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How to Scroll Text

This section describes the changes you can make to an application's main window procedure to enable a user to scroll text. The example in this section creates and displays an array of text strings, and processes WM_HSCROLL and WM_VSCROLL scroll bar messages so that the user can scroll text both vertically and horizontally.

What you need to know

Technologies

Prerequisites

  • C/C++
  • Windows User Interface Programming

Instructions

Processing the WM_CREATE Message

Scrolling units are typically set while processing the WM_CREATE message. It is convenient to base the scrolling units on the dimensions of the font associated with the window's device context (DC). To retrieve the font dimensions for a specific DC, use the GetTextMetrics function.

In the example in this section, one vertical scrolling unit is equivalent to the height of a character cell, plus external leading. One horizontal scrolling unit is equivalent to the average width of a character cell. The horizontal scrolling positions, therefore, do not correspond to actual characters, unless the screen font is fixed-width.

Processing the WM_SIZE Message

When processing the WM_SIZE message, it is convenient to adjust the scrolling range and scrolling position to reflect the dimensions of the client area as well as the number of lines of text that will be displayed.

The SetScrollInfo function sets the minimum and maximum position values, the page size, and the scrolling position for a scroll bar.

Processing the WM_HSCROLL and WM_VSCROLL Messages

The scroll bar sends WM_HSCROLL and WM_VSCROLL messages to the window procedure whenever the user clicks the scroll bar or drags the scroll box. The low-order words of WM_VSCROLL and WM_HSCROLL each contain a request code that indicates the direction and magnitude of the scrolling action.

When the WM_HSCROLL and WM_VSCROLL messages are processed, the scroll bar request code is examined and the scrolling increment is calculated. After the increment is applied to the current scrolling position, the window is scrolled to the new position by using the ScrollWindowEx function, and the position of the scroll box is adjusted by using the SetScrollInfo function.

After a window is scrolled, part of its client area is made invalid. To ensure that the invalid region is updated, the UpdateWindow function is used to generate a WM_PAINT message.

Processing the WM_PAINT Message

When processing the WM_PAINT message, it is convenient to draw the lines of text that you want to appear in the invalid portion of the window. The following example uses the current scrolling position and the dimensions of the invalid region to determine the range of lines within the invalid region in order to display them.

Example of Scrolling Text

The following example is a window procedure for a window that displays text in its client area. The example demonstrates how to scroll the text in response to input from the horizontal and vertical scroll bars.


#include "strsafe.h"

LRESULT CALLBACK MyTextWindowProc(HWND hwnd, UINT uMsg, WPARAM wParam, LPARAM lParam)
{
HDC hdc; 
PAINTSTRUCT ps; 
TEXTMETRIC tm; 
SCROLLINFO si; 
 
// These variables are required to display text. 
static int xClient;     // width of client area 
static int yClient;     // height of client area 
static int xClientMax;  // maximum width of client area 
 
static int xChar;       // horizontal scrolling unit 
static int yChar;       // vertical scrolling unit 
static int xUpper;      // average width of uppercase letters 
 
static int xPos;        // current horizontal scrolling position 
static int yPos;        // current vertical scrolling position 
 
int i;                  // loop counter 
int x, y;               // horizontal and vertical coordinates
 
int FirstLine;          // first line in the invalidated area 
int LastLine;           // last line in the invalidated area 
HRESULT hr;
size_t abcLength;        // length of an abc[] item 

// Create an array of lines to display. 
#define LINES 28 
static TCHAR *abc[] = { 
       TEXT("anteater"),  TEXT("bear"),      TEXT("cougar"), 
       TEXT("dingo"),     TEXT("elephant"),  TEXT("falcon"), 
       TEXT("gazelle"),   TEXT("hyena"),     TEXT("iguana"), 
       TEXT("jackal"),    TEXT("kangaroo"),  TEXT("llama"), 
       TEXT("moose"),     TEXT("newt"),      TEXT("octopus"), 
       TEXT("penguin"),   TEXT("quail"),     TEXT("rat"), 
       TEXT("squid"),     TEXT("tortoise"),  TEXT("urus"), 
       TEXT("vole"),      TEXT("walrus"),    TEXT("xylophone"), 
       TEXT("yak"),       TEXT("zebra"),
       TEXT("This line contains words, but no character. Go figure."),
       TEXT("")
     }; 
 
switch (uMsg) 
{ 
    case WM_CREATE : 
        // Get the handle to the client area's device context. 
        hdc = GetDC (hwnd); 
 
        // Extract font dimensions from the text metrics. 
        GetTextMetrics (hdc, &tm); 
        xChar = tm.tmAveCharWidth; 
        xUpper = (tm.tmPitchAndFamily & 1 ? 3 : 2) * xChar/2; 
        yChar = tm.tmHeight + tm.tmExternalLeading; 
 
        // Free the device context. 
        ReleaseDC (hwnd, hdc); 
 
        // Set an arbitrary maximum width for client area. 
        // (xClientMax is the sum of the widths of 48 average 
        // lowercase letters and 12 uppercase letters.) 
        xClientMax = 48 * xChar + 12 * xUpper; 
 
        return 0; 
 
    case WM_SIZE: 
 
        // Retrieve the dimensions of the client area. 
        yClient = HIWORD (lParam); 
        xClient = LOWORD (lParam); 
 
