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Using Timers

This topic shows how to create and destroy timers, and how to use a timer to trap mouse input at specified intervals.

This topic contains the following sections.

Creating a Timer

The following example uses the SetTimer function to create two timers. The first timer is set for every 10 seconds, the second for every five minutes.


// Set two timers. 
 
SetTimer(hwnd,             // handle to main window 
    IDT_TIMER1,            // timer identifier 
    10000,                 // 10-second interval 
    (TIMERPROC) NULL);     // no timer callback 
 
SetTimer(hwnd,             // handle to main window 
    IDT_TIMER2,            // timer identifier 
    300000,                // five-minute interval 
    (TIMERPROC) NULL);     // no timer callback 


To process the WM_TIMER messages generated by these timers, add a WM_TIMER case statement to the window procedure for the hwnd parameter.


case WM_TIMER: 
 
    switch (wParam) 
    { 
        case IDT_TIMER1: 
            // process the 10-second timer 
 
             return 0; 
 
        case IDT_TIMER2: 
            // process the five-minute timer 

            return 0; 
    } 

An application can also create a timer whose WM_TIMER messages are processed not by the main window procedure but by an application-defined callback function, as in the following code sample, which creates a timer and uses the callback function MyTimerProc to process the timer's WM_TIMER messages.


// Set the timer. 
 
SetTimer(hwnd,                // handle to main window 
    IDT_TIMER3,               // timer identifier 
    5000,                     // 5-second interval 
    (TIMERPROC) MyTimerProc); // timer callback


The calling convention for MyTimerProc must be based on the TimerProc callback function.

If your application creates a timer without specifying a window handle, your application must monitor the message queue for WM_TIMER messages and dispatch them to the appropriate window.


HWND hwndTimer;   // handle to window for timer messages 
MSG msg;          // message structure 
 
    while (GetMessage(&msg, // message structure 
            NULL,           // handle to window to receive the message 
               0,           // lowest message to examine 
               0))          // highest message to examine 
    { 
 
        // Post WM_TIMER messages to the hwndTimer procedure. 
 
        if (msg.message == WM_TIMER) 
        { 
            msg.hwnd = hwndTimer; 
        } 
 
        TranslateMessage(&msg); // translates virtual-key codes 
        DispatchMessage(&msg);  // dispatches message to window 
    } 

Destroying a Timer

Applications should use the KillTimer function to destroy timers that are no longer necessary. The following example destroys the timers identified by the constants IDT_TIMER1, IDT_TIMER2, and IDT_TIMER3.


// Destroy the timers. 
 
KillTimer(hwnd, IDT_TIMER1); 
KillTimer(hwnd, IDT_TIMER2); 
KillTimer(hwnd, IDT_TIMER3); 

Using Timer Functions to Trap Mouse Input

Sometimes it is necessary to prevent more input while you have a mouse pointer on the screen. One way to accomplish this is to create a special routine that traps mouse input until a specific event occurs. Many developers refer to this routine as "building a mousetrap."

The following example uses the SetTimer and KillTimer functions to trap mouse input. SetTimer creates a timer that sends a WM_TIMER message every 10 seconds. Each time the application receives a WM_TIMER message, it records the mouse pointer location. If the current location is the same as the previous location and the application's main window is minimized, the application moves the mouse pointer to the icon. When the application closes, KillTimer stops the timer.


HICON hIcon1;               // icon handle 
POINT ptOld;                // previous cursor location 
UINT uResult;               // SetTimer's return value 
HINSTANCE hinstance;        // handle to current instance 
 
//
// Perform application initialization here. 
//
 
wc.hIcon = LoadIcon(hinstance, MAKEINTRESOURCE(400)); 
wc.hCursor = LoadCursor(hinstance, MAKEINTRESOURCE(200)); 
 
// Record the initial cursor position. 
 
