Text Caret

Caret is a blinking cursor in a window. It displays the current position of the cursor where the input is getting added from user. A textbox or text area control automatically displayes caret. It is the builtin property of the windon. However a custom window application which displayes logs, terminal or console output etc can use caret. Win32 APIs are available to create, distroy, show, hide, set position etc.


CreateCaret() creates a cursor with a size of nWidth x nHeight. It creates a solid cursor if hBitmap is NULL else the bitmap is used for drawing the cursor.

BOOL WINAPI CreateCaret(HWND hWnd, HBITMAP hBitmap, int nWidth, int nHeight);


Frees the memory of cursor object and releases the handle

BOOL WINAPI DestroyCaret(void);


Returns the current blink interval time of the cursor in milliseconds. The less the number the more the blink rate.

UINT WINAPI GetCaretBlinkTime(void);


Returns the current position of the cursor.



Hides the cursor of the window.



Set the blink time of the caret in miliseconds. The less the time the more the blinking rate.

BOOL WINAPI SetCaretBlinkTime(UINT uMSeconds);


SetCaretPos set the caret position in the window

BOOL WINAPI SetCaretPos(int X, int Y);


ShowCaret shows the blinking caret


Caret Demo application

Demo aplication showing Create, Destroy, Show, Hide of Caret/Cursor. With UP arrow key, caret blink time is reduced and blink rate increases. With DOWN arrow key, caret blink time is increated and blink rate reduced.

unsigned int nBlinkRate;
  CHAR szTitle[100];
  switch (message) 
    case WM_KEYDOWN:
            if(wParam == VK_UP)
        sprintf(szTitle,"Cursor blink rate %d", nBlinkRate);
            else if(wParam == VK_DOWN)
        sprintf(szTitle,"Cursor blink rate %d", nBlinkRate);
    case WM_DESTROY:
    case WM_SETFOCUS:
        CreateCaret(hWnd, NULL, 12,2);
      nBlinkRate = GetCaretBlinkTime();
      sprintf(szTitle,"Cursor blink rate %d", nBlinkRate);
    case WM_KILLFOCUS:

      return DefWindowProc(hWnd, message, wParam, lParam);
   return 0;


CreateCaret demo

About our authors: Team EQA

Further readings

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