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Clipboard and WPF as hooks and ImageSources

Challenge: create visual clipboard watcher, that displays and saves Bitmaps right after they arrives into the system clipboard by using WPF. Let’s start.

First of all, we have to set hooks to detect clipboard changed events. .NET does not provide events, and does not listen to the clipboard changes, so, we have to deep into Win32 in order to archive the requirement. Let’s see, once something arrives into the clipboard, we can see WM_DRAWCLIPBOARD message. It’s not necessarily our data, so we have to change clipboard chain first, so, we should listen to WM_CHANGECBCHAIN and pass it into our application. But nothing will happen, if we will not use SetClipboardViewer(IntPtr) first. We already know, how to emulate WinProc in WPF. So, let’s code it.

IntPtr viewerHandle = IntPtr.Zero;
IntPtr installedHandle = IntPtr.Zero;

const int WM_DRAWCLIPBOARD = 0x308;
const int WM_CHANGECBCHAIN = 0x30D;

private extern static IntPtr SetClipboardViewer(IntPtr hWnd);

private extern static int ChangeClipboardChain(IntPtr hWnd, IntPtr hWndNext);

[DllImport(“user32.dll”, CharSet = CharSet.Auto)]
private extern static int SendMessage(IntPtr hWnd,int wMsg,IntPtr wParam,IntPtr lParam);

Hook into WinProc

protected override void OnSourceInitialized(EventArgs e)
    HwndSource hwndSource = PresentationSource.FromVisual(this) as HwndSource;
    if (hwndSource != null)
        installedHandle = hwndSource.Handle;
        viewerHandle = SetClipboardViewer(installedHandle);
        hwndSource.AddHook(new HwndSourceHook(this.hwndSourceHook));

And unhook after

protected override void OnClosing(System.ComponentModel.CancelEventArgs e)
    ChangeClipboardChain(this.installedHandle, this.viewerHandle);
    int error = System.Runtime.InteropServices.Marshal.GetLastWin32Error();
    e.Cancel = error != 0;

protected override void OnClosed(EventArgs e)
    this.viewerHandle = IntPtr.Zero;
    this.installedHandle = IntPtr.Zero;

Then choose and treat messages

IntPtr hwndSourceHook(IntPtr hwnd, int msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam, ref bool handled)
    switch (msg)
        case WM_CHANGECBCHAIN:
            this.viewerHandle = lParam;
            if (this.viewerHandle != IntPtr.Zero)
                SendMessage(this.viewerHandle, msg, wParam, lParam);


        case WM_DRAWCLIPBOARD:
            EventArgs clipChange = new EventArgs();

            if (this.viewerHandle != IntPtr.Zero)
                SendMessage(this.viewerHandle, msg, wParam, lParam);


    return IntPtr.Zero;

Now, we should receive the Bitmap from Clipboard and convert it into BitmapSource. How to do it? Simple, really. Thank’s to WPF Imaging team

ImageSource = (System.Windows.Interop.InteropBitmap)Clipboard.GetData(DataFormats.Bitmap);

We have a nasty Clipboard bug, so let’s make it nicer a bit.

  if (Clipboard.ContainsData(DataFormats.Bitmap))
   ImageSource = (System.Windows.Interop.InteropBitmap)Clipboard.GetData(DataFormats.Bitmap);

Now, all we have to do is to save the result by using regular encoder.

using (FileStream fs = new FileStream(f.FileName, FileMode.Create, FileAccess.Write))
                    JpegBitmapEncoder enc = new JpegBitmapEncoder();

That’s all, folks. Now, upon the application start, we begin listening to clipboard and if we’ll detect bitmap inside it, we’ll enable ApplicationCommands.SaveAs command and save it into the user’s hard drive.

            <CommandBinding Command=”ApplicationCommands.SaveAs” Executed=”CommandBinding_Executed” CanExecute=”CommandBinding_CanExecute”/>
        <Button Command=”ApplicationCommands.SaveAs” CommandTarget=”{Binding Path=ImageSource}” Content=”{Binding Path=Command.Text,RelativeSource={RelativeSource Self} }”/>
        <Image Name=”image” Source=”{Binding Path=ImageSource}”/>

Have a nice day and be good people.

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8 Responses to “Clipboard and WPF as hooks and ImageSources”

  1. _tech_guru_papa_ Says:

    I have to state this is for Intel based systems only (mainly laptops) and you would be well advised to IMAGE your disk BEFORE YOU TRY THIS just in case something happens and you cannot load your system (IMAGE, IMAGE, IMAGE!!!)

