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DrawText info  Overview  Group

The DrawText function draws formatted text in the specified rectangle. It formats the text according to the specified method (expanding tabs, justifying characters, breaking lines, and so forth).

int DrawText(

    HDC hDC,

// handle to device context

    LPCTSTR lpString,

// pointer to string to draw

    int nCount,

// string length, in characters

    LPRECT lpRect,

// pointer to structure with formatting dimensions

    UINT uFormat 

// text-drawing flags



Identifies the device context.
Points to the string to be drawn. If the nCount parameter is -1, the string must be null-terminated.
Specifies the number of characters in the string. If nCount is -1, then the lpString parameter is assumed to be a pointer to a null-terminated string and DrawText computes the character count automatically.
Points to a RECT structure that contains the rectangle (in logical coordinates) in which the text is to be formatted.
Specifies the method of formatting the text. It can be any combination of the following values:




Justifies the text to the bottom of the rectangle. This value must be combined with DT_SINGLELINE.


Determines the width and height of the rectangle. If there are multiple lines of text, DrawText uses the width of the rectangle pointed to by the lpRect parameter and extends the base of the rectangle to bound the last line of text. If there is only one line of text, DrawText modifies the right side of the rectangle so that it bounds the last character in the line. In either case, DrawText returns the height of the formatted text but does not draw the text.


Centers text horizontally in the rectangle.


Duplicates the text-displaying characteristics of a multiline edit control. Specifically, the average character width is calculated in the same manner as for an edit control, and the function does not display a partially visible last line.


Replaces part of the given string with ellipses, if necessary, so that the result fits in the specified rectangle. The given string is not modified unless the DT_MODIFYSTRING flag is specified.

You can specify DT_END_ELLIPSIS to replace characters at the end of the string, or DT_PATH_ELLIPSIS to replace characters in the middle of the string. If the string contains backslash (\) characters, DT_PATH_ELLIPSIS preserves as much as possible of the text after the last backslash.


Expands tab characters. The default number of characters per tab is eight.


Includes the font external leading in line height. Normally, external leading is not included in the height of a line of text.


Aligns text to the left.


Modifies the given string to match the displayed text. This flag has no effect unless the DT_END_ELLIPSIS or DT_PATH_ELLIPSIS flag is specified.


Draws without clipping. DrawText is somewhat faster when DT_NOCLIP is used.


Turns off processing of prefix characters. Normally, DrawText interprets the mnemonic-prefix character & as a directive to underscore the character that follows, and the mnemonic-prefix characters && as a directive to print a single &. By specifying DT_NOPREFIX, this processing is turned off.


Aligns text to the right.


Layout in right to left reading order for bi-directional text when the font selected into the hdc is a Hebrew or Arabic font. The default reading order for all text is left to right.


Displays text on a single line only. Carriage returns and linefeeds do not break the line.


Sets tab stops. Bits 15-8 (high-order byte of the low-order word) of the uFormat parameter specify the number of characters for each tab. The default number of characters per tab is eight.


Top-justifies text (single line only).


Centers text vertically (single line only).


Breaks words. Lines are automatically broken between words if a word would extend past the edge of the rectangle specified by the lpRect parameter. A carriage return-linefeed sequence also breaks the line.

Note that the DT_CALCRECT, DT_EXTERNALLEADING, DT_INTERNAL, DT_NOCLIP, and DT_NOPREFIX values cannot be used with the DT_TABSTOP value.

Return Values

If the function succeeds, the return value is the height of the text.

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


The DrawText function uses the device contextís selected font, text color, and background color to draw the text. Unless the DT_NOCLIP format is used, DrawText clips the text so that it does not appear outside the specified rectangle. All formatting is assumed to have multiple lines unless the DT_SINGLELINE format is specified.

If the selected font is too large for the specified rectangle, the DrawText function does not attempt to substitute a smaller font.

See Also

GrayString, TabbedTextOut, TextOut, RECT

See also:

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