Customized open file dialog

File open dialog is a part of windows subsystem and comes with commdlg32.dll package. In normal senarios we pass the file path buffer and it returns the path which is selected by the user. However there are additional facilities can be given with this dialog. Additional GUI controls can be added using a resource template. A hook procedure can be added to handle the events from these custom controls.


Customization of file open dialog is helpful for applications like Photo editors, audio editors etc. Here are some common usage of custom dialogs.

  1. An audio application can add a play sound file for preview before opening
  2. Photo or graphics editor applications can add a thumnail preview of the file
  3. User can display metadata information like author, revision etc

Demo Application

Here is the demo and we have mainly these steps to make a custom open file dialog.

  1. Add a dialg bar child resource in the project
  2. Add necessary button, text, ActiveX or other GUI controls
  3. Give ID for each controls
  5. Add lpTemplateName = MAKEINTRESOURCE(<DIALOGBAR resource ID>)
  6. Add hook procedure and implement all the notify events needed
  7. Update the lpfnHook = hook procedure address

Here is the C++ source file followed by the resource script.

#include <windows.h>
#include <commdlg.h>
#include "resource.h"
#include <mmsystem.h>

UINT CALLBACK OfnHookProc(HWND hDlg, UINT uMsg, UINT wParam, LONG lParam)
  OFNOTIFY* pofNotify;
  HWND hTrueDlg;
  TCHAR szPathName[_MAX_PATH] = { 0 };

  switch (uMsg)
    case WM_COMMAND:
      /* Play button is pressed */
      if(LOWORD(wParam) == IDC_PLAYPREVIEW) { 
        GetDlgItemText(hDlg,IDC_STATIC_HINT, szPathName,_MAX_PATH);
        PlaySound(szPathName, NULL,SND_SYNC|SND_FILENAME); /*Play sound file */
        return (TRUE);
    case WM_NOTIFY:
      pofNotify = (OFNOTIFY*)lParam;
      switch (pofNotify->hdr.code)
        /* Init open dialog */
        case CDN_INITDONE:
          return (TRUE);
        /* File selection changed */
        case CDN_SELCHANGE:
          hTrueDlg = GetParent(hDlg);
          SendMessage(hTrueDlg, CDM_GETFILEPATH, _MAX_PATH, (LONG)szPathName);
          SetDlgItemText(hDlg, IDC_STATIC_HINT, szPathName);
          return (TRUE);
        /* Folder selection changed */
        case CDN_FOLDERCHANGE:
          hTrueDlg = GetParent(hDlg);
          SendMessage(hTrueDlg, CDM_GETFOLDERPATH, _MAX_PATH, (LONG)szPathName);
          SetDlgItemText(hDlg, IDC_STATIC_HINT, szPathName);
          return (TRUE);
        /* User selected open */
        case CDN_FILEOK:
          return TRUE;
          return FALSE;
      return (FALSE);
int APIENTRY WinMain(HINSTANCE hInstance,
                     HINSTANCE hPrevInstance,
                     LPSTR     lpCmdLine,
                     int       nCmdShow)
  TCHAR szFilePath[260];
  ofn.lStructSize = sizeof(ofn);
  ofn.hwndOwner = NULL;
  ofn.lpstrFilter = "Wave Audio*.wav";
  ofn.Flags = OFN_EXPLORER |  /* chicago-style dialog box */
    OFN_FILEMUSTEXIST |       /* can't choose non-existing file */
    OFN_HIDEREADONLY |        /* hide "read-only" checkbox */
    OFN_ENABLEHOOK |          /* use hook function */
    OFN_ENABLETEMPLATE;       /* custom template resource */
  ofn.hInstance = hInstance;
  ofn.lpfnHook = OfnHookProc;
  ofn.lpstrFile = szFilePath;
  ofn.lpstrFile[0] = 0;
  ofn.nFilterIndex = 1;
  ofn.lpstrFileTitle = NULL;
  ofn.nMaxFileTitle = 0;
  ofn.lpstrInitialDir = NULL;
  ofn.nMaxFile = 260;
  ofn.lpstrTitle = "open a wave audio file";

    MessageBox(NULL,ofn.lpstrFile,"Your file", MB_OK);
  return 0;

Resource template

customized file open resource template

// Dialog

FONT 8, "MS Sans Serif"
    LTEXT           "Customized File open",IDC_STATIC_HINT,7,7,222,12,0,
    PUSHBUTTON      "Play",IDC_PLAYPREVIEW,231,7,31,12


customized file open

About our authors: Team EQA

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