        // Set the vertical scrolling range and page size
        si.cbSize = sizeof(si); 
        si.fMask  = SIF_RANGE | SIF_PAGE; 
        si.nMin   = 0; 
        si.nMax   = LINES - 1; 
        si.nPage  = yClient / yChar; 
        SetScrollInfo(hwnd, SB_VERT, &si, TRUE); 
 
        // Set the horizontal scrolling range and page size. 
        si.cbSize = sizeof(si); 
        si.fMask  = SIF_RANGE | SIF_PAGE; 
        si.nMin   = 0; 
        si.nMax   = 2 + xClientMax / xChar; 
        si.nPage  = xClient / xChar; 
        SetScrollInfo(hwnd, SB_HORZ, &si, TRUE); 
 
        return 0; 
    case WM_HSCROLL:
        // Get all the vertial scroll bar information.
        si.cbSize = sizeof (si);
        si.fMask  = SIF_ALL;

        // Save the position for comparison later on.
        GetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_HORZ, &si);
        xPos = si.nPos;
        switch (LOWORD (wParam))
        {
        // User clicked the left arrow.
        case SB_LINELEFT: 
            si.nPos -= 1;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the right arrow.
        case SB_LINERIGHT: 
            si.nPos += 1;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the scroll bar shaft left of the scroll box.
        case SB_PAGELEFT:
            si.nPos -= si.nPage;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the scroll bar shaft right of the scroll box.
        case SB_PAGERIGHT:
            si.nPos += si.nPage;
            break;
              
        // User dragged the scroll box.
        case SB_THUMBTRACK: 
            si.nPos = si.nTrackPos;
            break;
              
        default :
            break;
        }

        // Set the position and then retrieve it.  Due to adjustments
        // by Windows it may not be the same as the value set.
        si.fMask = SIF_POS;
        SetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_HORZ, &si, TRUE);
        GetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_HORZ, &si);
         
        // If the position has changed, scroll the window.
        if (si.nPos != xPos)
        {
            ScrollWindow(hwnd, xChar * (xPos - si.nPos), 0, NULL, NULL);
        }

        return 0;
         
    case WM_VSCROLL:
        // Get all the vertial scroll bar information.
        si.cbSize = sizeof (si);
        si.fMask  = SIF_ALL;
        GetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_VERT, &si);

        // Save the position for comparison later on.
        yPos = si.nPos;
        switch (LOWORD (wParam))
        {

        // User clicked the HOME keyboard key.
        case SB_TOP:
            si.nPos = si.nMin;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the END keyboard key.
        case SB_BOTTOM:
            si.nPos = si.nMax;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the top arrow.
        case SB_LINEUP:
            si.nPos -= 1;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the bottom arrow.
        case SB_LINEDOWN:
            si.nPos += 1;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the scroll bar shaft above the scroll box.
        case SB_PAGEUP:
            si.nPos -= si.nPage;
            break;
              
        // User clicked the scroll bar shaft below the scroll box.
        case SB_PAGEDOWN:
            si.nPos += si.nPage;
            break;
              
        // User dragged the scroll box.
        case SB_THUMBTRACK:
            si.nPos = si.nTrackPos;
            break;
              
        default:
            break; 
        }

        // Set the position and then retrieve it.  Due to adjustments
        // by Windows it may not be the same as the value set.
        si.fMask = SIF_POS;
        SetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_VERT, &si, TRUE);
        GetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_VERT, &si);

        // If the position has changed, scroll window and update it.
        if (si.nPos != yPos)
        {                    
            ScrollWindow(hwnd, 0, yChar * (yPos - si.nPos), NULL, NULL);
            UpdateWindow (hwnd);
        }

        return 0;
         
    case WM_PAINT :
        // Prepare the window for painting.
        hdc = BeginPaint (hwnd, &ps);

        // Get vertical scroll bar position.
        si.cbSize = sizeof (si);
        si.fMask  = SIF_POS;
        GetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_VERT, &si);
        yPos = si.nPos;

        // Get horizontal scroll bar position.
        GetScrollInfo (hwnd, SB_HORZ, &si);
        xPos = si.nPos;

        // Find painting limits.
        FirstLine = max (0, yPos + ps.rcPaint.top / yChar);
        LastLine = min (LINES - 1, yPos + ps.rcPaint.bottom / yChar);
         
        for (i = FirstLine; i <= LastLine; i++)
        {
            x = xChar * (1 - xPos);
            y = yChar * (i - yPos);
              
            // Note that "55" in the following depends on the 
            // maximum size of an abc[] item. Also, you must include
            // strsafe.h to use the StringCchLength function.
            hr = StringCchLength(abc[i], 55, &abcLength);
            if ((FAILED(hr))|(abcLength == NULL))
            {
                //
                // TODO: write error handler
                //
            }

            // Write a line of text to the client area.
            TextOut(hdc, x, y, abc[i], abcLength); 
        }

        // Indicate that painting is finished.
        EndPaint (hwnd, &ps);
        return 0;
         
    case WM_DESTROY :
        PostQuitMessage (0);
        return 0;
    }

    return DefWindowProc (hwnd, uMsg, wParam, lParam);
}


Related topics

Using Scroll Bars
Windows common controls demo (CppWindowsCommonControls)

 

 

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