Double-click in MDI Client

It’s hard to believe that handling mouse double-clicks in MDI Client windows can be super useful, but I found this problem in a discussion forum. I presumed that it was not only for fun, so I tried to resolve it. First, I subclassed the MDI Client window in a CWnd-derived class. That is possible for a standard MFC project in this way:

But no success: WM_LBUTTONDBLCLK message handler is not called in CMDIClientWnd class. Then I tried to catch it in overridden PreTranslateMessage or even in a WH_MOUSE hook with the same result. Finally, I had a look using Spy++ tool. Bingo! The MDI Client (of predefined window class named “MdiClient“) has no CS_DBLCLKS style so it does not deal with mouse double-clicks.



All wat he have to do is to create the The MDI Client window with our own registered window class. This is possible by overriding CMDIFrameWnd::CreateClient.

Create a MDI client window which belongs to a window class having CS_DBLCLKS style

Handle MDI Client double-clicks in standard MFC applications

Once we have created the MDI Client window and subclassed it as shown above, can simply handle (for example) WM_LBUTTONDBLCLK in our CWnd-derived class.

Handle MDI Client double-clicks in Visual Studio or Office-style MFC applications

CMDIFrameWndEx uses its own CWnd-derived class for the MDI Client window, so we cannot use another one in  main frame class. However, this is not so big problem because we can now catch WM_LBUTTONDBLCLK in overridden PreTranslateMessage method.

Or, you can catch it in a WH_MOUSE hook, if think that can be more exciting. 🙂

Note that creating the MDI Client window in overridden CMDIFrameWnd::CreateClient cand be done in all cases in the same way.

Demo solution

Download: MDI client double-click (1259)
The sample Visual Studio solution contains two projects: one is a standard MDI application, and the other one is Office-style. Just enjoy of MDI Client double-clicks! 🙂

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