    Once you have your disk images precede with the following:

    Backup your registry or make a restore point just in case.

    Under search: regedit

    Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\

    Locate: folder "iaStor"

    Under "iaStor" you will find a folder named "Parameter" > delete this folder

    Locate: folder "iaStorv"

    Under "iaStorv" you will find a folder named "Parameter" > delete this folder

    Reload Vista



  2. _tech_guru_papa_ Says:

    Hello Everybody

    Windows vista is also causing lots of boot issues, so I often get questions like this:

    I have a Dell Dimension, which won’t boot to Windows (Vista), and none the repair variants work:

    Startup repair: Reports fix fail due to problem with registry

    System Restore: Reports no restore points available

    Windows Complete PC Restore: Reports no backups available

    Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool: No memory problems

    Command Prompt.

    Can’t think of any appropriate command to use here.

    So I booted with the system DVD (as one would with XP) but the upgrade

    option has been greyed don’t want to do a clean setup. I want to fix existing


    What should I do?


    And here is the answer:

    You can’t do a ‘repair install’ because you need to launch the Vista DVD

    from within Windows, not, as you have been doing, booting straight from the

    DVD; that is why the ‘upgrade’ is greyed out.

    If you cannot launch Vista and none of the fix options will work a new

    install is the only other variant.

    To save problems in future it is actually a good idea to make image of the hard drive, using software like True Image. What I do is install operating system, download all updates, check system I working okay for  a day or two, activate system, then image the drive/partition. Any time I get a problem I can re-image the drive/partition quickly and be up and running without much trouble. And minor repairs are done by using any registry fix software, there are plenty of them on the market today.



  3. _tech_guru_papa_ Says:

    Hi Folks!

    That’s me again.

    This time we will learn how to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment to troubleshoot and repair often startup issues in Windows Vista.


    You can use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) to troubleshoot and fix the following items in Windows Vista:

    -Master boot record (MBR)

    -Boot sector

    -Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store

    Note: When you are troubleshooting startup mistakes by using the Windows RE, you should first try the Startup Repair option in the System Recovery Options dialog window.

    If the Startup Repair option does not repair the mistake, or if you must troubleshoot more steps by hand, use the Bootrec.exe utility.


    To run the Bootrec.exe utility, you must start Windows RE. To do this, follow these steps:

    1.Put the Windows Vista setup disc in the disc drive, and then start the computer.

    2.Press a key when you are prompted.

    3.Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard or an input method, and then click Next.

    4.Click Repair your computer.

    5.Click the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next.

    6.In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt.

    7.Type Bootrec.exe, and then hit ENTER.

    Good luck with your Windows Vista, since with this OS your still need it.



  4. admin_papa Says:

    Hi Folks!

    Just wanted to share my new experience.

    If your Windows XP fails to start due to an error related to lost HAL.DLL, invalid Boot.ini or any other important system boot files you can fix this by using the XP installation CD. Simply boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console. Then run "attrib -H -R -S" on the C:\Boot.ini file and remove it. Run "Bootcfg /Rebuild" and then Fixboot



  5. Jeff Arbor Says:

    I found your blog doing a search for PC repair.

    Interesting. I wish I could help more with the discussion.
    I solved my problem so my systems are working fine at the moment.

  6. anyngeara Says:

    OMG! – How do animals similar to Bernaldo Bicoy – who is a twice convicted child sex offender get bail?

    This animal impersonated himself as a lawyer and business investor consultant to win trust of adolescents. Out of all people, the govern released him out on bail!

    Damn neighborhoods of Lake Forest are not safe. Is it possible to appeal?

  7. Jonathan Says:

    How to fix the Warning message (MainWindow.xaml):
    ‘ClipboardTest.MainWindow.Content’ hides inherited member ‘System.Windows.Controls.ContentControl.Content’. Use the new keyword if hiding was intended.

    on below line:

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional..

  8. Jonathan Says:

    How to fix the Warning message (MainWindow.xaml):
    ‘ClipboardTest.MainWindow.Content’ hides inherited member ‘System.Windows.Controls.ContentControl.Content’. Use the new keyword if hiding was intended.

    on below line:(ImageSource)
    <Button Command=”ApplicationCommands.SaveAs” CommandTarget=”{Binding Path=ImageSource}” Content=”{Binding Path=Command.Text,RelativeSource={RelativeSource Self} }”/>
    <Image Name=”image” Source=”{Binding Path=ImageSource}”/>

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional

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