A DevStudio like CControlBar(2)

Note: the following is a copy of the original article I wrote for Codeguru, with all amandments since added. Thank you all for your interest

After spending much time looking for an authentic-looking DevStudio™-alike docking dialog bar, I found very few possible contenders. The best of which is Alger Pike's "DevStudio-like CControlBar", which, unfortunately, fell short at providing support for dynamically resizing the dialog and real authentic DevStudio looks.

So, for my inspiration, I turned to the simpler resizing ControlBar which has raised much attention on codeguru (judging from the amount of articles here relating to it). The task at hand was to add resizing dialog support and draw authentic gripper controls. This was acutally quite easy. The real nasty part was doing the calculations for the size of the client area (this still isn't as clean as I would like - read the code and see). Eventually, I ended up with a simple, yet functional DevStudio-alike dialog bar that actually took a minimal amount of work - how great!

A great piece of functionality introduced with the CoolDialogBar is that it takes CDialog classes in its Create functions. That is, if you already have a killer dialog that you wish to port to a docking dialog bar, it requires only minimal code, as it does not have to be changed to adapt to MFC's CDialogBar class. Also, this means you can still have DDX support in your dialog bars.

The create function for the CCoolDialogBar is defined as follows:

BOOL CCoolDialogBar::Create(CWnd* pParentWnd, CDialog *pDialog, 
                            CString &pTitle, UINT nID, DWORD dwStyle)

The function takes a pointer to the parent window, a pointer to the dialog class (if you do not require a custom dialog class, simply pass it a new CDialog item), the title of the dialog bar (it will be shown when floating), the ID of the dialog bar, and the dialog bar style (the CBRS_ flags, etc..).

Other than the create function, the rest of the class acts as a normal CDialogBar.

NOTE: The one problem that re-surfaced in almost every response was that you were unable to see your dialog controls within the bar. This problem can be avoided by creating a Dialog resource with the "Visible" attribute set (unlike the standard CDialogBar).

Making the Floating Dialog Resizeable (Added by Rob Wolpov - thankyou!)

To make a floating dialog resizeable, add a SetBarStyle() function call in the OnCreate() function, and specify the CBRS_SIZE_DYNAMIC option.

int CMainFrame::OnCreate(LPCREATESTRUCT lpCreateStruct)
{
    ...

    CString title("CoolBar Demo");
    if (!m_wndDialogBar.Create(this, &m_cDialog,title, IDD_DIALOG1))
    {
        TRACE0("Failed to create dialogbar\n");
        return -1;      // fail to create
    }

>   m_wndDialogBar.SetBarStyle(m_wndDialogBar.GetBarStyle() |
>                              CBRS_TOOLTIPS | CBRS_FLYBY | CBRS_SIZE_DYNAMIC);
    ...
}

Note also that the 'title' CString variable was used instead of putting the CString constructor in the Create() call. This was done to suppress a compiler warning.

Download source - 6KB

Download demo project - 25KB

Download demo executable - 11KB

Date Posted: 8 Jul 98
Last updated: 1 Feb 98



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