We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Preventing app from getting focus

doobdave asked
Last Modified: 2010-03-24

I am writing an On-screen keyboard, similar to the one included in
windows 2k and XP.

The problem I am having is that I need my keyboard to never get the
focus, but still be able to process events such as mouse clicks.

I have tried setting focus back to the app that just lost the focus,
however in smoe application this does not work as the caret/cursor is
not returned to its original position. Therefore, I need to stop the
app that I'm writing to eg. IE or notepad, from ever losing the focus,
or rather, stop my app from activating/getting the focus.

I have tried various API's using various flags, but to no avail.

The closest I got was by using the SetWindowLong API with the
WS_EX_NOACTIVATE flag, which does stop my app from ever getting focus,
but it also makes it transparent and unable to receive any mouse

I have been struggling with this for a couple of weeks now, so any
help would be greatly appreciated.


Dave  :o)
Watch Question



I have now managed to stop my application from getting the focus, by discarding the Window Activate & MouseActivate messages, however, this does not stop the focused app from losing focus, which is my problem....


Dave :o)
Unlock this solution and get a sample of our free trial.
(No credit card required)

Oops, it should be: SetWindowsHookEx, WH_MOUSE, MouseProc.

I think my answer gives right description of on-screen keyboard work.

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Please provide your email to receive a sample view!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.