Working with Common Controls (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)


Common controls are a set of windows that are supported by the common control library, which is a dynamic-link library (DLL) that is included with the Windows Embedded CE operating system (OS). Like other control windows, a common control is a child window that an application uses in conjunction with another window to perform I/O tasks.

Common controls offer the user a familiar interface for performing common tasks, which makes applications easier to use and learn. Most common controls send the WM_NOTIFY message, instead of the WM_COMMAND message that is sent by window controls.

The following list shows common controls that are supported by Windows Embedded CE.

Command bars

Tree views

Command bands

Up-down controls


Date and time picker


Month calendar controls


Status bars

Header controls

Progress bars

Image lists

Property sheets

List views

Tab controls


Animation controls

Windows Embedded CE does not support the following controls, which are used commonly on Windows-based desktop operating systems: ComboBoxEx controls, drag lists, flat scroll bars, hot keys, Internet Protocol (IP) address controls, or Rich Ink edit controls.

Before you create or use any common controls, you must register them. You register a common control by calling the InitCommonControlsEx function, which registers a specific set of common control classes. Calling InitCommonControlsEx ensures that the common DLL is loaded.

To use most of the common controls, you must include the Commctrl.h header file in your application. To use property sheets, you must include the Prsht.h header file.

When you create a common control, it is important to understand that all common controls are child windows that you create by calling CreateWindowEx. You also can create a common control by calling a control-specific function. Because common controls are windows, you can manage them in the same way that you manage other application windows.

Although Windows Embedded CE supports some styles that apply to a broad spectrum of common controls, each of the common controls also has a set of styles that are unique to that control. Unless otherwise noted, these unique styles apply to header controls, toolbar controls, rebars, and status windows. For a complete listing of supported styles, see Window and Control Styles.


Creating Controls

Other Resources

Community Additions