INFO: Transparent Windows

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 92526 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q92526
Expand all | Collapse all


Microsoft Windows version does not support fully functional transparent windows.


If a window is created using CreateWindowEx() with the WS_EX_TRANSPARENT style, windows below it at the position where the original window was initially placed are not obscured and show through. Moving the WS_EX_TRANSPARENT window, however, results in the old window background moving to the new position, because Windows does not support fully functional transparent windows.

WS_EX_TRANSPARENT was designed to be used in very modal situations and the lifetime of a window with this style must be very short. A good use of this style is for drawing tracking points on the top of another window. For example, a dialog editor would use it to draw tracking points around the control that is being selected or moved.

In Windows 2000, specific colors in a window can be made truly transparent by giving the window the WS_EX_LAYERED extended style and calling SetLayeredWindowAttributes.


Article ID: 92526 - Last Review: July 11, 2005 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Platform Software Development Kit-January 2000 Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit 3.1
kbinfo kbwndwprop kbwndw KB92526

Give Feedback


Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from