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Getting all text from childwindows through EnumChildWindows

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Hi. (I AM USING VB.net, visual Studio 2005)
I need to extract the text on buttons, on labels, in textboxes etc inside another window ( in my case its from a provider och financialdata, where i want to read numbers ) . How can i locate ALL childwindows inside the other application and extract that text. I have tried with making something out of a combination of  
Declare Auto Function FindWindowEx Lib  "user32"
and
 Declare Function EnumChildWindows Lib "user32"
Basically I wan't ALL childwindows inside the MAIN Application.

Some info is here, but i don't exactly understand it.
http://www.xtremevbtalk.com/archive/index.php/t-130418.html

Say for example that i have the hWnd of the main window, and i wan't EVERYTHING that is a childwindow of hWnd, and also the "childwindows of the childwindow"
Thanks.

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Question by:soriega
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Author Comment

by:soriega
ID: 21801113
Urgent help needed.. (Thanks)
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Expert Comment

by:Clif
ID: 21804548
Not entirely sure of this will help, but I did find this which seems to fit what you're looking for...

http://forums.devshed.com/net-development-87/vb-net-getting-url-from-ie-instances-390854.html
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Author Comment

by:soriega
ID: 21807128
Thanks, i will do some testing and se if it works
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Author Comment

by:soriega
ID: 21807942
As far as i Can see, this solution ( in the link ) returns only the title of windows. In the example it returns the title of each Iexplorer window. What i was looking for was rather ALL the childwindows that are UNDER the main window. For example. If i have a Form1 with a button, named "button1"  and text button1.text="HELP" and a label with label1.text ="MYTEST", then what i want is a script that looks through Form1 and returns all the controls and labels, and the text of the childcontrols
Thanks
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by:Clif
ID: 21811929
To get the "text" of controls, you should use "getWindowText()".  You won't be able to get the values from labels, though.  Labels are not controls in the strictest sense of the word.
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Author Comment

by:soriega
ID: 21811967
OK, is there any way of reading values from say a datagrid in another application. I basically wan't to read numbers and try to execute trades at an application from a online broker. It seems like its some sort of datagridview or labels or textboxes or similar
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Accepted Solution

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Clif earned 500 total points
ID: 21812032
Sorry, I can't help you there.  I really have no idea how a grid control is created or maintained (internally).

If the control has true windows (ie, has an hWnd), then you should be able to read the control's text.  Unfortunately not everything in Windows is a window, and not every text you see it a text object.  Some of the text you see is, for lack of a better term, images on the control.  This is what a label control basically is.  It's actually an image of the text and not the text itself (once the application is running).
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Author Closing Comment

by:soriega
ID: 31467812
Thanks for the explanation, i was prepared that it might not work. I will try to find some better (...more expensive) provider of stockprices
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Expert Comment

by:Clif
ID: 21812350
Will your application have web access?  If so, you can make an http call to get a page which contains the data you need and can easily scrape it from there.

Most websites have a fifteen to twenty minute delay on stock prices, though, unless you buy a subscription.

Good luck.
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