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Programming Help - vb.net/C# app to click in another application window using Win API or sendmessage

Posted on 2009-12-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-17
I have to install a package on a bunch of machines and the package takes forever to install (45+ min).  To make matters worse it pops up with a continue box about every 5 min during the install forcing you to sit around and hit continue.

I want to write a simple program that clicks continue for me so I can automate the install process.  In VB 6 I use to use sendmessage but I can't seem to figure it out in vb.net

Example program structure of what I would like to write:
For each window in openWindowCollection
    If window.title = "Install Window" then
        Window.Sendmessage("Click Continue")
      end if
Next
Sleep()

Can someone help me out with this please?
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Question by:TedgCl
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4 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:hiteshgoldeneye
ID: 26152915
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Author Comment

by:TedgCl
ID: 26154607
What do I use to scan what windows are open to check to see if the "Continue' window is open?  How do I get that window handle?  How do I pass that handle to sendkeys?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Mike Tomlinson earned 2000 total points
ID: 26155829
This uses Bob's (TheLearnedOne) code from here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/.NET/Visual_Basic.NET/Q_23357525.html

Instead of a Button you can put the code into a Timer that checks every xxx seconds.

So it might look something like:
Imports System.Collections.Generic
Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Imports System.Text
Public Class Form1

    Private Const WM_LBUTTONDOWN As Integer = &H201
    Private Const BM_SETSTATE As Integer = &HF3
    Private Const BM_CLICK As Integer = &HF5
    Private Const WM_LBUTTONUP As Integer = &H202
  
    Private Declare Function SendMessage Lib "user32" Alias "SendMessageA" _
        (ByVal handle As Int32, ByVal uMsg As Integer, _
         ByVal wParam As Integer, ByVal lParam As Integer) As Integer

    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim enumerator As New WindowsEnumerator
        For Each top As ApiWindow in enumerator.GetTopLevelWindows()
            If top.MainWindowTitle.ToLower = "install window title here" Then
                For Each child As ApiWindow child in enumerator.GetChildWindows(top.hWnd) 
                    If child.MainWindowTitle.ToLower = "button text here" Then
                        ClickButton(child.hWnd)
                        Exit For
                    End If
                Next child
                Exit For
            End If
        Next top
    End Sub

    Private Sub ClickButton(ByVal handle As Int32)
        Call SendMessage(handle, WM_LBUTTONDOWN, 0, 0)
        Call SendMessage(handle, BM_SETSTATE, 1, 0)
        Call SendMessage(handle, BM_CLICK, 0, 0)
        Call SendMessage(handle, WM_LBUTTONUP, 0, 0)
    End Sub

End Class

Public Class ApiWindow
    Public MainWindowTitle As String = ""
    Public ClassName As String = ""
    Public hWnd As Int32
End Class

''' <summary> 
''' Enumerate top-level and child windows 
''' </summary> 
''' <example> 
''' Dim enumerator As New WindowsEnumerator()
''' For Each top As ApiWindow in enumerator.GetTopLevelWindows()
'''    Console.WriteLine(top.MainWindowTitle)
'''    For Each child As ApiWindow child in enumerator.GetChildWindows(top.hWnd) 
'''        Console.WriteLine(" " + child.MainWindowTitle)
'''    Next child
''' Next top
''' </example> 
Public Class WindowsEnumerator

    Private Delegate Function EnumCallBackDelegate(ByVal hwnd As Integer, ByVal lParam As Integer) As Integer

    ' Top-level windows.
    Private Declare Function EnumWindows Lib "user32" _
     (ByVal lpEnumFunc As EnumCallBackDelegate, ByVal lParam As Integer) As Integer

    ' Child windows.
    Private Declare Function EnumChildWindows Lib "user32" _
     (ByVal hWndParent As Integer, ByVal lpEnumFunc As EnumCallBackDelegate, ByVal lParam As Integer) As Integer

    ' Get the window class.
    Private Declare Function GetClassName _
     Lib "user32" Alias "GetClassNameA" _
     (ByVal hwnd As Integer, ByVal lpClassName As StringBuilder, ByVal nMaxCount As Integer) As Integer

    ' Test if the window is visible--only get visible ones.
    Private Declare Function IsWindowVisible Lib "user32" _
     (ByVal hwnd As Integer) As Integer

    ' Test if the window's parent--only get the one's without parents.
    Private Declare Function GetParent Lib "user32" _
     (ByVal hwnd As Integer) As Integer

    ' Get window text length signature.
    Private Declare Function SendMessage _
     Lib "user32" Alias "SendMessageA" _
     (ByVal hwnd As Int32, ByVal wMsg As Int32, ByVal wParam As Int32, ByVal lParam As Int32) As Int32

