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Frame Windows

When an application runs under Windows, the user interacts with documents displayed in frame windows. A document frame window has two major components: the frame and the contents that it frames. A document frame window can be a single document interface (SDI) frame window or a multiple document interface (MDI) child window. Windows manages most of the user's interaction with the frame window: moving and resizing the window, closing it, and minimizing and maximizing it. You manage the contents inside the frame.

Frame Windows and Views

The MFC framework uses frame windows to contain views. The two components — frame and contents — are represented and managed by two different classes in MFC. A frame-window class manages the frame, and a view class manages the contents. The view window is a child of the frame window. Drawing and other user interaction with the document take place in the view's client area, not the frame window's client area. The frame window provides a visible frame around a view, complete with a caption bar and standard window controls such as a control menu, buttons to minimize and maximize the window, and controls for resizing the window. The "contents" consist of the window's client area, which is fully occupied by a child window — the view. The following figure shows the relationship between a frame window and a view.

Frame window view.
Frame Window and View

Frame Windows and Splitter Windows

Another common arrangement is for the frame window to frame multiple views, usually using a splitter window. In a splitter window, the frame window's client area is occupied by a splitter window, which in turn has multiple child windows, called panes, which are views.

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General Frame Window Topics

Topics on Using Frame Windows

Topics on Special Frame Window Capabilities

Topics on Other Kinds of Windows

See also