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Screen Capture to the Clipboard

, 5 Apr 2001
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How do you capture the bitmap of a window? This little download shows how, and places the bitmap on the clipboard.


One of the common questions that I find on the microsoft.public forums is "How do I get a bitmap of a window on the screen?" Well, here's a little subroutine I used extensively in writing Win32 Programming, because I realized that for the number of illustrations I wanted for the book, there was no hope of doing screen captures and then hand-editing just the control I wanted to show. So all my Explorers have a little button somewhere that performs a screen capture of the example window and drops it into the clipboard. I could then paste it into the document, or paste it into an editor and save it as a TIFF or JPEG as well.


void toClipboard(CWnd * wnd, BOOL FullWnd);


#include "stdafx.h"
#include "toclip.h" 
*                                 toClipboard
* Inputs:
*       CWnd * wnd: Window whose contents are to be sent 
*                   to the clipboard
*       BOOL FullWnd: TRUE for entire window, 
*                     FALSE for client area
* Result: void
* Effect: 
*       Copies the contents of the client area or the window
*       to the clipboard in CF_BITMAP format.

void toClipboard(CWnd * wnd, BOOL FullWnd)
     CDC dc;
        { /* full window */
         HDC hdc = ::GetWindowDC(wnd->m_hWnd);
        } /* full window */
        { /* client area only */
         HDC hdc = ::GetDC(wnd->m_hWnd);
        } /* client area only */

     CDC memDC;

     CBitmap bm;
     CRect r;

     CString s;
     CSize sz(r.Width(), r.Height());
     CBitmap * oldbm = memDC.SelectObject(&bm);
     memDC.BitBlt(0, 0,,, &dc, 0, 0, SRCCOPY);

     ::SetClipboardData(CF_BITMAP, bm.m_hObject);

     bm.Detach();  // make sure bitmap not deleted with CBitmap object

The views expressed in these essays are those of the author, and in no way represent, nor are they endorsed by, Microsoft.

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Copyright © 1999 All Rights Reserved


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About the Author

Joseph M. Newcomer

United States United States
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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: how to get image in memory? PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer9-Mar-05 11:40 
GeneralAbout mouse pointer PinmemberRodrigo Vaz4-Apr-04 18:09 
GeneralRe: About mouse pointer PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer4-Apr-04 20:35 
GeneralRe: About mouse pointer PinsussRodrigo Vaz6-Apr-04 20:25 
GeneralRe: About mouse pointer PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer6-Apr-04 22:12 
GeneralRe: About mouse pointer PinmemberRodrigo Vaz7-Apr-04 19:29 
GeneralRe: About mouse pointer PinmemberAndyzyx4-Sep-04 18:24 
GeneralRe: About mouse pointer PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer5-Sep-04 11:57 
This is nearly impossible. You can't tell from the clipboard what application put something into it, and therefore you can't tell what program was involved. In addition, except in the very restricted cases of NotePad and WordPad which are just wrappers around an EDIT and RICHEDIT control, respectively, there is no general way to even ask an application what its selection is, let alone where it is.
QuestionHow capture a DirectX or OpenGL window? Pinmemberpeterbing22-Feb-04 22:17 
AnswerRe: How capture a DirectX or OpenGL window? PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer22-Feb-04 23:13 
GeneralRe: How capture a DirectX or OpenGL window? PinmemberNeWi13-Oct-05 8:29 
Questionhow to save clipboard to file?? PinsussAnonymous1-Jan-04 21:41 
AnswerRe: how to save clipboard to file?? PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer1-Jan-04 21:55 
AnswerRe: how to save clipboard to file?? PinsussAnonymous14-Jan-04 9:08 
GeneralRe: how to save clipboard to file?? PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer14-Jan-04 9:58 
AnswerRe: how to save clipboard to file?? PinmemberNeWi13-Oct-05 8:18 
QuestionHow to convert to non-mfc? PinmemberTommy2k9-Dec-03 12:22 
AnswerRe: How to convert to non-mfc? PinmemberNeWi13-Oct-05 8:25 
QuestionHow can i detect a global screen capture? PinmemberMiguel Lopes27-Oct-03 14:38 
AnswerRe: How can i detect a global screen capture? PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer2-Nov-03 14:29 
QuestionHow can I print it? PinmemberAlex Evans30-Sep-03 15:32 
GeneralCapturing the whole window PinsussArne Diegenbach25-Sep-03 12:35 
GeneralI rate 5 for this article! Pinmemberxxxyyyzzz12-Feb-03 11:17 
Generalsomething that you don't need PinsussAnonymous10-Oct-02 4:44 
GeneralRe: something that you don't need PinmemberJoseph M. Newcomer10-Oct-02 16:23 

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