a nonzero value, it is an error condition, in which case the event being raised aborts calls to the other delegates. Note that the compiler will automatically mark an event source interface as a source in the generated IDL.

The __interface keyword is always required after __event for a COM event source.

// Example of a COM event:
__event __interface IEvent1;

See Event Handling in COM for sample code.

Managed Events

For information on coding events in the new syntax, see event.

Managed events are data members or methods. When used with an event, the return type of a delegate must be compliant with the Common Language Specification. The return type of the event handler must match the return type of the delegate. For more information on delegates, see Delegates and Events. If a managed event is a data member, its type must be a pointer to a delegate.

In the .NET Framework, you can treat a data member as if it were a method itself (that is, the Invoke method of its corresponding delegate). You must predefine the delegate type for declaring a managed event data member. In contrast, a managed event method implicitly defines the corresponding managed delegate if it is not already defined. For example, you can declare an event value such as OnClick as an event as follows:

// Examples of managed events:
__event ClickEventHandler* OnClick;  // data member as event
__event void OnClick(String* s);  // method as event

When implicitly declaring a managed event, you can specify add and remove accessors that will be called when event handlers are added or removed. You can also define the method that calls (raises) the event from outside the class.

Example: Native Events

// EventHandling_Native_Event.cpp
// compile with: /c
class CSource {
   __event void MyEvent(int nValue);

Example: COM Events

// EventHandling_COM_Event.cpp
// compile with: /c
#include <atlbase.h>
#include <atlcom.h>

[ module(dll, name="EventSource", uuid="6E46B59E-89C3-4c15-A6D8-B8A1CEC98830") ];

[ dual, uuid("00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000002") ]
__interface IEventSource {
   [id(1)] HRESULT MyEvent();
[ coclass, uuid("00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000003"),  event_source(com) ]
class CSource : public IEventSource {
   __event __interface IEventSource;
   HRESULT FireEvent() {
      __raise MyEvent();
      return S_OK;

See also

Event Handling