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Posted 5 Apr 2001

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


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.

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About the Author

Joseph M. Newcomer
United States United States
PhD, Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, 1975
Certificate in Forensic Science and the Law, Duquesne University, 2008

Co-Author, [i]Win32 Programming[/i]

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionHow capture a DirectX or OpenGL window? Pin
peterbing22-Feb-04 21:17
memberpeterbing22-Feb-04 21:17 
AnswerRe: How capture a DirectX or OpenGL window? Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer22-Feb-04 22:13
memberJoseph M. Newcomer22-Feb-04 22:13 
GeneralRe: How capture a DirectX or OpenGL window? Pin
NeWi13-Oct-05 7:29
memberNeWi13-Oct-05 7:29 
Questionhow to save clipboard to file?? Pin
Anonymous1-Jan-04 20:41
sussAnonymous1-Jan-04 20:41 
AnswerRe: how to save clipboard to file?? Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer1-Jan-04 20:55
memberJoseph M. Newcomer1-Jan-04 20:55 
AnswerRe: how to save clipboard to file?? Pin
Anonymous14-Jan-04 8:08
sussAnonymous14-Jan-04 8:08 
GeneralRe: how to save clipboard to file?? Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer14-Jan-04 8:58
memberJoseph M. Newcomer14-Jan-04 8:58 
AnswerRe: how to save clipboard to file?? Pin
NeWi13-Oct-05 7:18
memberNeWi13-Oct-05 7:18 
Two options if you want to do it programmatically.

Look into CxImage, which is a free graphics library. With it you can easily do this, as it is set up to convert between various formats.

If you need something more lightweight, google into the PNG library a little. They have one example code snippet that shows how to take an image from the clipboard and save it as a compressed PNG file. I use it and it works just beautifully and the PNG code is free as well.
QuestionHow to convert to non-mfc? Pin
Tommy2k9-Dec-03 11:22
memberTommy2k9-Dec-03 11:22 
AnswerRe: How to convert to non-mfc? Pin
NeWi13-Oct-05 7:25
memberNeWi13-Oct-05 7:25 
QuestionHow can i detect a global screen capture? Pin
Miguel Lopes27-Oct-03 13:38
memberMiguel Lopes27-Oct-03 13:38 
AnswerRe: How can i detect a global screen capture? Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer2-Nov-03 13:29
memberJoseph M. Newcomer2-Nov-03 13:29 
QuestionHow can I print it? Pin
Alex Evans30-Sep-03 14:32
memberAlex Evans30-Sep-03 14:32 
GeneralCapturing the whole window Pin
Arne Diegenbach25-Sep-03 11:35
sussArne Diegenbach25-Sep-03 11:35 
GeneralI rate 5 for this article! Pin
xxxyyyzzz12-Feb-03 10:17
memberxxxyyyzzz12-Feb-03 10:17 
Generalsomething that you don't need Pin
Anonymous10-Oct-02 3:44
sussAnonymous10-Oct-02 3:44 
GeneralRe: something that you don't need Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer10-Oct-02 15:23
memberJoseph M. Newcomer10-Oct-02 15:23 
Generalthere's a bug Pin
pangtao17-Jul-02 17:45
susspangtao17-Jul-02 17:45 
GeneralPossible Resource Leakage Pin
Lim Bio Liong7-Jan-02 22:27
memberLim Bio Liong7-Jan-02 22:27 
GeneralRe: Possible Resource Leakage Pin
Doug Hagerman1-Mar-02 15:49
memberDoug Hagerman1-Mar-02 15:49 
GeneralRe: Possible Resource Leakage Pin
Lim Bio Liong1-Mar-02 17:19
memberLim Bio Liong1-Mar-02 17:19 
GeneralRe: Possible Resource Leakage Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer1-Mar-02 20:10
memberJoseph M. Newcomer1-Mar-02 20:10 
GeneralRe: Possible Resource Leakage Pin
Joseph M. Newcomer1-Mar-02 20:03
memberJoseph M. Newcomer1-Mar-02 20:03 
GeneralRe: Possible Resource Leakage Pin
Lim Bio Liong2-Mar-02 23:39
memberLim Bio Liong2-Mar-02 23:39 
QuestionAn easier way? Pin
LrdElder6-Jan-02 9:25
memberLrdElder6-Jan-02 9:25 

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