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Mark Leighton Fisher (4252)

Mark Leighton Fisher
  (email not shown publicly)

I am a Systems Engineer at Regenstrief Institute []. I also own Fisher's Creek Consulting [].
Friday December 14, 2007
12:43 PM

Get Unicode Text from a VB6 RichTextBox Via the Clipboard

[ #35101 ]

VB6 works with Unicode internally, but for compatibility reasons ("hysterical raisins" (sic)), most of the VB6 GUI components work only on ANSI text (ASCII with codepages). However, Unicode is displayed nicely in VB6 if you use a RichTextBox control and the right font(s). I came to a point where I wanted to get the Unicode text out of that RichTextBox for use elsewhere in my program. The RichTextBox Text and TextRTF properties let you get at the ANSI-equivalent text and the underlying RTF, respectively but there is no RichTextBox property or method to get the plain old Unicode text from a VB6 RichTextBox.

But, when you copy a VB6 RichTextBox's text to the Clipboard, you get both the ANSI and the Unicode text on the Clipboard. It is unfortunate that this is the only easy way (I've found) to get the Unicode text of a VB6 RichTextBox, as it means throwing away the current contents of the Clipboard, then copying the RichTextBox text to the Clipboard where you can then extract the Unicode text for later use in your program. Still, it's better than limiting my code to work only with ANSI text (or writing a parser for the VB6 RichTextBox variant of RTF).

Here is some sample code that demonstrates how to get the Unicode text of a VB6 RichTextBox by passing it through the Clipboard first:

Option Explicit


Const WM_COPY = &H301

Private Declare Function OpenClipboard Lib "user32" (ByVal hwnd As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function CloseClipboard Lib "user32" () As Long
Private Declare Function EmptyClipboard Lib "user32" () As Long
Private Declare Function GetClipboardData Lib "user32" (ByVal wFormat As Long) As Long

Private Declare Function SendMessage Lib "user32" Alias "SendMessageA" _
(ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal wMsg As Long, ByVal wParam As Long, lParam As Any) As Long

Private Declare Function GlobalLock Lib "kernel32" _
    (ByVal hMem As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function GlobalUnlock Lib "kernel32" _
    (ByVal hMem As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function GlobalSize Lib "kernel32" _
    (ByVal hMem As Long) As Long
Private Declare Sub CopyMemory Lib "kernel32" _
    Alias "RtlMoveMemory" ( _
    lpvDest As Any, lpvSource As Any, ByVal cbCopy As Long)

Private Sub Command1_Click()

    On Error GoTo Command1_Click_Error

    Dim s As String
    Dim hMem As Long
    Dim memSize As Long
    Dim lPtr As Long
    Dim bData() As Byte

    'copy Unicode text from RichTextBox1 to the Clipboard
    RichTextBox1.SelStart = 0
    RichTextBox1.SelLength = Len(RichTextBox1.Text) * 2
    SendMessage RichTextBox1.hwnd, WM_COPY, 0, 0

    'get Unicode text in a global, movable memory block
    OpenClipboard RichTextBox1.hwnd
    hMem = GetClipboardData(CF_UNICODETEXT)
    memSize = GlobalSize(hMem)
    s = ""
    If memSize <= 0 Then
        GoTo Command1_Click_Exit
    End If

    'get a non-movable global pointer to the Unicode text
    lPtr = GlobalLock(hMem)
    If (lPtr = 0) Then
        GoTo Command1_Click_Exit
    End If

    'copy Unicode text to the String "s"
    ReDim bData(0 To memSize - 1) As Byte
    CopyMemory bData(0), ByVal lPtr, memSize
    GlobalUnlock hMem
    s = StrConv(bData, vbUnicode)

    'output what we got, including first 4 bytes of Unicode String
    Debug.Print vbCrLf & "START: " & Now & vbCrLf & "  <" & s & ">"
    If Len(s) >= 4 Then
        Debug.Print "#1: " & AscW(Mid$(s, 1, 1))
        Debug.Print "#2: " & AscW(Mid$(s, 2, 1))
        Debug.Print "#3: " & AscW(Mid$(s, 3, 1))
        Debug.Print "#4: " & AscW(Mid$(s, 4, 1))
    End If



    Unload Me

    Exit Sub


    Err.Raise Err.Number, Err.Source, Err.Description

End Sub

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