Working with Window Controls

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Windows Mobile Not SupportedWindows Embedded CE Supported


A window control is a predefined child window that enables a user to make selections, carry out commands, and perform I/O tasks. You can place a window control within a dialog box or in the client area of a normal window. Controls that are placed within dialog boxes provide a user with the means to type text, select options, and direct a dialog box to complete its action. Controls that are placed in normal windows provide a variety of services, such as the ability to choose commands, scroll, and view and edit text.

Although you can create your own window controls, Windows Embedded CE has several predefined window classes that you can use to add a standard window control to your application. The following table shows predefined window classes that are supported by Windows Embedded CE.

Window class Description


Creates a button control, which notifies the parent window when a user selects the button.


Creates a combo box — a combination of a list box and an edit control — that enables a user to select and edit items.


Creates an edit control, which lets a user view and edit text.


Creates a list box, which displays a list from which a user can select one or more items.


Creates a scroll bar control, which enables a user to scroll horizontally and vertically within a window.


Creates a static control, which often acts as a label for another control; static controls can display both text and images, such as icons.

Because window controls are child windows, you can create a window control by calling the CreateWindowEx function. This creates a single control in a normal window. To create a control in a dialog box, use the template for a dialog box that is contained in your application resource file. By using a resource file, you can create multiple controls at the same time. For more information about resources and resource files, see Using Resources.

Most compilers are bundled with automated tools, known as resource editors, to create resources. Using a resource editor is probably the most accurate and efficient way to add a control to a dialog box. However, because resource editors vary, providing instruction in the use of a resource editor is beyond the scope of this text.

To use a window control, you must include either the Windows.h or the Winuser.h header file in your application. The Windows.h file includes the Winuser.h file.

To create a window control in a normal window

  1. Define an identifier for the control in the application header file.

    A control identifier is a value that uniquely identifies the control that sends a message. In Windows Embedded CE, control identifiers are valid only for child windows.

  2. Call the CreateWindowEx function and specify the following parameters.

    Parameter Description Use

    DWORD dwExStyle

    Extended window style

    Specifies an extended window style.

    LPCTSTR lpClassName

    Class name

    Specifies a predefined window class. For example, to create a push button, specify BUTTON.

    LPCTSTR lpWindowName

    Window text

    Specifies the text that you want to appear on the control.

    DWORD dwStyle

    Window style

    Specifies a control style. Each predefined window class has a corresponding set of control styles that enables an application to vary the appearance and behavior of the controls that the application creates. For example, the BUTTON window class supports styles for creating a push button, radio button, check box, or group box.

    int x


    Specifies the x-coordinate of the upper-left corner of the control, relative to the upper-left corner of the client area of the parent window.

    int y


    Specifies the y-coordinate of the upper-left corner of the control, relative to the upper-left corner of the client area of the parent window.

    int nWidth


    Specifies the control width.

    int nHeight


    Specifies the control height.

    HWND hWndParent

    Parent window

    Specifies the handle to the parent window.

    HMENU hMenu

    Identifier of the child window

    Specifies the control identifier.

    HINSTANCE hInstance

    Instance handle

    Specifies the application or module to be associated with the window.

    LPVOID lpParam

    Extra parameters

    Specifies NULL when you create a control.

After you call CreateWindowEx, Windows Embedded CE handles all repainting tasks. It also destroys all controls upon termination of the application. The following code example shows how to add a control to a normal window by using CreateWindowEx.



// Initialize the INITCOMMONCONTROLSEX structure.
iccex.dwSize = sizeof (INITCOMMONCONTROLSEX);

// Register tree-view control classes from the common control 
// DLL.
InitCommonControlsEx (&iccex);

// Create the tree-view control.
g_hwndTreeView = CreateWindowEx (
    WC_TREEVIEW,          // Class name
    TEXT ("Tree View"),   // Window name
    dwStyle,              // Window style
    0,                    // x-coordinate of the upper-left corner
    0,                    // y-coordinate of the upper-left corner
    CW_USEDEFAULT,        // The width of the tree-view control window
    CW_USEDEFAULT,        // The height of the tree-view control window
    hwnd,                 // Window handle to the parent window
    (HMENU) IDC_TREEVIEW, // The tree-view control identifier
    g_hInst,              // The instance handle
    NULL);                // Specify NULL for this parameter when you 
                          // create a control.

To create a control in a dialog box

  1. Define an identifier for each control in a header file.

  2. Define a dialog box in the application resource file by using the DIALOG statement. The statement defines the position and dimensions of the dialog box on the screen, as well as the dialog box style, and has the following parameters.

    Parameter Description Use


    Dialog box name

    Specifies a unique identifier for the dialog box.



    Specifies the x-coordinate of the upper-left corner of the dialog box.



    Specifies the y-coordinate of the upper-left corner of the dialog box.


    Dialog box width

    Specifies the width of the dialog box.


    Dialog box height

    Specifies the height of the dialog box.


    Dialog box options

    Specifies one or more features of the dialog box. For example, use the CAPTION statement to add a title to the dialog box or the DISCARDABLE statement to remove the dialog box from memory when the dialog box is not in use. For a listing of option statements, see the DIALOG statement in the Windows Embedded CE API Reference.


    Controls that are associated with the dialog box

    Specifies one or more controls by using the appropriate CONTROL statement.

  3. Call either the DialogBox function or the CreateDialog function and specify the identifier or name of the dialog box template and the address of the dialog box procedure.

    DialogBox creates a modal dialog box and CreateDialog creates a modeless dialog box. For more information about creating dialog boxes, see Working with Windows and Messages.

The following code example shows how to create a push button and a static control in a dialog box.

#include <windows.h>

#define IDD_ABOUT               103
#define IDC_STATIC              -1

CAPTION "About CePad"
FONT 8, "MS Sans Serif"
  DEFPUSHBUTTON   "OK",IDOK,39,34,50,14
  CTEXT           "Windows Embedded CE",IDC_STATIC,7,7,118,8
  CTEXT           "CePad Sample Application",IDC_STATIC,7,19,118,8

See Also

Other Resources

GWES Application Development