Determine CButton type by button style

Posted on 2003-11-06
Last Modified: 2013-11-20
I have a dialog with several controls on it. I want to fill these controls by using a mapping algorithm that maps the control ID to some data ID. At that point of time I do not know what kind (type) of data I need to request from my database (no sql stuff here). So I want to find out what kind of control I got, i.e. if the control for IDC_CHECK1 is a checkbox I know that the data for it must be of boolean type. If it's a combobox it must me of string type, etc.

So that's what I do: I call GetClassName (HWND) for each control that I have. If the control is a button, a checkbox or a radiobutton this function returns "BUTTON". So I cast the CWnd* pointer I got from GetDlgItem() to CButton*

Now I check the button style for button style bits (GetButtonStyle); but here's the problem. I cannot determine exactly what kind of control I have, because a frame (that thing you can draw around your controls) appears to be a button too! And the style bits seem to be confusing too. Do you know of any way to determine exactly what kind of CButton I have?

Here's my code:

//  get the control
CWnd* pControl = GetDlgItem ( controlID );

// get its class name
char className [255];
memset ( className, 0, 255 );
GetClassName ( pControl->m_hWnd, className, 255 );

if ( strnicmp (className,"BUTTON",6)==0 ) {
  CButton* pButton = (CButton*)pControl;
  UINT style = pButton->GetButtonStyle();

  if ( isBitSet(style, BS_CHECKBOX) ) {                  
    TRACE ( "***CHECKBOX***\n" );
  else if ( isBitSet(style, BS_RADIOBUTTON) || isBitSet(style,BS_AUTORADIOBUTTON) ) {
   TRACE ( "***RADIO***\n" );
  else {
   TRACE ( "***BUTTON***\n" );


bool isBitSet (UINT a, UINT b) {
      UINT res = a & b;
      return (res!=0);

Question by:hirnsieb
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 9693523
This is result I get finding various controls using Spy++.

Control            Class name   Style

Button             Button          5001000
Radion button  Button          5000009
Checkbox        Button          5001003
Frame             Static            5000007


Author Comment

ID: 9693586
I thinkit's not a good idea to compare complete style values, because they might change, i.e. if you one checkbox might have BS_3STATE set whereas another might have BS_AUTO3STATE set. One button might have a client edge, the other doesn't, etc.

It should be possible to check the button style, but I don't know how to do this correctly.
LVL 48

Expert Comment

ID: 9693651
I don't suggest you to compare complete button styles.
Algorithm should be:

if class name is "Button":

- if one of BS_AUTOCHECKBOX, BS_CHECKBOX  is 1, this is check box;
- else if one of BS_AUTORADIOBUTTON, BS_RADIOBUTTON  is 1, this is radio button;
- else this is push button.

Frame is not a problem because it has Static class.
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Author Comment

ID: 9693702
This is what I thought, too. but...

If I do it like

if (  isBitSet(style, BS_AUTOCHECKBOX) ||
      isBitSet(style, BS_CHECKBOX) ) {                  
     TRACE ( "***CHECKBOX***\n" );

I get "CHECKBOX" for a checkbox, a radiobutton AND a frame!

this is some output: (first line is a checkbox, then a radio, then a frame)
classname=Button, style=1342275587   ***CHECKBOX***
classname=Button, style=1476526089   ***CHECKBOX***
classname=Button, style=1342177287   ***CHECKBOX***

As you can see GetClassName returns "Button" for the frame as well!!! The check for BS_AUTOCHECKBOX || BS_CHECKBOX returns TRUE for all three controls, which is weird.

You see, this is my problem! :-)

If I use GetButtonStyle to get the value for "style" I get: (same order as above)
classname=Button, style=3   ***CHECKBOX***
classname=Button, style=9   ***CHECKBOX***
classname=Button, style=7   ***CHECKBOX***


Author Comment

ID: 9694063
I just checked the bits of the button styles:

Style                       value                         bits
BS_AUTOCHECKBOX=3                        0011
BS_AUTORADIOBUTTON=9                  1001
BS_AUTO3STATE=6                        0110
BS_CHECKBOX=2                              0010
BS_DEFPUSHBUTTON=1                        0001
BS_GROUPBOX=7                              0111
BS_PUSHBUTTON=0                        0000
BS_RADIOBUTTON=4                        0100
BS_3STATE=5                              0101

I posted the sytle values of my three example controls above. So they have the following bits set:

classname=Button, 0011            //      checkbox
classname=Button, 1001            //      radio
classname=Button, 0111            //      frame

(remember: the first control is actually a checkbox, the second a radio button, the third a frame; all pointers to these controls where received by a call to GetDlgItem() without knowing their exact type; a call to GetClassName(HWND) returned "Button" as class name for all three controls)

The BS_RADIOBUTTON style has bit 4 set (0100). So my radiobutton control should have that bit too, but actually it's 9 (1001). what's going wrong here?

I've read that a call to GetDlgItem() returns a pointer of type CTempWnd*, so the cast to CButton* could be invalid and a calling GetButtonStyle() could return some bogus values? Am I right here?
LVL 13

Accepted Solution

SteH earned 125 total points
ID: 9694857
Looking at the constants in the above example the bits are not disjunct. That means you can't compare single bits but you should comapre the style to a number like in a switch statement:

switch (iStyle) {
    TRACE ( "***CHECKBOX***\n" );
    TRACE ( "***RADIOBUTTON***\n" );

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