Progressive Clock


One day I saw a JavaScript program on the Internet that uses a pseudo-progress bar to display the clock on a form. This exercise uses the same approach.


The dialog box on this exercise displays three progress bars: one holds the value of the current hour, another holds the value of the minutes in the current hour, the last displays the seconds of the current minute. We also use a label on the right side of each progress bar to display its corresponding value.

Creating the Controls

To start this application, you can use either a form or a dialog box. Then add the necessary controls to it as we will design shortly. Although the hour holds 24 values while the minutes and the seconds hold 60 values each, we will use the same dimensions (especially the same width) for all progress controls. Because a progress control has no mechanism or message to trigger the change of its position, we will use a timer to handle such a message.

Practical Learning: Starting the Exercise

  1. Start a new MFC Application named ProgressClock
  2. Create the project as a Dialog Based without an About Box. Set the Dialog Title as Progressive Clock
  3. Add three Static Text controls to the left section of the dialog box with captions from top down as Hours:, Minutes:, and Seconds: respectively
    You will design the dialog box as follows:
  4. From the Controls toolbox, click the Progress button and click on the right side of the Hours label
  5. Using the Properties window, check its Smooth check box or set it to True
  6. Change its ID to IDC_PRGS_HOURS
  7. In the same way, add a Smooth progress bar to the right side of the Minutes label. Change its ID to IDC_PRGS_MINUTES
  8. Once more, add a Smooth progress control to the right side of the Seconds static control and change its ID to IDC_PRGS_SECONDS
  9. Add a Static Text control to the right side of the Hours progress control and change its ID to IDC_VAL_HOURS
  10. Add another Static Text control to the right side of the Minutes progress bar and change its ID to IDC_VAL_MINUTES
  11. Add another Static Text control to the right side of the Seconds progress bar and change its ID to IDC_VAL_SECONDS
  12. Add a Static Text to the top right section of the dialog box and set its Caption to Time
  13. Add a Control Variable for the progress controls and name them from top down as: m_ProgressHours, m_ProgressMinutes, and m_ProgressSeconds respectively
  14. Add a CString Value Variable for the IDC_VAL_HOURS, the IDC_VAL_MINUTES, and the IDC_VAL_SECONDS identifiers and name them m_ValueHours, m_ValueMinutes, and m_ValueSeconds respectively
  15. Test the application and return to MSVC
  16. To specify the initial values of the progress controls, set their range appropriately in the OnInitDialog() event. Also, create a timer control:
    BOOL CPClockDlg::OnInitDialog()
    	// Set the icon for this dialog. The framework does this automatically
    	// when the application's main window is not a dialog
    	SetIcon(m_hIcon, TRUE); // Set big icon
    	SetIcon(m_hIcon, FALSE); // Set small icon
    	// TODO: Add extra initialization here
    	m_ProgressHours.SetRange(0, 23);
    	m_ProgressMinutes.SetRange(0, 59);
    	m_ProgressSeconds.SetRange(0, 59);
    	SetTimer(1, 40, NULL);
    	return TRUE; // return TRUE unless you set the focus to a control
  17. Generate the WM_TIMER message for the dialog box and implement it as follows:
    void CPClockDlg::OnTimer(UINT nIDEvent)
    	// TODO: Add your message handler code here and/or call default
    	// Get the current time of the computer
    	CTime CurTime = CTime::GetCurrentTime();
    	// Find the hour, the minute, and the second values of the time
    	int ValHours = CurTime.GetHour();
    	int ValMinutes = CurTime.GetMinute();
    	int ValSeconds = CurTime.GetSecond();
    	// Change each progress bar accordingly
    	// Display the position of the progress in the right label
    	m_ValueHours.Format("%d", m_ProgressHours.GetPos());
    	m_ValueMinutes.Format("%d", m_ProgressMinutes.GetPos());
    	m_ValueSeconds.Format("%d", m_ProgressSeconds.GetPos());
  18. Test the application
  19. After using it, close it and return to your programming environment



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