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VB 6.0
Tutorial: Dialog without OCX

Here is a tutorial for how to use the common open/ save dialog box from the comdlg32.ocx without using the ocx file and without having to register it and without having administrator rights.
If you use the comdlg32.ocx in your program and want to give the compiled program to someone, you have to deliver the ocx file and register it, since it is often not installed on some Windows systems such as Windows 7.


Problem

This is the error message you would get when you try to open a program using this ocx file if you wouldn't register it or if you do not have the ocx file on your computer:



Error message in German:
Die Komponente 'comdlg32.ocx' oder eine ihrer Abhängigkeiten ist nicht richtig registriert. Eine Datei fehlt oder ist ungültig.

Error message in English:
Component 'comdlg32.ocx' or one of its dependencies not correctly registered: a file is missing or invalid.


The usual way is to copy the ocx file to the C:\Windows\system32 folder (in Windows XP) or the C:\Windows\SysWOW64\ folder (in 64bit Windows Vista/ Windows 7). After that you have to register it using the command promt (go to Start -> Run -> and type in "cmd"). In there you just type following text or download and execute the bat file:

 

Windows 95, 98, or Me:  

C:\Windows\system\comdlg32.OCX
regsvr32 comdlg32.ocx


In Windows NT, 2000:

copy comdlg32.ocx C:\WINNT\system32\comdlg32.OCX
regsvr32 comdlg32.ocxpan>



In Windows XP:

copy comdlg32.ocx C:\Windows\system32\comdlg32.OCX
regsvr32 comdlg32.ocx


In Windows 7:

copy comdlg32.ocx C:\Windows\SysWOW64\comdlg32.ocx
regsvr32 C:\Windows\SysWOW64\comdlg32.ocx

Klick on the icon to download the BAT file with this commands.


Writing a file to the system folder (e.g. into C:\Windows\SysWOW64\) on Windows 7 and registering this ocx module however requires administrator rights. If you don't have them, you will get an error message with following number: 0x8002801c



Solution


In the following project you will learn how to directly use the comdlg32.dll with APIs on your system which is already installed in Windows 7 in contrast to the comdlg32.ocx file.

You thus don't need to register or deliver the comdlg32.ocx file with your program and you don't need administrator rights to open your program.

Keywords:
comdlg32.ocx common dialog replacement
common dialog with Win32 API





Download VB6.0 Project with solution

The source code for this project:


Option Explicit

'command button for open dialog:
Private Sub Command1_Click()
   Text1 = "Open:" & vbCrLf & _
   ComdlgReplacement("Open", App.Path, _
   "All Files (*.*) | Text Files (*.txt) | VB Project Files (*.vbp)", Me)
End Sub

'command button for save dialog:
Private Sub Command2_Click()
   Text1 = "Save:" & vbCrLf & _
   ComdlgReplacement("Save", App.Path, _
   "All Files (*.*) | Text Files (*.txt) | VB Project Files (*.vbp)", Me)
End Sub







'You can see at all that comes next as a sort of a black box, it just is in an mudule. All you need, is just the line from above, the rest is done without further programming:



'Module modComDlgRep.mod

'Dieser Source stammt von http://www.soft-hummingbird.com
'und kann frei verwendet werden. Für eventuelle Schäden
'wird nicht gehaftet.

'This source code originates from http://www.soft-hummingbird.com
'it is as-is without any warranty and can be used freely
'In no event shall the author be held liable for any damages arising from the use of this code



Option Explicit

'declaration of APIs
Private Declare Function GetOpenFileName Lib "comdlg32.dll" Alias "GetOpenFileNameA" (pOpenfilename As OPENFILENAME) As Long
Private Declare Function GetSaveFileName Lib "comdlg32.dll" Alias "GetSaveFileNameA" (pOpenfilename As OPENFILENAME) As Long
Private Declare Function PathIsDirectory Lib "shlwapi.dll" Alias "PathIsDirectoryA" (ByVal pszPath As String) As Long


'declaration of type
Private Type OPENFILENAME
   lStructSize As Long
   hwndOwner As Long
   hInstance As Long
   lpstrFilter As String
   lpstrCustomFilter As String
   nMaxCustFilter As Long
   nFilterIndex As Long
   lpstrFile As String
   nMaxFile As Long
   lpstrFileTitle As String
   nMaxFileTitle As Long
   lpstrInitialDir As String
   lpstrTitle As String
   flags As Long
   nFileOffset As Integer
   nFileExtension As Integer
   lpstrDefExt As String
   lCustData As Long
   lpfnHook As Long
   lpTemplateName As String
End Type

