55000

How to capture the screen output of a running program?

Is it possible to take screenshots of a running program (with GUI) from another python program ? If so, what could be the steps and libraries that I could use ? (On Windows)

For example, let's say I have calc.exe running. I'd want to take screenshots of what is displayed to the user from myprogram.py.

My goal is to analyze what's displayed on the monitored program.

If it's not possible to isolate the screenshot to a running predefined program, I think I will have to take screenshots of the fullscreen but it's not very practical.

Answer1:

Capturing an screenshot is easy. Just install the Python Imaging Library and use the ImageGrab.grab() function to return an Image instance with the screenshot.

Capturing an specified window is a little more complicated, because you need the window coordinates. I recommend you to install the win32api modules and use a little module called winGuiAuto.py. Once you do that, you can do something like this:

hwnd = winGuiAuto.findTopWindow(title) rect = win32gui.GetWindowPlacement(hwnd)[-1] image = ImageGrab.grab(rect)

However, capturing the screen is the easy part. If you want to analyze the contents from screenshots, you're in for a lot of complications. This is probably the wrong approach for doing what you want and should be left as a last resort.

In most cases, it's easier to use the windows api to read the contents of a window's elements directly, but that won't work with some 3rd party GUI toolkits. That's not within the scope of your question so I'm not detailing it here, but you should read the source of the winGuiAuto.py module mentioned above for examples on how to do that, as well as checking the pywinauto library.

Answer2:

The ImageGrab Module, works on Windows only. The pyscreenshot module, is a better replacement for that, can be used to copy the contents of the screen to a PIL or Pillow image memory. Read more at link below.

https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyscreenshot

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