Get reference to Internet Explorer

How can I get a reference to an existing instance of Internet Explorer?  I'm trying to do something like this:

Dim ieBrowserRef as InternetExplorer
Dim i as Integer
Dim colBrowsers as Collection

for i = 1 to [total number of running browsers]
   set ieBrowserRef = [an existing browser instance]
   colBrowsers.add ieBrowserRef
next
dfc106Asked:
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ArkConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Hi
Here is the basic:

   Dim SWs As SHDocVw.ShellWindows
   Set SWs = New SHDocVw.ShellWindows
   Dim var As SHDocVw.InternetExplorer
   Set mCol = Nothing
   Set mCol = New Collection
   For Each var In SWs
       mCol.Add var
   Next
   Set SWs = Nothing
   Set var = Nothing

For full working sample take a look on my code at
http://www.freevbcode.com/ShowCode.Asp?ID=1606

Cheers
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Ryan ChongCommented:
Hi, try to use the FindWindow API to get the handle of running window ?

Here is a sample that Close an application using the APIs:

Private Declare Function FindWindow Lib "user32" Alias _
"FindWindowA" (ByVal lpClassName As String, _
ByVal lpWindowName As String) As Long
Private Declare Function PostMessage Lib "user32" Alias _
"PostMessageA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal wMsg As Long, _
ByVal wParam As Long, lParam As Any) As Long
Private Const WM_CLOSE = &H10
Private Sub cmdClose_Click()
    Dim winHwnd As Long
    Dim RetVal As Long
    winHwnd = FindWindow(vbNullString, Text1.Text)
    Debug.Print winHwnd
    If winHwnd <> 0 Then
        RetVal = PostMessage(winHwnd, WM_CLOSE, 0&, 0&)
        If RetVal = 0 Then
            MsgBox "Error posting message."
        End If
    Else
        MsgBox Text1.Text + " is not open."
    End If
End Sub

'Hope this will give you some idea. Comment if i'm wrong, thanks.
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dfc106Author Commented:
I can get the handles by using the enumerate window api, but from there I don't know how to get an InternetExplorer reference.  Basically I want to be able to recieve events from an existing IE.  I can get the events if my program starts IE, but I don't know how to get them if IE was started some other way.  Thanks for helping.
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CJ_SCommented:
To receive events from Internet Explorer you may want to dive in Dynamic Data Exchange. I have recently created an application which could be used to rewceive events from Netscape. IE has the same DDE topics available...

if you want a sample, ask and I can email it to you...

Regards,
CJ
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WalterMCommented:
If your component runs from within Internet Explorer, you can use the shell32.dll API call SHGetInstanceExplorer:

--- code starts here ---

Private Declare Sub SHGetInstanceExplorer(ppUnk As Object)

Dim ieBrowserRef as InternetExplorer
Dim i as Integer
Dim colBrowsers as Collection

for i = 1 to [total number of running browsers]
  SHGetInstanceExplorer ieBrowserRef
  colBrowsers.add ieBrowserRef
next

--- code ends here ---

Michel
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dfc106Author Commented:
Ark,

That looks like what I want but it doesn't seem to always get every running instance.  

I put the following code on a new exe project.  I start a new browser.  Then start another browser by opening a link in the first browser in a new window.  The code should close both instances but it only closes the first instance.  Am I missing something?  Is there a way to get a reference to the second instance?  Thanks

Private Sub Form_Load()
   Dim x As SHDocVw.ShellWindows
   Dim y As SHDocVw.InternetExplorer

   Set x = New SHDocVw.ShellWindows
   Debug.Print x.Count
   For Each y In x
      Debug.Print y.Name
      y.Quit
   Next
End Sub

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ArkCommented:
Hi
Take a look at my full code from link above. There are WindowRegistered/WindowRevoked events and this is a good place to update Explorer's collection.

Cheers
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dfc106Author Commented:
Thanks Ark.  The code example is excellent, I should be able to figure my problem out from that.  But did you know the program blows up anytime a window spawns a new window either by opening a link in a new window, or javascript opening a new window?
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ArkCommented:
Hi
Not sure, but check my another sample:

http://www.freevbcode.com/ShowCode.Asp?ID=1308

Cheers
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