GetCursorPos(&ptOld); 
 
// Set the timer for the mousetrap. 
 
uResult = SetTimer(hwnd,             // handle to main window 
    IDT_MOUSETRAP,                   // timer identifier 
    10000,                           // 10-second interval 
    (TIMERPROC) NULL);               // no timer callback 
 
if (uResult == 0) 
{ 
    ErrorHandler("No timer is available."); 
} 
 
LONG APIENTRY MainWndProc( 
    HWND hwnd,          // handle to main window 
    UINT message,       // type of message 
    WPARAM  wParam,     // additional information 
    LPARAM  lParam)     // additional information 
{ 
 
    HDC hdc;        // handle to device context 
    POINT pt;       // current cursor location 
    RECT rc;        // location of minimized window 
 
    switch (message) 
    { 
        //
        // Process other messages. 
        // 
 
        case WM_TIMER: 
        // If the window is minimized, compare the current 
        // cursor position with the one from 10 seconds 
        // earlier. If the cursor position has not changed, 
        // move the cursor to the icon. 
 
            if (IsIconic(hwnd)) 
            { 
                GetCursorPos(&pt); 
 
                if ((pt.x == ptOld.x) && (pt.y == ptOld.y)) 
                { 
                    GetWindowRect(hwnd, &rc); 
                    SetCursorPos(rc.left, rc.top); 
                } 
                else 
                { 
                    ptOld.x = pt.x; 
                    ptOld.y = pt.y; 
                } 
            } 
 
            return 0; 
 
        case WM_DESTROY: 
 
        // Destroy the timer. 
 
            KillTimer(hwnd, IDT_MOUSETRAP); 
            PostQuitMessage(0); 
            break; 
 
        //
        // Process other messages. 
        // 
 
} 

Although the following example also shows you how to trap mouse input, it processes the WM_TIMER message through the application-defined callback function MyTimerProc, rather than through the application's message queue.


UINT uResult;               // SetTimer's return value 
HICON hIcon1;               // icon handle 
POINT ptOld;                // previous cursor location 
HINSTANCE hinstance;        // handle to current instance 
 
//
// Perform application initialization here. 
//
 
wc.hIcon = LoadIcon(hinstance, MAKEINTRESOURCE(400)); 
wc.hCursor = LoadCursor(hinstance, MAKEINTRESOURCE(200)); 
 
// Record the current cursor position. 
 
GetCursorPos(&ptOld); 
 
// Set the timer for the mousetrap. 
 
uResult = SetTimer(hwnd,      // handle to main window 
    IDT_MOUSETRAP,            // timer identifier 
    10000,                    // 10-second interval 
    (TIMERPROC) MyTimerProc); // timer callback 
 
if (uResult == 0) 
{ 
    ErrorHandler("No timer is available."); 
} 
 
LONG APIENTRY MainWndProc( 
    HWND hwnd,          // handle to main window 
    UINT message,       // type of message 
    WPARAM  wParam,     // additional information 
    LPARAM   lParam)    // additional information 
{ 
 
    HDC hdc;            // handle to device context 
 
    switch (message) 
    { 
    // 
    // Process other messages. 
    // 
 
        case WM_DESTROY: 
        // Destroy the timer. 
 
            KillTimer(hwnd, IDT_MOUSETRAP); 
            PostQuitMessage(0); 
            break; 
 
        //
        // Process other messages. 
        // 
 
} 
 
// MyTimerProc is an application-defined callback function that 
// processes WM_TIMER messages. 
 
VOID CALLBACK MyTimerProc( 
    HWND hwnd,        // handle to window for timer messages 
    UINT message,     // WM_TIMER message 
    UINT idTimer,     // timer identifier 
    DWORD dwTime)     // current system time 
{ 
 
    RECT rc; 
    POINT pt; 
 
    // If the window is minimized, compare the current 
    // cursor position with the one from 10 seconds earlier. 
    // If the cursor position has not changed, move the 
    // cursor to the icon. 
 
    if (IsIconic(hwnd)) 
    { 
        GetCursorPos(&pt); 
 
        if ((pt.x == ptOld.x) && (pt.y == ptOld.y)) 
        { 
            GetWindowRect(hwnd, &rc); 
            SetCursorPos(rc.left, rc.top); 
        } 
        else 
        { 
            ptOld.x = pt.x; 
            ptOld.y = pt.y; 
        } 
    } 
} 

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