Interface with external windows

This is a discussion on Interface with external windows within the Windows Programming forums, part of the Platform Specific Boards category; Is there any way to capture data from or manipulate windows that don't belong to your application? For instance, if ...

  1. #1
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    Interface with external windows

    Is there any way to capture data from or manipulate windows that don't belong to your application? For instance, if I want my program to click a button in another program, or read text from a text field in another program, is that possible?

    Thanks!

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    You could use FindWindowEx to find the window (though you'd have to know some specifics of which one you're looking for), and then follow up by using EnumChildWindows on the returned handle from FindWindow to go through all the child windows of that window or even use FindWindow again to find a specific child window, i.e. edit box.
    The only real problem is you'd need to know at least either the handle of the control or its ID within the parent window to get the right one.

  3. #3
    MFC killed my cat! manutd's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that there are privacy issues associated with that.
    Silence is better than unmeaning words.
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    Thanks @nthony, that'll definitely get me started.

    manutd, what privacy issues are there?

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    MFC killed my cat! manutd's Avatar
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    Well, for one this is the behavior a lot of illicit programs use. Second, you may capture private information that the user does not want you to have.
    Silence is better than unmeaning words.
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    Ah, gotcha. I'm just trying to simplify a repetitive task for myself.

  7. #7
    MFC killed my cat! manutd's Avatar
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    Oh, that's fine. Just telling you to be aware. I had a friend who almost lost his job for something like that.
    Silence is better than unmeaning words.
    - Pythagoras
    My blog

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