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Browse for folder with a Quick Pick

Browse for folder with a twist. User might select a directory they want to quickselect an item.

Check it out on:

Browse for folder with a Quick Pick

Browse for folder quickpick window


I was working on the SizeMe project when a user requested a feature. He asked for
a predefined list over directories that he wanted to scan. I just finished reading the article
Customizing the “Browse for folder” dialog and I got
the idea of just to customize the common dialog. Here is the result.
Remember that the common dialogs are shown in the installed language of Windows. The picture shows the dialog with my language
I also want to thank Hans Dietrich for his article XBrowseForFolder – Wrapper for SHBrowseForFolder
some of the code used in the project has been inspired by his work.

Using the code

The project can be used in either a MFC project or Win32. (The project has only been tested with the VS6.0 environment. I don’t know if
it would work on the never versions of Visual Studio, but I guess so).
First add the files Dirbrowse.cpp and DirBrowse.h to your project, then include the DirBrowse.h.
There are two public functions that you need to use:

	BOOL Show(char *szInitDir="");

Funcition Show results TRUE if the user pressed OK, and FALSE on cancel/close. The szInitDir is optional and selects the startdir for
the browser.

	char* GetSelectedDir();

Function GetSelectedDir returns a string with the selected path.


Here is the quick win32 sample I wrote for handling the class:

#include "stdafx.h"
#include "..DirBrowse.h"


int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
LPSTR lpCmdLine,
int nCmdShow)
// TODO: Place code here.
CDirBrowse m_dirbrowser(NULL, hInstance);

char Text[MAX_PATH*2];
sprintf(Text, "You selected folder: %s", m_dirbrowser.GetSelectedDir());
MessageBox(NULL, Text, "Browse for folder", MB_OK);
MessageBox(NULL, "You pressed the cancel button!", "Browse for folder", MB_OK);

return 0;

It is as simple as that 🙂 Take a look at the project to check out the MFC version of the same.

Header customization

When I create classes that can be reused, I always create a lot of #defines. This class is no exception 🙂
Here are the defines list:

#define BROWSE_WIDTH 640
#define BROWSE_HEIGHT 420

//This is the message that we start with
#define BROWSE_MESSAGE 10101

//The name of our hypertext class

//This is the font & size we use for showing the info
#define BROWSE_FONTNAME "Verdana"

//The colors used
#define BROWSE_DIRCOLOR RGB(0,0,200)
#define BROWSE_DIRCOLORHOVER RGB(100,100,250)

//The registry variables
#define BROWSE_REGISTRY_PATH "Software\DirBrowser"

//Strings used
#define BROWSE_TEXT_SHORTCUTS "Shortcuts"
#define BROWSE_TEXT_HELP "Please select a folder in the list and press the arrow to save the directory for a quickpick later on"
#define BROWSE_TEXT_HELP_CAPTION "Browse for folder help"
#define BROWSE_TEXT_HELP_TOOLTIP "Press this to save selected path as a shortcut" //Must not exceed 79 chars!!!

Each group are explained below:

Group #1
Defines Description Default value
BROWSE_WIDTH, BROWSE_HEIGHT, BROWSE_LISTVIEWSIZE The WIDTH/HEIGHT is the size of the window. The ListView-size is the percentage of the width of the dirlist. 640, 420, 0.65 (percentage of the width!)
BROWSE_BORDER_VERT, BROWSE_BORDER_HORI The border variables is pixels between controls in vertical and horizontal direction. 4,2
BROWSE_MAXENTRIES MaxEntries is the size of quick picks we can show on the screen (shouldn’t be more entries than the screen can show) 20 (should be enough for everybody)
Group #2
BROWSE_MESSAGE Message is the internal message that we use for the controls. It is used increased, so it start on 10101 then 10102 and so on 10101
Group #3
STATIC_HYPERTEXT_WINDOW_CLASS The Hypertext window class is just the internal name of the class handling the hypertext-class. Just change this if you have duplicated names in the project. “STATIC_HYPERTEXT”
Group #4
BROWSE_FONTNAME, BROWSE_FONTSIZE This is the font & size used in the hypertext class. It will not check if the font actually exists, so be sure to enter a valid name. “Verdana”, 12
Group #5
BROWSE_SELECTCOLOR, BROWSE_SELECTCOLORHOVER, BROWSE_DIRCOLOR, BROWSE_DIRCOLORHOVER Colors on the hypertext class. Splitted into the selector and the actually directory. RGB(0,0,255), RGB(50,105,255), RGB(0,0,200), RGB(100,100,250)
Group #6
BROWSE_REGISTRY_ROOT, BROWSE_REGISTRY_PATH The path to where you want the config to be saved. This is usually changed since you don’t want the dirbrowser to load variables stored in the same place in your different projects where you use this 🙂 HKEY_CURRENT_USER, “Software\DirBrowser” (This should always be changed!)
Group #7
BROWSE_TEXT_SHORTCUTS, BROWSE_TEXT_HELP, BROWSE_TEXT_HELP_CAPTION, BROWSE_TEXT_HELP_TOOLTIP Since I haven’t made a “Multilanguage” support on this project you can change the text used here. “Shortcuts”, “Please select a folder in the list and press the arrow to save the directory for a quickpick later on”, “Browse for folder help”, “Press this to save selected path as a shortcut” (Must not exceed 79 chars)

Points of Interests

I found a little bug while compiling the release version of the project. Take a look on this code:

	if(pMe->MessageIsOdd == FALSE)
		if(nID % 2 == 0)
			MsgIsOdd = FALSE;
			MsgIsOdd = TRUE;
		if(nID % 2 == 0)
			MsgIsOdd = TRUE;
			MsgIsOdd = FALSE;

It shouldn’t be any errors on this, but after some research I noticed that the first part of the if-sentence is the only one that get
called. I needed to split them to avoid this bug like this:

	if(pMe->MessageIsOdd == FALSE)
	if(pMe->MessageIsOdd == TRUE)

If someone have a good answer on this, please let me know. I’m using VS6.0 C++ with SP5 + UINT64 Processor pack Patch.


v1.0 – Inital release