how to access current word in any program

Tag: windows Author: taozhugong888 Date: 2009-08-08 has a taskbar application that when you ALT + mouse-click on a word in any program it will pop up a window with information pulled from their website.

My question is-- what are the actual programming mechanics and APIs used to do something like this? I don't have Windows application programming experience and am trying to figure out where to start. How do you access the current word pointed to by the mouse?

Anyone aware of any examples or open source software that does anything like this?

Other Answer1

It's been a while and the last time I did something like this it was within my own wysiwyg editor so I had full access to all font characteristics needed to calculate which word was clicked by the mouse.

Maybe there's a n easy way to do this if all your apps are .NET or com or share some other framework which provides a way to retrieve this directly.

Via the API, I would look into hooking the keyboard and mouse messages so that your app can pre-process every mouse click on other applications - start with SetWindowsHookEx and read everything you can about hooking messages.

After getting your app to pre-process the messages, you then need to grab the text being clicked. Since text can be painted onto a device context in many different ways, you may be best off doing a screen scrape of the clicked area because the text may only exist as a bitmap. If this is the case, you have to perform some OCR to translate the scraped bitmap back into text. In other cases, the text may reside in the window as text - the WM_GETTEXT message may return this text from some types of windows (e.g. textboxes, buttons, etc.) but for normal windows, this message only return the title in the caption bar.

Sorry I don't have any definite answer, but this may get you started in the right direction.