Understanding HOOKS

Posted on 2013-05-27
Last Modified: 2013-06-03
I have some code that monitors an Edit control and looks for the number 7 to be entered. When a 7 is entered, an action is taken.

I am new to c++, but want to understand each and every line of this code thoroughly.

To be fair, I will, of course break this down into multiple questions.

My first question about this code is:

[1] Can we go over the GetMsgProc function? A simple line by line explanation would be most beneficial.

Thank you! Although this code does work, I want to understand WHY.

and here is the code:

#include <windows.h>
HHOOK g_hhk;
HWND g_hEdit;

    int code,
    WPARAM wParam,
    LPARAM lParam
    if (0 > code || PM_NOREMOVE == wParam) return CallNextHookEx(g_hhk,code,wParam,lParam);

    MSG* pmsg = (MSG*) lParam;

    if (pmsg->message == WM_KEYDOWN) { // this one is for us

        if (pmsg->hwnd == g_hEdit && pmsg->wParam == VK_7) { // '7' has been pressed if the monitored edit control

            // ---> ACTION!
            MessageBox(NULL, "The number was pressed!", "Notice", MB_OK);

    return CallNextHookEx(g_hhk,code,wParam,lParam);

void InitMonitoring(HWND hEdit) {

    g_hEdit = hEdit;

    g_hhk = SetWindowsHookEx(WH_GETMESSAGE,GetMsgProc,NULL,GetCurrentThreadId());

void StopMonitoring() {


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Question by:edvinson
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

Zoppo earned 500 total points
ID: 39200367
Hi edvinson,

the GetMsgProc function is called every time the application calls GetMessage or PeekMessage because it's installed as a hook of type WH_GETMESSAGE. To learn more about hooks reading this is a good start:

In GetMsgProc first two things are checked:

1. If code is less than 0 the function has to call CallNextHookEx without further processing. This is proposed at

2. If wParam is PM_NOREMOVE the function even just calls CallNextHookEx without further processing because this means the application called PeekMessage without removing the message from the message queue. So this avoids the same message being processed more than once.

Next the function checks if the message is a WM_KEYDOWN and the control which recieved the message is the wanted g_hEdit and the pressed key is 7. If so the message box is shown.

In any case next the function calls CallNextHookEx to allow other maybe installed hooks to proccess the message too.

Hope that helps,


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39217995
very thorough explanation thank you very much

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