FindTextA function

Creates a system-defined modeless Find dialog box that lets the user specify a string to search for and options to use when searching for text in a document.


HWND FindTextA(




A pointer to a FINDREPLACE structure that contains information used to initialize the dialog box. The dialog box uses this structure to send information about the user's input to your application. For more information, see the following Remarks section.

Return value

Type: HWND

If the function succeeds, the return value is the window handle to the dialog box. You can use the window handle to communicate with or to close the dialog box.

If the function fails, the return value is NULL. To get extended error information, call the CommDlgExtendedError function. CommDlgExtendedError may return one of the following error codes:


The FindText function does not perform a search operation. Instead, the dialog box sends FINDMSGSTRING registered messages to the window procedure of the owner window of the dialog box. When you create the dialog box, the hwndOwner member of the FINDREPLACE structure is a handle to the owner window.

Before calling FindText, you must call the RegisterWindowMessage function to get the identifier for the FINDMSGSTRING message. The dialog box procedure uses this identifier to send messages when the user clicks the Find Next button, or when the dialog box is closing. The lParam parameter of the FINDMSGSTRING message contains a pointer to a FINDREPLACE structure. The Flags member of this structure indicates the event that caused the message. Other members of the structure indicate the user's input.

If you create a Find dialog box, you must also use the IsDialogMessage function in the main message loop of your application to ensure that the dialog box correctly processes keyboard input, such as the TAB and ESC keys. IsDialogMessage returns a value that indicates whether the Find dialog box processed the message.

You can provide an FRHookProc hook procedure for a Find dialog box. The hook procedure can process messages sent to the dialog box. To enable a hook procedure, set the FR_ENABLEHOOK flag in the Flags member of the FINDREPLACE structure and specify the address of the hook procedure in the lpfnHook member.


For an example, see Finding Text.


Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header commdlg.h (include Windows.h)
Library Comdlg32.lib
DLL Comdlg32.dll

See also


Common Dialog Box Library