'to see all the APIs and declarations you could use go to:
'C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\Common\Tools\Winapi
'there is a Viewer called "APILOAD.EXE"
'and text files with all the declarations you need ("WIN32API.TXT")



'Example:
'txtFile = "Open:" & vbCrLf & _
ComdlgReplacement("Open", App.Path, _
"All Files (*.*) | Text Files (*.txt) | VB Project Files (*.vbp)", Me)

'SaveOpen = "Save" or "Open"
'InitDir = "C:\Initial Directory\"
'sFilter = "Filename (*.*)", e.g. "All Files (*.*)" or "Text Files (*.txt)"
'sFilter = "All Files (*.*)| Text Files (*.txt)| Batch Files (*.bat)" -> multiple separated by "|"
'ComdlgReplacement = "" if cancel pressed
'ComdlgReplacement = "File" if file is selected
Public Function ComdlgReplacement(ByVal SaveOpen As String, _
ByVal sInitDir As String, _
ByVal sFilter As String, _
ByVal CallingForm As Form) As String

Dim OpenSaveFile As OPENFILENAME
Dim lReturn As Long
Dim sReturnFile As String
Dim sFilt As String
Dim h As String
Dim F() As String, FF() As String
Dim i As Integer

If IsFolder(sInitDir) Then
   OpenSaveFile.lpstrInitialDir = sInitDir
Else
   OpenSaveFile.lpstrInitialDir = "C:\" 'or something like: App.Path
End If

'Filter:
sFilter = Replace(sFilter, "| ", "|") '"All Files (*.*) | Text Files (*.txt)" -> "All Files (*.*) |Text Files (*.txt)" and now easy to split:
sFilter = Replace(sFilter, " |", "|") '"All Files (*.*) |Text Files (*.txt)" -> "All Files (*.*)|Text Files (*.txt)" and now easy to split:
F = Split(sFilter, "|")
'e.g.
'F(0) = "All Files (*.*)"
'F(1) = "Text Files (*.txt)"
'F(2) = "Batch Files (*.bat)"

For i = 0 To UBound(F)
  h = F(i) 'F(i) = "All Files (*.*)"
  h = Replace(h, " (", "(") 'h = "All Files (*.*)" -> "All Files(*.*)"
  h = Replace(h, ")", "") 'h = "All Files (*.*)2 -> "All Files(*.*" -> now easy to split
  FF = Split(h, "(") 'FF(0) = "All Files": FF(1) ="*.*"
  If UBound(FF) = 1 Then
    sFilt = sFilt & F(i) & Chr(0) & FF(1) & Chr(0)
  End If
Next
OpenSaveFile.lpstrFilter = sFilt
OpenSaveFile.nFilterIndex = 1

OpenSaveFile.lStructSize = Len(OpenSaveFile)
OpenSaveFile.hwndOwner = CallingForm.hWnd
OpenSaveFile.hInstance = App.hInstance
OpenSaveFile.lpstrFile = String(257, 0)
OpenSaveFile.nMaxFile = Len(OpenSaveFile.lpstrFile) - 1
OpenSaveFile.lpstrFileTitle = OpenSaveFile.lpstrFile
OpenSaveFile.nMaxFileTitle = OpenSaveFile.nMaxFile
OpenSaveFile.flags = 0


If LCase(SaveOpen) = "save" Then
  OpenSaveFile.lpstrTitle = "Save"
  lReturn = GetSaveFileName(OpenSaveFile)
ElseIf LCase(SaveOpen) = "open" Then
  OpenSaveFile.lpstrTitle = "Open"
  lReturn = GetOpenFileName(OpenSaveFile)
End If

If lReturn = 0 Then
  sReturnFile = ""
Else
  sReturnFile = Trim(OpenSaveFile.lpstrFile)
End If

ComdlgReplacement = sReturnFile
End Function



Public Function IsFolder(ByVal Path As String) As Boolean
  IsFolder = CBool(PathIsDirectory(Path))
End Function
 


And here is how it looks: without ocx file, just with the dll and API:



Download this source code embedded in an easy to use Visual Basic 6.0 project:
 




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