It is interesting how the world has changed. For decades, the symbol that tells you to wait has been an hourglass. Sometimes a crazy person would use some sort of pocket watch symbol. Now, all of the sudden, a swirling thingy is it. It’s the thing to use when background processing is being done.


I have added a swirling thingy to my auto emailer program. It was surprisingly simple.

  1. Find swirling thingy animation on the web. This one was free.
  2. Convert thingy to an AVI file instead of a GIF. Corel Photo Paint did this for me but many programs can do the conversion.
  3. Create a CAnimateCtrl child window of my client area child window. I added a function to handle the OnSize() function of the client window to keep my thingy centered.
  4. Add some code to allow the message handler code to show and hide the animation. It is shown when the email servers are being accessed.

That was all that was needed. It was just a few lines of code in a few places.

On thing that was annoying is trying to get the animation to show up with a transparent background. I wanted it to just appear over the text in the window if needed. The web pages that describe how to make this thing transparent give every little detail about this except for one; there is no way to make the background transparent. What they mean is that the background is changed to be the same color as the background behind the animation control. There is no way to make it transparent to show the text in that background.

I don’t have a picture but another fun thing I tried was making the status bar show up under the menu instead of at the bottom of the window. This would have been fine except for the text in in not lining up with text within the window itself and the little resize icon in the right corner still being shown. I gave up on the status-bar-at-top idea and went for the animation idea because it was just more cool looking.

So the animation always shows up on a white square background. That’s not such a big deal. No one will see this anyhow.