How to Create Status Bars

You can create a status bar by using the CreateStatusWindow function or by using the CreateWindowEx function and specifying the STATUSCLASSNAME window class.

After you create the status bar, you can divide it into parts, set the text for each part, and control the appearance of the window by using status bar messages.


To ensure that the common control DLL is loaded, use the InitCommonControls function first.


What you need to know



  • C/C++
  • Windows User Interface Programming


Create a Status Bar

The following example demonstrates how to create a status bar that has a sizing grip and divide the window into four equal parts based on the width of the parent window's client area.

// Description: 
//   Creates a status bar and divides it into the specified number of parts.
// Parameters:
//   hwndParent - parent window for the status bar.
//   idStatus - child window identifier of the status bar.
//   hinst - handle to the application instance.
//   cParts - number of parts into which to divide the status bar.
// Returns:
//   The handle to the status bar.
HWND DoCreateStatusBar(HWND hwndParent, int idStatus, HINSTANCE
                      hinst, int cParts)
    HWND hwndStatus;
    RECT rcClient;
    HLOCAL hloc;
    PINT paParts;
    int i, nWidth;

    // Ensure that the common control DLL is loaded.

    // Create the status bar.
    hwndStatus = CreateWindowEx(
        0,                       // no extended styles
        STATUSCLASSNAME,         // name of status bar class
        (PCTSTR) NULL,           // no text when first created
        SBARS_SIZEGRIP |         // includes a sizing grip
        WS_CHILD | WS_VISIBLE,   // creates a visible child window
        0, 0, 0, 0,              // ignores size and position
        hwndParent,              // handle to parent window
        (HMENU) idStatus,       // child window identifier
        hinst,                   // handle to application instance
        NULL);                   // no window creation data

    // Get the coordinates of the parent window's client area.
    GetClientRect(hwndParent, &rcClient);

    // Allocate an array for holding the right edge coordinates.
    hloc = LocalAlloc(LHND, sizeof(int) * cParts);
    paParts = (PINT) LocalLock(hloc);

    // Calculate the right edge coordinate for each part, and
    // copy the coordinates to the array.
    nWidth = rcClient.right / cParts;
    int rightEdge = nWidth;
    for (i = 0; i < cParts; i++) { 
       paParts[i] = rightEdge;
       rightEdge += nWidth;

    // Tell the status bar to create the window parts.
    SendMessage(hwndStatus, SB_SETPARTS, (WPARAM) cParts, (LPARAM)

    // Free the array, and return.
    return hwndStatus;

Using Status Bars

Windows common controls demo (CppWindowsCommonControls)