Scrolled Windows

Scrolled windows are used to create a scrollable area with another widget inside it. You may insert any type of widget into a scrolled window, and it will be accessible regardless of the size by using the scrollbars.

The following function is used to create a new scrolled window.

GtkWidget *gtk_scrolled_window_new( GtkAdjustment *hadjustment,
                                    GtkAdjustment *vadjustment );

Where the first argument is the adjustment for the horizontal direction, and the second, the adjustment for the vertical direction. These are almost always set to NULL.

void gtk_scrolled_window_set_policy( GtkScrolledWindow *scrolled_window,
                                     GtkPolicyType      hscrollbar_policy,
                                     GtkPolicyType      vscrollbar_policy );

This sets the policy to be used with respect to the scrollbars. The first argument is the scrolled window you wish to change. The second sets the policy for the horizontal scrollbar, and the third the policy for the vertical scrollbar.

The policy may be one of GTK_POLICY_AUTOMATIC or GTK_POLICY_ALWAYS. GTK_POLICY_AUTOMATIC will automatically decide whether you need scrollbars, whereas GTK_POLICY_ALWAYS will always leave the scrollbars there.

You can then place your object into the scrolled window using the following function.

void gtk_scrolled_window_add_with_viewport( GtkScrolledWindow *scrolled_window,
                                            GtkWidget         *child);

Here is a simple example that packs a table with 100 toggle buttons into a scrolled window. I've only commented on the parts that may be new to you.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <gtk/gtk.h>

static void destroy( GtkWidget *widget,
                     gpointer   data )
    gtk_main_quit ();

int main( int   argc,
          char *argv[] )
    static GtkWidget *window;
    GtkWidget *scrolled_window;
    GtkWidget *table;
    GtkWidget *button;
    char buffer[32];
    int i, j;
    gtk_init (&argc, &argv);
    /* Create a new dialog window for the scrolled window to be
     * packed into.  */
    window = gtk_dialog_new ();
    g_signal_connect (window, "destroy",
		      G_CALLBACK (destroy), NULL);
    gtk_window_set_title (GTK_WINDOW (window), "GtkScrolledWindow example");
    gtk_container_set_border_width (GTK_CONTAINER (window), 0);
    gtk_widget_set_size_request (window, 300, 300);
    /* create a new scrolled window. */
    scrolled_window = gtk_scrolled_window_new (NULL, NULL);
    gtk_container_set_border_width (GTK_CONTAINER (scrolled_window), 10);
    /* the policy is one of GTK_POLICY AUTOMATIC, or GTK_POLICY_ALWAYS.
     * GTK_POLICY_AUTOMATIC will automatically decide whether you need
     * scrollbars, whereas GTK_POLICY_ALWAYS will always leave the scrollbars
     * there.  The first one is the horizontal scrollbar, the second, 
     * the vertical. */
    gtk_scrolled_window_set_policy (GTK_SCROLLED_WINDOW (scrolled_window),
                                    GTK_POLICY_AUTOMATIC, GTK_POLICY_ALWAYS);
    /* The dialog window is created with a vbox packed into it. */								
    gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (GTK_DIALOG(window)->vbox), scrolled_window, 
			TRUE, TRUE, 0);
    gtk_widget_show (scrolled_window);
    /* create a table of 10 by 10 squares. */
    table = gtk_table_new (10, 10, FALSE);
    /* set the spacing to 10 on x and 10 on y */
    gtk_table_set_row_spacings (GTK_TABLE (table), 10);
    gtk_table_set_col_spacings (GTK_TABLE (table), 10);
    /* pack the table into the scrolled window */
    gtk_scrolled_window_add_with_viewport (
                   GTK_SCROLLED_WINDOW (scrolled_window), table);
    gtk_widget_show (table);
    /* this simply creates a grid of toggle buttons on the table
     * to demonstrate the scrolled window. */
    for (i = 0; i < 10; i++)
       for (j = 0; j < 10; j++) {
          sprintf (buffer, "button (%d,%d)\n", i, j);
	  button = gtk_toggle_button_new_with_label (buffer);
	  gtk_table_attach_defaults (GTK_TABLE (table), button,
	                             i, i+1, j, j+1);
          gtk_widget_show (button);
    /* Add a "close" button to the bottom of the dialog */
    button = gtk_button_new_with_label ("close");
    g_signal_connect_swapped (button, "clicked",
			      G_CALLBACK (gtk_widget_destroy),
    /* this makes it so the button is the default. */
    gtk_widget_set_can_default (button, TRUE);
    gtk_box_pack_start (GTK_BOX (GTK_DIALOG (window)->action_area), button, TRUE, TRUE, 0);
    /* This grabs this button to be the default button. Simply hitting
     * the "Enter" key will cause this button to activate. */
    gtk_widget_grab_default (button);
    gtk_widget_show (button);
    gtk_widget_show (window);
    return 0;

Try playing with resizing the window. You'll notice how the scrollbars react. You may also wish to use the gtk_widget_set_size_request() call to set the default size of the window or other widgets.