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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition by Charles Petzold

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Modeless Dialog Boxes

At the beginning of this chapter, I explained that dialog boxes can be either "modal" or "modeless." So far we've been looking at modal dialog boxes, the more common of the two types. Modal dialog boxes (except system modal dialog boxes) allow the user to switch between the dialog box and other programs. However, the user cannot switch to another window in the program that initiated the dialog box until the modal dialog box is destroyed. Modeless dialog boxes allow the user to switch between the dialog box and the window that created it as well as between the dialog box and other programs. The modeless dialog box is thus more akin to the regular popup windows that your program might create.

Modeless dialog boxes are preferred ...

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