Tooltip for individual cells

Tooltips are very useful when column widths are limited
due to limited screen size. They could also be used to expand the text
of abreviated columns. For this task, we will use the tooltip support provided
by MFC. The code below displays the text of the cell in a tooltip, but
it can be easily modified to display something other that whats already
displayed in the cell.

Adding tooltips for individual cells is quite easy. However, the documentation
was not very helpful and there are few details that you should be aware
of. The list view control on Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 have two very
significant differences. First, the list view control ( and the tooltip
control ) is an ANSI control on Windows 95. What this means is that on
Windows 95, the control notifications and messages are the ANSI versions.
Do not rely on the project setting to automatically translate the plain,
undecorated form of a message constant (e.i. without the A or W suffix)
to the correct message value. For example, if you were developing a UNICODE
application, then TTN_NEEDTEXT would translate to TTN_NEEDTEXTW, but on
Windows 95 the actual message would be TTN_NEEDTEXTA. This also applies
to structures and strings. On Window 95, all strings passed to a control
should be ANSI strings. On NT 4.0, the controls are UNICODE controls.

Second, on NT 4.0, the list view control automatically creates a tooltip
control. This built in tooltip control automatically sends the TTN_NEEDTEXTW
notification whenever the mouse is over the list view control and does
not move for a certian duration. The code below ignores notification from
this built in tooltip control.


Override PreSubclassWindow() and after calling the base class version
call EnableToolTips(TRUE). EnableToolTips() is a member function of the
CWnd class and thus available to all windows and controls.

void CMyListCtrl::PreSubclassWindow() 

	// Add initialization code

Override the OnToolHitTest() function. OnToolHitTest() is a virtual function
defined in CWnd class and is called by the framework to determine whether
a point is over any of the tools. A tool can be a control window or even
a rectangular area within a window. For our purpose, we would want the
area of each cell to be treated as a tool.

The documentation of the OnToolHitTest() implies that you should return
1 if a tool is found and -1 if no tool was found. The truth, however, is
that, the framework uses the return value to determine if the tool has
changed. The framework updates the tooltip only when the tool changes,
therefore, OnToolHitTest() should return a different value whenever the
cell at the given point changes.

int CMyListCtrl::OnToolHitTest(CPoint point, TOOLINFO * pTI) const
	int row, col;
	RECT cellrect;
	row = CellRectFromPoint(point, &cellrect, &col );

	if ( row == -1 ) 
		return -1;

	pTI->hwnd = m_hWnd;
	pTI->uId = (UINT)((row<<10)+(col&0x3ff)+1);

	pTI->rect = cellrect;

	return pTI->uId;

The function first calls the CellRectFromPoint() function to determine
the row, column and the bounding rectangle of the cell. We cover the CellRectFromPoint()
below. The function then sets up the TOOLINFO structure. The uId is assigned
a value by combining the row and col values. Our method of combining the
row and column values will allow upto 4194303 rows and 1023 columns. Also,
note that a 1 is added to the result. The reason for this is to make this
a non zero value. We need a non zero id so that we can distinguish it from
the notification sent from the automatically created tooltip on NT 4.0.
As mentioned earlier, on NT 4.0, the list view control automatically creates
a tooltip, and the id used by this tooltip is 0.

We next define the CellRectFromPoint() function that is used by OnToolHitTest().
This function is very similar to the HitTextEx() function covered in an
earlier topic. In addition to determining the row and column over which
a point falls, this function also determines the bounding rectangle of
the cell thats under the point.

// CellRectFromPoint	- Determine the row, col and bounding rect of a cell
// Returns		- row index on success, -1 otherwise
// point		- point to be tested.
// cellrect		- to hold the bounding rect
// col			- to hold the column index
int CMyListCtrl::CellRectFromPoint(CPoint & point, RECT * cellrect, int * col) const
	int colnum;

	// Make sure that the ListView is in LVS_REPORT
	if( (GetWindowLong(m_hWnd, GWL_STYLE) & LVS_TYPEMASK) != LVS_REPORT )
		return -1;

	// Get the top and bottom row visible
	int row = GetTopIndex();
	int bottom = row + GetCountPerPage();
	if( bottom > GetItemCount() )
		bottom = GetItemCount();

	// Get the number of columns
	CHeaderCtrl* pHeader = (CHeaderCtrl*)GetDlgItem(0);
	int nColumnCount = pHeader->GetItemCount();

	// Loop through the visible rows
	for( ;row <=bottom;row++)
		// Get bounding rect of item and check whether point falls in it.
		CRect rect;
		GetItemRect( row, &rect, LVIR_BOUNDS );
		if( rect.PtInRect(point) )
			// Now find the column
			for( colnum = 0; colnum < nColumnCount; colnum++ )
				int colwidth = GetColumnWidth(colnum);
				if( point.x >= rect.left 
					&& point.x <= (rect.left + colwidth ) )
					RECT rectClient;
					GetClientRect( &rectClient );
					if( col ) *col = colnum;
					rect.right = rect.left + colwidth;

					// Make sure that the right extent does not exceed
					// the client area
					if( rect.right > rectClient.right ) 
						rect.right = rectClient.right;
					*cellrect = rect;
					return row;
				rect.left += colwidth;
	return -1;

Define OnToolTipText(). This is the handler for the TTN_NEEDTEXT notification
from the tooltip. Actually, OnToolTipText() handles both the TTN_NEEDTEXTA
and TTN_NEEDTEXTW notifications and uses ANSI strings for the former notification
and UNICODE strings for the latter irrespective of whether the application
itself is ANSI or UNICODE.

BOOL CMyListCtrl::OnToolTipText( UINT id, NMHDR * pNMHDR, LRESULT * pResult )
	// need to handle both ANSI and UNICODE versions of the message
	CString strTipText;
	UINT nID = pNMHDR->idFrom;

	if( nID == 0 )	  	// Notification in NT from automatically
		return FALSE;   	// created tooltip

	int row = ((nID-1) >> 10) & 0x3fffff ;
	int col = (nID-1) & 0x3ff;
	strTipText = GetItemText( row, col );

#ifndef _UNICODE
	if (pNMHDR->code == TTN_NEEDTEXTA)
		lstrcpyn(pTTTA->szText, strTipText, 80);
		_mbstowcsz(pTTTW->szText, strTipText, 80);
	if (pNMHDR->code == TTN_NEEDTEXTA)
		_wcstombsz(pTTTA->szText, strTipText, 80);
		lstrcpyn(pTTTW->szText, strTipText, 80);
	*pResult = 0;

	return TRUE;    // message was handled

The function first checks whether the notification is from the built in
tooltip (on NT only) and returns immediately if it is. The function then
decodes the row and column information from the id and then sets up the
TOOLTIPTEXT structure with the text in the cell.


Hook up OnToolTipText() in the message map. Its a good idea to use the
ON_NOTIFY_EX and ON_NOTIFY_EX_RANGE macros, since this allows the notification
to be propogated for further message processing if needed.

	// other entries

Note that we are not using a simple ON_NOTIFY macro. Infact if you were
using a message map entry such as


you would have some major problems. First, the TTN_NEEDTEXT define would
translate to TTN_NEEDTEXTA on an ANSI build and this notification is never
received on NT 4. Second, we are indicating that we are only interested
in the id 0, which is not usually the case.



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