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CreateDC info  Overview  Group

The CreateDC function creates a device context (DC) for a device by using the specified name.

HDC CreateDC(

    LPCTSTR lpszDriver,

// pointer to string specifying driver name

    LPCTSTR lpszDevice,

// pointer to string specifying device name

    LPCTSTR lpszOutput,

// do not use; set to NULL

    CONST DEVMODE *lpInitData 

// pointer to optional printer data



Applications written for earlier versions of Windows used this parameter to specify the filename (without extension) of the device driver.

Windows 95: In Win32-based applications, this parameter is ignored and should be NULL, with one exception: You may obtain a display device context by specifying the null-terminated string “DISPLAY”. If this parameter is “DISPLAY”, all other parameters must be NULL.

Windows NT: Points to a null-terminated character string that specifies either “DISPLAY” for a display driver, or the name of a printer driver, which is usually “WINSPOOL”.

Points to a null-terminated character string that specifies the name of the specific output device being used, as shown by the Print Manager (for example, “Epson FX-80”). It is not the printer model name. The lpszDevice parameter must be used.
This parameter is ignored. Do not use it in a Win32 application. Win32-based applications should set this parameter to NULL. It exists to provide compatibility for applications written for earlier versions of Windows. For more information, see the following Remarks section.
Points to a DEVMODE structure containing device-specific initialization data for the device driver. The DocumentProperties function retrieves this structure filled in for a specified device. The lpInitData parameter must be NULL if the device driver is to use the default initialization (if any) specified by the user.

Return Values

If the function succeeds, the return value is the handle to a device context for the specified device.

If the function fails, the return value is NULL. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


Applications written for earlier versions of Windows used the lpszOutput parameter to specify a port name or to print to a file. Win32-based applications do not need to specify a port name. Win32-based applications can print to a file by calling the StartDoc function with a DOCINFO structure whose lpszOutput member specifies the path of the output filename.

When you no longer need the device context, call the DeleteDC function to delete it.

See Also

DeleteDC, DEVMODE, DOCINFO, DocumentProperties, StartDoc 

file: /Techref/os/win/api/win32/func/src/f08_11.htm, 4KB, , updated: 2001/6/24 04:58, local time: 2022/5/26 13:43,

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