Edit Control Styles
Windows provides several edit control styles. An individual edit control can
have several styles at the same time. Most developers use standalone tools to
develop dialog boxes and so may not need to specify edit control styles
explicitly. If an application creates an edit control using the CreateWindow
function, however, it must specify these edit control styles.
Every edit control specifies a combination of style values that define the
appearance and features of the edit control. The style values can establish the
appearance of a single-line or multiline edit control, align the text in the
control, and determine how, and even if, text appears in the edit control. The
number and type of styles the application uses depend on the type and purpose of
the edit control.
There are two line styles for edit controls. The default is a single-line edit
control that doesn't require an associated style. An application can create a
multiline edit control by using the ES_MULTILINE style.
There are three styles that cause Windows to align the text in an edit
control. The ES_LEFT, ES_CENTER, and ES_RIGHT styles determine whether text is aligned
on the left, center, or right, respectively. These styles apply only to
multiline edit controls.
An application can use a style to determine how Windows displays text that a
user enters into an edit control. The ES_LOWERCASE style converts the text into
lowercase characters; the ES_UPPERCASE style converts the text into uppercase
characters. Some applications may need to convert the text in a Windows string
(such as a filename) into a specific character set. The ES_OEMCONVERT style
ensures the proper conversion of characters in these instances. For more
information about character sets, see Consoles and Character-Mode Support
When the amount of text to be displayed exceeds the size of the edit control,
an application can use two styles to scroll the text through the edit control.
The ES_AUTOHSCROLL style automatically scrolls text horizontally in single-line
and multiline edit controls. When the application has a multiline edit
control, it can also use the ES_AUTOVSCROLL style to automatically scroll text
vertically, if necessary.
Other available styles define different aspects of an edit control. The
ES_NUMBER style (available in version 4.0 or later) restricts input to the edit
control to digits only. The ES_NOHIDESEL style specifies that the selected text is
not hidden when the edit control loses the keyboard focus. The ES_READONLY style
makes the edit control read-only. The ES_PASSWORD style displays all
characters in the edit control as asterisks. (An application can define a different
character to display by using the EM_SETPASSWORDCHAR
message, as described later in this topic.) In multiline edit controls, an
application can specify the ES_WANTRETURN style to request that Windows insert a
carriage return when the user presses the ENTER key in the edit control.
By default, an edit control has no border. To give it one, an application can
use the WS_BORDER window style.
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