EM_SETCUEBANNER vs. international support in XP and Server 2003

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/02/25 05:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/02/25/538735.aspx

Yesterday, someone named Mike asked me, via the Contacting Michael... link:

Hey there, I have a problem. I have a program that uses EM_SETCUEBANNER to add grey hint text to an edit control, something like "Enter search here".

After installing east asian language support however, this has stopped working. I'm doing a presentation in a week where I will need to specifically point out the cue banner, and show japanese text working...

Any help?


Now as I point out in that contact link, I really am not Product Support, and I don't want people to think that they are going to get timely answers to support questions by using that link. If I posted stats on the number of them that I don't respond to you might think me heartless (unless you read them, in whuch case you would understand why I am not really going to be able to help people fix their Win98 installs or their wireless support).

In this particular case, the fact that it is an issue that affects internationalization and may well be of general interest to a whole bunch of people has kind of pushed me to make an exception....

I built a small test application to confirm that the issue does indeed exist, and being the impatient sort who realized that in Vista when international support is always enabled that the complete loss of the EM_SETCUEBANNER message would kind of suck, I took my small test application and ran it on Vista, a little bit scared....

Luckily, the problem has been fixed in Vista.

Unfortunately, there really is no workaround at the moment, in the shipping versions of Windows. The choice has to be explicitly made between language support and cue banners.

Which kind of explains the other reason that I made an exception in this case -- that communal sense of guilt that Microsoft employees sometimes feel when well-intentioned features conflict and cause a quite unintentional bug. Even when it was caused, discovered, found, and fixed before it was even known to such an employee....

Sorry about that, Mike. Even if something can be done here eventually, there is no way it can happen by next week. :-(


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# Björn on 25 Feb 2006 7:32 AM:

The completely aimless shot into the darK: Wouldn't a workaround be to subclass said edit control and draw the hint text on your own in WM_ERASEBKGND? As this is necessary for pre XP OSes anyway it might be even more than a workaround though.

# Mike on 27 Feb 2006 2:34 PM:

I really appreciate the response, I'll just have to use a screenshot or something ;)


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