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How can i create a user drawn window, like Sonique?

Posted on 2001-06-09
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
There are many softwares with great looking skins, among which are: Sonique, WinAmp, ZoneAlarm, etc.
I wish to create my own skinned window/software.
NOTE: I do not wish to overwrite the default window, but rather create a new one from scratch, and with any shape i choose.

Thank you, Bitwize.
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Question by:Bitwize
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Expert Comment

by:djbusychild
ID: 6175835

you could try looking into Mozilla's use of XUL

http://www.mozilla.org/xpfe/aom/AOM.html#xul_intro

too bad you're not on GNOME or KDE.. ^^;
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Expert Comment

by:rgoerdes
ID: 6176291
you can create a window you like. you just have to create a window with correct styles and properties. without title, borders, min-max buttons ... perhaps transparent. and you have to do the right things answering to the messages WM_PAINT, NC-messages and so on. f.e. showing a bitmap. just create a basic windows application and play a little bit with the styles of the main-window and the WM_PAINT - message. you will see what i mean. i don't know if it's possible using delphi or cbuilder, but it's easy using legacy windows programming.
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Author Comment

by:Bitwize
ID: 6187774
I have already played quite a lot with the CreateWindow function and its styles... perhaps something is eluding me... would you be so kind to display the necessary code?
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Expert Comment

by:rgoerdes
ID: 6195895
Well, i try to copy parts of a project, maybe i deleted to much. in this project i created a bitmap-resource, which is to be used as backgroud-image of the window.
At first the main. look at --->>>. the bitmap is loaded there.

int WINAPI WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance, HINSTANCE hPrevInstance, LPSTR szCmdLine, int iCmdShow) {
    MSG msg;
    WNDCLASSEX wc;
    HINST = hInstance;

    wc.style=CS_HREDRAW|CS_VREDRAW;
    wc.lpfnWndProc=(WNDPROC)WndProc;
    wc.cbClsExtra=0;
    wc.cbWndExtra=0;
    wc.hInstance = hInstance;
    wc.hIcon = NULL;
    wc.hCursor = LoadCursor(NULL,IDC_ARROW);
    wc.hbrBackground = NULL;
    wc.lpszMenuName = NULL;
    wc.lpszClassName = "MAIN";
    wc.cbSize=sizeof(WNDCLASSEX);
    wc.hIconSm = wc.hIcon;
    if (!RegisterClassEx(&wc)) {return FALSE;}
   
     HWND_MAIN = CreateWindowEx(NULL, "MAIN", "", WS_POPUP, 0, 0, 640, 480, NULL, NULL, HINST, NULL);

       --->>> HBITMAP_BACK = LoadBitmap(HINST, MAKEINTRESOURCE(IDB_BACK));
        SetWindowPos(HWND_MAIN, NULL, 0, 0, 0, 0,SWP_SHOWWINDOW|SWP_NOSIZE|SWP_NOMOVE);

         while(GetMessage(&msg, NULL, 0, 0)) {
          TranslateMessage(&msg); DispatchMessage(&msg);
    }
    return(msg.wParam);
}




and now the WM_PAINT

case WM_PAINT: {
            PAINTSTRUCT ps;
            HDC h = BeginPaint(hWnd, &ps);
            SelectObject(h, HFONT_BASIC);
            SetTextColor(h, RGB(255, 255, 255));
            SetBkColor(h, 0);
               if (h == NULL) {return 0;}
            if (HDC_MEM == 0) {
                HDC_MEM = CreateCompatibleDC(h);
           
                SelectObject(HDC_MEM, HBITMAP_BACK);
                BitBlt(h, ps.rcPaint.left, ps.rcPaint.top, ps.rcPaint.right - ps.rcPaint.left, ps.rcPaint.bottom - ps.rcPaint.top, HDC_MEM, ps.rcPaint.left, ps.rcPaint.top, SRCCOPY);
            }

Nothing else than copying the bitmap to client-rect of the window. Now you can BitBlt other things, f.e. your special controls ...........
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Author Comment

by:Bitwize
ID: 6198402
Yes my friend, you have deleted too much.
It seems to me, this fragment of code is designed to put a bitmap as a window background but does not put it INSTEAD of the window (which is what i look for).
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Expert Comment

by:rgoerdes
ID: 6201346
you should describe what you want. do you want to have an exclusive screen? then you should have a look at direct draw etc. if you want to have a user-designed window, which can be put in the foreground, background, can be moved around and so on, you should create a simple window and only alter the appearance and the behaviour. and that's what i did. or do you want to have a window with a user defined shape? f.e. a circle?


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Author Comment

by:Bitwize
ID: 6215666
In simple words:
  1. A user defined shape.
  2. Appearance is 100% user made.
  3. The ability to move it around the screen.

For example:
  Draw a triangular bitmap on screen, move it, resize it, make it ACT like a window.
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Accepted Solution

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rgoerdes earned 100 total points
ID: 6217251
you still should create a window in the normal way, no borders and so on. then you must reduce painting and user interaction to the region you want. it can be done using the region-api-calls. it's an exhausting job - but works.
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Author Comment

by:Bitwize
ID: 6221445
Well, i'm gonna try again according to your advice.
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