GetDialogBaseUnits function (winuser.h)

Retrieves the system's dialog base units, which are the average width and height of characters in the system font. For dialog boxes that use the system font, you can use these values to convert between dialog template units, as specified in dialog box templates, and pixels. For dialog boxes that do not use the system font, the conversion from dialog template units to pixels depends on the font used by the dialog box.

For either type of dialog box, it is easier to use the MapDialogRect function to perform the conversion. MapDialogRect takes the font into account and correctly converts a rectangle from dialog template units into pixels.


long GetDialogBaseUnits();

Return value

Type: LONG

The function returns the dialog base units. The low-order word of the return value contains the horizontal dialog box base unit, and the high-order word contains the vertical dialog box base unit.


The horizontal base unit returned by GetDialogBaseUnits is equal to the average width, in pixels, of the characters in the system font; the vertical base unit is equal to the height, in pixels, of the font.

The system font is used only if the dialog box template fails to specify a font. Most dialog box templates specify a font; as a result, this function is not useful for most dialog boxes.

For a dialog box that does not use the system font, the base units are the average width and height, in pixels, of the characters in the dialog's font. You can use the GetTextMetrics and GetTextExtentPoint32 functions to calculate these values for a selected font. However, by using the MapDialogRect function, you can avoid errors that might result if your calculations differ from those performed by the system.

Each horizontal base unit is equal to 4 horizontal dialog template units; each vertical base unit is equal to 8 vertical dialog template units. Therefore, to convert dialog template units to pixels, use the following formulas:

pixelX = MulDiv(templateunitX, baseunitX, 4);
pixelY = MulDiv(templateunitY, baseunitY, 8);

Similarly, to convert from pixels to dialog template units, use the following formulas:

templateunitX = MulDiv(pixelX, 4, baseunitX);
templateunitY = MulDiv(pixelY, 8, baseunitY);


For an example, see "Creating a Combo Box Toolbar" in Using Combo Boxes.


Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header winuser.h (include Windows.h)
Library User32.lib
DLL User32.dll
API set ext-ms-win-ntuser-dialogbox-l1-1-2 (introduced in Windows 10, version 10.0.10240)

See also


Dialog Boxes