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FOUND! how to attach to running instances of Internet Explorer

Most folks know you can start up an instance of Internet Explorer by
saying "x=win32com.cli ent.Dispatch('I nternetExplorer .Application.1' )"
and you get a WIN32 object with a "Document" object that has arrays of
"Link"/"Form"/"Frame" subobjects, and methods like "Navigate" where
you can force the IE instance to browse to a new URL.

What folks would like to do is to connect to an already running
version of explorer, and this isn't so obvious.

The MS KB article you usually find is 176792 which mentions using
SHDocVw.ShellWi ndows to iterate through the instances. However Mark
Hammond sayes this is a "vtable interface" (whatever that is) and "not
supported by python" in

HA! well, I happened to discover you can do:

import win32com.client
# look in the makepy output for IE for the "CLSIDToClassMa p"
# dictionary, and find the entry for "ShellWindo ws"
clsid='{9BA0597 2-F6A8-11CF-A442-00A0C90A8F39}'
ShellWindows=wi n32com.client.D ispatch(clsid)
for i in range(ShellWind ows.Count):
print i
# this is the titlebar value
print ShellWindows[i].LocationName
# this is the current URL
print ShellWindows[i].LocationURL

and the object returned by ShellWindows[n] is the exact same as the
one returned by Dispatch('Inter netExplorer.App lication.1')

I'm posting this here for future generations of Googlers.

So I'm running Win2K Pro... and I'm curious about what versions this
works under. I'm pretty sure you have to have IE 5.0 or newer, but
could folks try this code on 95/98 and tell me (gcash-at-cfl.rr.com)
if it works??

Also, I haven't been able to determine if there's a better name of the
form 'InternetExplor er.Application. 1' instead of using the horrid
class-id. How do you do that? The makepy output for explorer doesn't
list one.

Thanks to Mark Hammond for win32all, it is a true work of art, and is
teaching an old UNIX hack lots of Windows stuff.


I've never tried emacs because I already _have_ an OS on this peecee.
-- mi***@mikea.ath .cx (Mike Andrews)
Jul 18 '05 #1
3 9450
gcash ....

Your win32 script for connecting to open IE instances
works fine for me using ....

Python 2.2.1

Displays info for open IE instances
for both local and remote pages ....

Cousin Stanley
Human Being
Phoenix, Arizona
Jul 18 '05 #2
"Cousin Stanley" <Co***********@ hotmail.com> writes:
Your win32 script for connecting to open IE instances
works fine for me using ....

Python 2.2.1

Awesome! That gives me hope it isn't some one-off WIN2K thing.
Cool! Thanks.


I've never tried emacs because I already _have_ an OS on this peecee.
-- mi***@mikea.ath .cx (Mike Andrews)
Jul 18 '05 #3
> Also, I haven't been able to determine if there's a better name of the
form 'InternetExplor er.Application. 1' instead of using the horrid
class-id. How do you do that? The makepy output for explorer doesn't
list one.

The relevant MSDN page[1] lists the ProgID as 'Shell.Windows' or
'ShellWindows._ NewEnum'; however when trying to dispatch with either as the
class string fails. Also, searching the registry reveals nothing for the

[1] http://tinyurl.com/ix1z , i.e.

Jul 18 '05 #4

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