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Monitoring KeyStrokes

Posted on 2002-05-29
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Last Modified: 2010-05-02
We need to write an application that monitors every single key stroke made on a computer, but have the monitoring application sitting in the background, completely invisible to the user.  Is there an API available that can help do this?  If so, how do we use it?

Ta.
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Question by:Luke_Stephens
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TimCottee earned 200 total points
ID: 7041388
You are after a Keylogger in effect. There are many commercially available applications that do this, also many freeware/shareware ones as well. The basic problem in creating such an application is that you cannot easily create a systemwide hook into the keyboard buffer. You have to have the callback process in a standard dll which cannot be created by VB. However there are a number of standard dlls created for this very purpose. One that I have used succesfully is from http://www.vbaccelerator.com the vbalhook.dll. There are also samples here that can be used to build exactly the sort of application you are interested in.
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by:corvanderlinden
ID: 7041494
You cna use Hooks

The WH_KEYBOARD and WH_KEYBOARD_LL intercept messages that relate to keyboard input.

The WH_JOURNALRECORD Hook receives mouse, keyboard and other hardware messages from the system.
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by:TimCottee
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Indeed corvanderlinden you can but you still need to use an additional dll to make this systemwide as vb can only handle application wide hooks.
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by:AzraSound
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"Subclass Keyboard and Mouse Events in Other Applications (Version 2.0)"
http://www.freevbcode.com/ShowCode.Asp?ID=1610
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by:TimCottee
ID: 7041795
I knew Ark must have done something like this, I should have checked myself really.
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by:Luke_Stephens
ID: 7041830
On a VB course at the moment, no WinZip, so I can't check that dll out yet.  I'm not ignoring you all though, cheers for your help so far...
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by:AzraSound
ID: 7041847
The link I pointed you to is done in pure VB
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by:AzraSound
ID: 7041854
If Ark shows up in this thread, he deserves the credit...that man does wonders in "low-level" VB
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by:Luke_Stephens
ID: 7041877
It's in a zip file now mate.
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by:AzraSound
ID: 7041949
Aware of that...just offering additional commentary at no charge   ;-)
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by:Luke_Stephens
ID: 7041984
Very kind of you!
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by:Luke_Stephens
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Cheers mate, sorry for the long silence - I was on a course and this lad wanted to know how to do this.  Don't know if he managed it but I want to close this question!

Luke
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