The dialog manager, part 1: Warm-ups

Raymond Chen


I think a lot of confusion about the dialog manager
stems from not really understanding how it works.
It’s really not that bad. I’ll start by describing how
dialog boxes are created over the next few articles,
then move on to the dialog message loop, and wrap up
with some topics regarding navigation.
There will be nine parts in all.

The first major chunk of the dialog manager has to do
with reading the dialog template and creating a dialog box
based on it.

All of the CreateDialogXxx functions are just front-ends
to the real work that happens in

Some of them are already visible in the macros:

is just a wrapper around

with a parameter of zero.

is just a wrapper around

with a zero parameter.

Here’s a slightly less trivial wrapper:

HWND WINAPI CreateDialogParam(HINSTANCE hinst,
    LPCTSTR pszTemplate, HWND hwndParent,
    DLGPROC lpDlgProc, LPARAM dwInitParam)
  HWND hdlg = NULL;
  HRSRC hrsrc = FindResource(hinst, pszTemplate,
  if (hrsrc) {
    HGLOBAL hglob = LoadResource(hinst, hrsrc);
    if (hglob) {
      LPVOID pTemplate = LockResource(hglob); // fixed 1pm
      if (pTemplate) {
        hdlg = CreateDialogIndirectParam(hinst,
                 pTemplate, hwndParent, lpDlgProc,
  return hdlg;

All CreateDialogParam does is use the
hinst/pszTemplate to locate the lpTemplate,
then use that template in CreateDialogIndirectParam.

Okay, this was easy. Tomorrow, we’re going to create
the dialog from the template.

Raymond Chen
Raymond Chen

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