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Chapter 10

Menus and Other Resources

Most Microsoft Windows programs include a customized icon that Windows displays in the upper left corner of the title bar of the application window. Windows also displays the program's icon when the program is listed in the Start menu, shown in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen, listed in the Windows Explorer, or shown as a shortcut on the desktop. Some programs—most notably graphical drawing tools such as Windows Paint—use customized mouse cursors to represent different operations of the program. Many Windows programs use menus and dialog boxes. Along with scroll bars, menus and dialog boxes are the bread and butter of the Windows user interface.

Icons, cursors, menus, and dialog boxes are all related. They are all types of Windows "resources." Resources are data and they are often stored in a program's .EXE file, but they do not reside in the executable program's data area. In other words, the resources are not immediately addressable by variables in the program's code. Instead, Windows provides functions that explicitly or implicitly load a program's resources into memory so that they can be used. We've already encountered two of these functions. They are LoadIcon and LoadCursor, and they have appeared in the sample programs in the assignment statements that define a program's window class structure. So far, these functions have loaded a binary icon or cursor image from within Windows and returned a handle to that icon or cursor. In this chapter, we'll begin by creating our own customized icons that are loaded from the program's own .EXE file.

This book covers these resources:

The first six resources in the list are discussed in this chapter. Dialog boxes are covered in Chapter 11 and bitmaps in Chapter 14.