Selecting multiple files in File Open dialog

Many professional MDI applications support selecting more than one file in the File Open dialog. It is easy to add this support to MFC applications.

Opening files (and other document mamangement activities) is implemented in MFC's CDocMananger class (see source file docmgr.cpp). CWinApp contains a member variable m_pDocManager poining to the CDocManager object to use. If you want to modify the standard MFC behaviour, simply provide your own CDocManager-derived object.

For adding the "multi open" support, I derived a class CMultiOpenDocManager from CDocManager and overrode the OnFileOpen function. A new DoPromptFileNames function is a utility function similar to the existing DoPromptFileName function but capable of returning more than one file name.

class CMultiOpenDocManager : public CDocManager
	CMultiOpenDocManager() { }
	virtual void OnFileOpen();
	virtual BOOL DoPromptFileNames(CStringList& fileNames, UINT nIDSTitle, DWORD lFlags, BOOL bOpenFileDialog, CDocTemplate* pTemplate);

Using the feature is as simple as adding the following line in your app's InitInstance function:

	m_pDocManager = new CMultiOpenDocManager;

The implementation of the OnFileOpen function is very similar to the original implementation. I just replaced the call to DoPromptFileName with a call to my new function DoPromptFileNames, added the OFN_ALLOWMULTISELECT flag and introduced a loop around the OpenDocumentFile call:

void CMultiOpenDocManager::OnFileOpen()
	CStringList newNames;
	if (!DoPromptFileNames(newNames, AFX_IDS_OPENFILE,
		return; // open cancelled

	POSITION pos = newNames.GetHeadPosition();
	while (pos)
		CString newName = newNames.GetNext(pos);

Now for the DoPromptFileNames function: It is a nearly perfect copy of the original function. I marked the modifications by a comment. The implementation uses a function AppendFilterSuffix which is defines as a file local (static) function in docmgr.cpp. You will have to copy the function into the file where CMultiOpenDocManager::DoPromptFileNames is implemented.

BOOL CMultiOpenDocManager::DoPromptFileNames(CStringList& fileNames, UINT nIDSTitle, DWORD lFlags, BOOL bOpenFileDialog, CDocTemplate* pTemplate)
	CFileDialog dlgFile(bOpenFileDialog);

	CString title;

	dlgFile.m_ofn.Flags |= lFlags;

	CString strFilter;
	CString strDefault;
	if (pTemplate != NULL)
		AppendFilterSuffix(strFilter, dlgFile.m_ofn, pTemplate, &strDefault);
		// do for all doc template
		POSITION pos = m_templateList.GetHeadPosition();
		BOOL bFirst = TRUE;
		while (pos != NULL)
			CDocTemplate* pTemplate = (CDocTemplate*)m_templateList.GetNext(pos);
			AppendFilterSuffix(strFilter, dlgFile.m_ofn, pTemplate,
				bFirst ? &strDefault : NULL);
			bFirst = FALSE;

	// append the "*.*" all files filter
	CString allFilter;
	strFilter += allFilter;
	strFilter += (TCHAR)'\0';   // next string please
#ifndef _MAC
	strFilter += _T("*.*");
	strFilter += _T("****");
	strFilter += (TCHAR)'\0';   // last string

	dlgFile.m_ofn.lpstrFilter = strFilter;
#ifndef _MAC
	dlgFile.m_ofn.lpstrTitle = title;
	dlgFile.m_ofn.lpstrPrompt = title;
	// --- Begin modifications ---
	// - use a big buffer for the file names 
	// (note that pre-SP2 versions of NT 4.0 will nevertheless
	// truncate the result)
	CString strFileNames;
	dlgFile.m_ofn.lpstrFile = strFileNames.GetBuffer(2048);
	dlgFile.m_ofn.nMaxFile = 2048;

	BOOL bResult = dlgFile.DoModal() == IDOK ? TRUE : FALSE;

	if (!bResult)
		return FALSE; // open cancelled

	// - copy the file names to a string list
	POSITION pos = dlgFile.GetStartPosition();
	while (pos)
	return TRUE;
	// --- End modifications ---


  • Whoops!

    Posted by Legacy on 12/06/2002 12:00am

    Originally posted by: Kirk Munro

    Um, I think you may have made a little mistake in your call to ReleaseBuffer.

    Since you don't specify the length, then CString's size is set to the string length. Since this is a string containing nulls, your CString's string length is set to be shorter than the actual length. Doesn't this mean the memory following the first null is free to use, so your calls to GetNextPathName are not guaranteed to work without having access violations?

  • AppendFilterSuffix & _AfxAppendFilterSuffix

    Posted by Legacy on 11/20/1998 12:00am

    Originally posted by: Lee Lorenz

    Perhaps it is because I am using VC++ 6.0, but I had to include the static function defined in the MFC source
    DOCMGR.CPP "_AfxAppendFilterSuffix" and replace the references.

    Otherwise, it allowed me to neatly replace the standard file open dialog for my project. Thanks!

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