    ' Get window text signature.
    Private Declare Function SendMessage _
     Lib "user32" Alias "SendMessageA" _
     (ByVal hwnd As Int32, ByVal wMsg As Int32, ByVal wParam As Int32, ByVal lParam As StringBuilder) As Int32

    Private _listChildren As New List(Of ApiWindow)
    Private _listTopLevel As New List(Of ApiWindow)

    Private _topLevelClass As String = ""
    Private _childClass As String = ""

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Get all top-level window information
    ''' </summary>
    ''' <returns>List of window information objects</returns>
    Public Overloads Function GetTopLevelWindows() As List(Of ApiWindow)

        EnumWindows(AddressOf EnumWindowProc, &H0)

        Return _listTopLevel

    End Function

    Public Overloads Function GetTopLevelWindows(ByVal className As String) As List(Of ApiWindow)

        _topLevelClass = className

        Return Me.GetTopLevelWindows()

    End Function

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Get all child windows for the specific windows handle (hwnd).
    ''' </summary>
    ''' <returns>List of child windows for parent window</returns>
    Public Overloads Function GetChildWindows(ByVal hwnd As Int32) As List(Of ApiWindow)

        ' Clear the window list.
        _listChildren = New List(Of ApiWindow)

        ' Start the enumeration process.
        EnumChildWindows(hwnd, AddressOf EnumChildWindowProc, &H0)

        ' Return the children list when the process is completed.
        Return _listChildren

    End Function

    Public Overloads Function GetChildWindows(ByVal hwnd As Int32, ByVal childClass As String) As List(Of ApiWindow)

        ' Set the search
        _childClass = childClass

        Return Me.GetChildWindows(hwnd)

    End Function

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Callback function that does the work of enumerating top-level windows.
    ''' </summary>
    ''' <param name="hwnd">Discovered Window handle</param>
    ''' <returns>1=keep going, 0=stop</returns>
    Private Function EnumWindowProc(ByVal hwnd As Int32, ByVal lParam As Int32) As Int32

        ' Eliminate windows that are not top-level.
        If GetParent(hwnd) = 0 AndAlso CBool(IsWindowVisible(hwnd)) Then

            ' Get the window title / class name.
            Dim window As ApiWindow = GetWindowIdentification(hwnd)

            ' Match the class name if searching for a specific window class.
            If _topLevelClass.Length = 0 OrElse window.ClassName.ToLower() = _topLevelClass.ToLower() Then
                _listTopLevel.Add(window)
            End If

        End If

        ' To continue enumeration, return True (1), and to stop enumeration 
        ' return False (0).
        ' When 1 is returned, enumeration continues until there are no 
        ' more windows left.

        Return 1

    End Function

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Callback function that does the work of enumerating child windows.
    ''' </summary>
    ''' <param name="hwnd">Discovered Window handle</param>
    ''' <returns>1=keep going, 0=stop</returns>
    Private Function EnumChildWindowProc(ByVal hwnd As Int32, ByVal lParam As Int32) As Int32

        Dim window As ApiWindow = GetWindowIdentification(hwnd)

        ' Attempt to match the child class, if one was specified, otherwise
        ' enumerate all the child windows.
        If _childClass.Length = 0 OrElse window.ClassName.ToLower() = _childClass.ToLower() Then
            _listChildren.Add(window)
        End If

        Return 1

    End Function

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Build the ApiWindow object to hold information about the Window object.
    ''' </summary>
    Private Function GetWindowIdentification(ByVal hwnd As Integer) As ApiWindow

        Const WM_GETTEXT As Int32 = &HD
        Const WM_GETTEXTLENGTH As Int32 = &HE

        Dim window As New ApiWindow()

        Dim title As New StringBuilder()

        ' Get the size of the string required to hold the window title.
        Dim size As Int32 = SendMessage(hwnd, WM_GETTEXTLENGTH, 0, 0)

        ' If the return is 0, there is no title.
        If size > 0 Then
            title = New StringBuilder(size + 1)

            SendMessage(hwnd, WM_GETTEXT, title.Capacity, title)
        End If

        ' Get the class name for the window.
        Dim classBuilder As New StringBuilder(64)
        GetClassName(hwnd, classBuilder, 64)

        ' Set the properties for the ApiWindow object.
        window.ClassName = classBuilder.ToString()
        window.MainWindowTitle = title.ToString()
        window.hWnd = hwnd

        Return window

    End Function

End Class

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Author Comment

by:TedgCl
ID: 26158913
Perfect!  Thanks!
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