Rendering text question (context is MSWin UI Automation)

Chris Mellon arkanes at
Tue Jan 23 15:13:55 EST 2007

On 23 Jan 2007 12:06:35 -0800, imageguy <imageguy1206 at> wrote:
> > I am trying to use UI Automation to drive an MS Windows app (with pywinauto).
> >
> > I need to scrape the app's window contents and use some form of OCR to get at
> > the texts (pywinauto can't get at them).
> >
> > As an alternative to integrating an OCR engine, and since I know the fonts and
> > sizes used to write on the app's windows, I reasoned that I could base a simple
> > text recognition module on the capability to drive MSWindows text rendering - eg
> > to generate pixmaps of texts I expect to find in the driven app's windows, exact
> > to the pixel.
> >
> > The advantage of that approach would be exactitude and self-containment.
> >
> > I've verified manually inside an Idle window, that indeed I could produce
> > pixmaps of expected app texts, exact to the pixel (with Tkinter+screen capture
> > at least).
> >
> > I could use help to turn this into a programmable capability, ie : A simple -
> > with Tkinter or otherwise - way to wrap access to the MS Windows UI text
> > rendering engine, as a function that would return a picture of rendered text,
> > given a string, a font, a size and colors ?
> >
> > And ideally, without interfering with screen contents ?
> >
> > Thanks in advance for any guidance,
> >
> > Boris Borcic
> I was looking for ( and still am searching for) similiar functionality.
>  Specifically I would like to be able to capture a small area of the
> screen (a number or a code) and convert this to text that can be used
> in my application.
> When I asked my question, I was directed to the Microsoft Accessibility
> tool kit.
> Serach on this list for the post titled;
> "Reading text labels from a Win32 window"
> I work with wxPython and Win32 applications exclusively.
> So if I can be of any help or assistance, please let me know.
> Geoff.

The OP stated that pywinauto couldn't get at the text, so it's
probably drawn directly with GDI methods rather than being a static
text control. The accessibility toolkit only works if it's a static
text control or the application goes to some lengths to expose the
text to screen readers.

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