A Class to Display Skinned Popups Like MSN Messenger

Thursday Jul 18th 2002 by John OByrne

Build a class to display popup dialogs like the the MSN messenger window. This supports non-rectangular windows by using a BMP with a transparency color.


Click here for a larger image.

Environment: Dunno


A few weeks ago I saw a MSN messenger popup class on Codeproject written by Prateek Kaul. Because I needed a taskbar popup with skin support, I decided to write my own new class derived from CWnd.


This class needs MFC to be either statically or dynamically linked in your project; it has been written, compiled, and tested under Visual Studio .Net (but should work with VC6).

How to Use the Class

The class is very easy to use: Just add TaskbarNotifier.h and TaskbarNotifier.cpp into your project, then include TaskbarNotifier.h into your application and add a CTaskbarNotifier member variable in the header file of your Dialog or Window class.

In the OnInitDialog or OnCreate member functions, add the following lines:


When you want to show the popup animation, just call m_wndTaskNotifier.Show("Text to display") anywhere; this will show the animation of the window appearing and then disappearing. You can call the Show() method again whenever you want. If the popup was still here, the text is just replaced; if it was disappearing, it maximizes again.

Be sure not to allocate the CTaskbarNotifier each time you want to show a message because the skinning function takes a little CPU time to generate the region used to make a non-rectangular window.

Class Documentation

int Create(CWnd *pWndParent);

This line creates the popup window which remains hidden until Show() is called.

BOOL SetSkin(UINT nBitmapID,short red=-1,short green=-1,
    short blue=-1);
BOOL SetSkin(LPCTSTR szFileName,short red=-1,short green=-1,
    short blue=-1);

Those two functions assign a skin to the popup; they take as a parameter either a Bitmap resource ID or the path of a bitmap file. The optionnal parameters are the RGB values for the transparency color for the bitmap. Use these parameters only if you want a non-rectangular window; if these parameters are left blank, no Region is created.

void SetTextFont( LPCTSTR szFont,
                  int nSize,
                  int nNormalStyle,
                  int nSelectedStyle);

This function permits you to specify the Font used for displaying the text. Two styles are possible: one for the normal state and one when the mouse is over the window.

nNormalStyle or nSelectedStyle can be one or a combination of these parameters:

void SetTextColor( COLORREF crNormalTextColor,
                   COLORREF crSelectedTextColor);

This function sets the color of the text when in the normal or selected state.

void SetTextRect(RECT rcText);

This function enables you to define a rectangle within the bitmap, which will be the clipping zone for displaying the text.

void Show(LPCTSTR szCaption,DWORD dwTimeToShow=800,DWOR
    dwTimeToStay=3000,DWORD dwTimeToHide=500,int nIncrement=1);

This dispays the popup window animation:

szCaption: Text to display
dwTimeToShow: Duration in milliseconds for the popup to be
    fully visible
dwTimeToStay: Duration in milliseconds for the popup to
    stay visible
dwTimeToHide: Time in millisecond for the popup to
    completely disappear
nIncrement: Pixel increment for moving the window during
    the animation (the higher, the faster)

Show can be called even if the popup is already visible, being hiding or showing.

void Hide();

This manually Hides the popup.

Additional Notes

When the user clicks on the popup, a message is being sent to its parent window (WM_TASKBARNOTIFIERCLICKED defined in TaskbarNotifier.h). You can intercept it by adding in your Message Map macro:


The fact I'm not releasing the HRGN handle is because when you call SetWindowRgn() function, the GDI takes care of the object deletion.


Thanks to Prateek Kaul whose code inspired me to write this class (http://www.codeproject.com/useritems/statusbarmsgwnd.asp) and to Vander Nunes for his article about skinning a window (http://www.flipcode.com/articles/article_win32skins.shtml).

I hope this class will be useful to you. If you find any memory or GDI leaks, please let me know. If you have suggestions to enhance this class's functionalities, please post a comment. (Sorry for my English; I'm French.)

John O'Byrne


Download demo - 207 Kb
Download source - 6 Kb

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