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Find Topmost Window On Screen

Posted on 2008-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
I am trying to create a small app whereby I can monitor what is going on in a desktop.  What I'm currently stuck on is how to find out what is the topmost app running in the system.  For example is Internet Explorer the topmost?  Or Visual Studio, etc.

I figure I may need a hook but I'm not sure where to begin on that.  Or how to actually find out what is the top most!
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Question by:angus_young_acdc
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Daniel Reynolds earned 300 total points
ID: 22797236
The win32 API call of GetActiveWindow is what I think I recall using once upon a time.

It apparently now can be replaced by the following
GetActiveWindow Retrieves the window (handle to the active window attached to the calling thread's message queue.)
System.Windows.Forms.Form.ActiveForm

see this link for more info
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa302340.aspx#win32map_alphalist
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by:angus_young_acdc
ID: 22797325
Hi

I cant seem to add a reference to that API.  
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by:Daniel Reynolds
Daniel Reynolds earned 300 total points
ID: 22797476
Most of the functionality of the win32 api is also covered in the .NET framework. Try using .NET before reverting to the win32 api.

the link above contains a mapping of what win32 api call is now replaced by a .NET api call, so try using that first.... Otherwise,

Check these links out for info on using the win32 api in .NET
http://www.informit.com/guides/content.aspx?g=dotnet&seqNum=96
http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6330927813/m/2830976345
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 200 total points
ID: 22798436
You want GetForegroundWindow():
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms633505(VS.85).aspx

    "The GetForegroundWindow function returns a handle to the foreground window (the window with which the user is currently working). "

It would look like:

    [DllImport("user32.dll")]
    public  static extern IntPtr  GetForegroundWindow();

The ClassName of the foreground window may also be of interest to you.  The GetClassName() API is used in this PAQ:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/C_Sharp/Q_21611201.html#15181322

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Author Closing Comment

by:angus_young_acdc
ID: 31509685
Thanks guys!
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