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Journaling Input Events

, 3 Mar 2001
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A tool for recording and playback of keyboard and mouse input
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  • Download demo project - 74 Kb
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    Sample Image - HookManager.jpg

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    This is an example for installing an application-defined hook procedures using Win32 SetWindowsHookEx() function. This project implements only WH_JOURNALRECORD and WH_JOURNALPLAYBACK hooks. I was looking for more information and sample programs, but the only sample I'd found was Hooks32, an old Win32 project. Because I didn't find any information about these problems into the developer sites (which I know), I decided to publish this simple tool.

    The application can be used to automate some routine tasks, for example - testing. Start the target application, launch the HookManager, and press the "Start Recording" button. Then HookManager minimizes itself and starts tracking keyboard and mouse events. When the recording is started, pressing CTRL+BREAK can stop it. Windows stops the recording and playback if the user presses CTRL+ALT+DEL or CTRL+ESC, which generates WM_CANCELJOURNAL system message. But, be careful when you are journaling the mouse events! The recorded mouse events are with the current pointer coordinates, and if you close the target application and open it again, it will appear on different position, so the mouse events will go to wrong place.

    This tool can be extended to do some more things. For example: the recorded events can be edited by changing the keystrokes (with different form data, etc.). But this is very precise work, because every pressed button generates 2 messages - WM_KEYDOWN and WM_KEYUP. The generated character depends from the state of other buttons - CTRL, SHIFT, CAPSLOCK, etc.

    I haven't tested the application on Windows NT yet, but with Win98 it works well. I will be glad to receive ideas about extending the functionality.

    Plamen Petrov, Varna, Bulgaria


    This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

    A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


    About the Author

    Plamen Petrov
    Software Developer
    Bulgaria Bulgaria

    Comments and Discussions

    Generalutility to record mouse and keyboard inputs PinmemberMember 1096510122-Jul-14 22:09 
    Suggestion PinmemberMember 1093440018-Jul-14 3:55 
    QuestionMouse cursor disappears PinmemberChris Hills2-Mar-10 12:54 
    GeneralVista PinmemberB4stard9-Aug-07 17:27 
    How do I rewrite this to work under Vista, given that journal hooks no longer work? I only want to be able to capture and play back user input within my own application.
    I've read that the hooks will work if the application is signed + has a manifest + is installed under program files, but that isn't going to happen.
    Can it be done using WH_KEYBOARD and WH_MOUSE hooks?
    GeneralThank you Pinmemberjrivero19-Jan-07 10:57 
    Questionedit recorded events....? Pinmemberrm_pkt8-Nov-06 0:46 
    QuestionHow to capture the time user types the keyboard Pinmemberimagica2-Nov-06 7:44 
    QuestionJournalRecord and JournalPlayback on "Windows CE"?? Pinmemberponian23-Aug-06 1:03 
    GeneralRe: JournalRecord and JournalPlayback on "Windows CE"?? Pinmemberponian23-Aug-06 1:08 
    GeneralVS.NET users (VC7.1 +) - Compiler Error C2316 PinmemberIntellex15-Aug-05 9:18 
    GeneralMonitorize mouse global events in WINDOWS-CE; PinmemberXBSANTOS4-May-05 2:45 
    GeneralRe: Monitorize mouse global events in WINDOWS-CE; PinmemberRahul P. Shukla28-Jun-07 23:27 
    GeneralMacro PinmemberSaiprabhu28-Jun-04 19:55 
    QuestionHow to catch Ctrl-C PinmemberWill25-Jun-03 5:48 
    QuestionKeyboard only - doesn't work? PinmemberWill24-Jun-03 23:32 
    AnswerRe: Keyboard only - doesn't work? PinmemberWill24-Jun-03 23:48 
    QuestionHow to control your event play times.? PinsussAnonymous12-May-03 23:26 
    AnswerRe: How to control your event play times.? PinmemberPlamen Petrov12-May-03 23:48 
    GeneralRe: How to control your event play times.? PinmemberWayne Gibson16-Sep-03 5:44 
    GeneralIt can't work well with win98!!! Pinmembernavy5-Jan-03 4:51 
    GeneralRe: It can't work well with win98!!! Pinmembernavy5-Jan-03 17:40 
    GeneralLast character has been gone PinsussAnonymous7-Sep-02 8:06 
    GeneralThis source code are OK PinmemberRousset de Pina17-Feb-02 11:00 
    GeneralDON'T DO IT PinmemberAnonymous13-Feb-02 14:15 
    GeneralRe: DON'T DO IT PinmemberRousset de Pina17-Feb-02 10:54 
    GeneralRe: DON'T DO IT PinsussAnonymous3-Oct-02 4:08 
    GeneralRe: DON'T DO IT Pinmembertomaszkluska16-Dec-03 3:29 
    Generalscreen resolution PinmemberStephanie Harding5-Jun-01 16:59 
    GeneralExcelent idea Pinmembereqnet5-Mar-01 11:10 
    GeneralRe: Excelent idea PinmemberPlamen Petrov6-Mar-01 20:21 

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