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WindowCatcher

WindowCatcher
A utility that searches any user interface in Windows XP or Vista for MSAA and UIAutomation information and makes this available to assistive technology interfaces. Microsoft .NET 3.0 framework must be installed before installing WindowCatcher. This can be downloaded free from the Microsoft website, or a CD with a full installer can be obtained from the ACE Centre

Latest release: WindowCatcher 1.02

You must read the disclaimer before downloading.

Download WindowCatcher for Windows (8.2 MB)
MSI installer including source code and Visual Studio project

Improved installer that includes all the dependent resources - Read more

Assistive Technology (AT) software facilitates alternative ways for accessing and controlling computers other than through a conventional keyboard or mouse. For example, programmable on-screen keyboards can enable users to input and output information by using one or two switches or head-pointer.  Assistive Technology can provide the only means by which people with specific disabilities are able to access ICT, and is often found to be beneficial by a broad cross-section of the population.

Assistive Technology software requires access to the user interface of the application with which it is being used. User Interface Automation (UIA) has been under development by Microsoft for some years and has recently been enhanced and released as an integral facility within MS Vista. UIA offers the potential for a quantum leap forward in the development of assistive technology.

This report documents the results of a pilot programme to investigate the potential benefits of UIA as applied to AT software. The output of the project is WindowCatcher - a demonstration exemplar application which can be used with target applications operating within the MS Windows XP or Vista environments. WindowCatcher will interrogate the user interface of a target application and develop an accessible grid of the underlying information controlling that program. The grid is accessible either directly through WindowCatcher or exportable to user optimised AT software.  For this pilot project Special Access to Windows (SAW) has been used as an example AT programme. WindowCatcher has been shown to work successfully with a number of target applications including both stand-alone and web-based applications delivered through standard web browsers.  As well as providing a means of alternative access WindowCatcher also provides additional information on the accessibility of software and is considered to offer potential as an accessibility testing tool.

Although only a pilot, this project has demonstrated the potential benefits arising from increased access to the user interface for providing enhanced AT software and for improved tools for accessibility testing.  With further development more user ready applications are achievable.

WindowCatcher is being released under an open-source licence to encourage uptake and further development by both commercial and non-commercial developers.

The report provides some background into UIA, and gives guidance on the use of WindowCatcher for:

·          Users of WindowCatcher itself as an access tool.

·          Developers of mainstream software who may want to use WindowCatcher to analyse the accessibility of their products

·          Developers of Assistive Technology software

Programmers

Interested in helping to develop this project? Go to the forge page for more information.

Visual Studio Express

Posted by Barney Hawes at 2007-09-12 19:49
I've just downloaded a copy of Visual C# Express to take a look at Window Catcher, and I can't open the project. I think it is because I am using the Express edition.
It would be great if the project can be updated to open in Visual Studio Express - any chance someone could look into this?

Visual Studio Express

Posted by David Colven at 2007-09-13 10:41
from Stuart Whitehouse

I think it should load into Visual Studio Express, but I can't easily check as I already have the full visual studio installed. What it certainly does require is the SDK for.Net 3, and I'm guessing you may not have this installed. I think WindowCatcher requires both the Windows Vista SDK, and the WPF extensions:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4377f86d-c913-4b5c-b87e-ef72e5b4e065&displaylang=en
and
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=f54f5537-cc86-4bf5-ae44-f5a1e805680d&displaylang=en


The first of these is a 1 GB download (!) so may take a little while!

Visual Studio Express

Posted by Barney Hawes at 2007-09-13 15:45
The first download (1gb) says it is for Vista 64-bit, and I'm using Vista Home Premium 32-bit.
Do I really need to download a 1gb extension, or can you remove this dependency?
Perhaps you could put together a summary of what I need to look at the source code?

Also, please note that the BAT installer on the CD got confused by Vista... I think that .NET must be installed differently on Vista.

I'm looking forward to having a proper look at this, but the app crashes quite often so I need to get into the source code to do anyhting with it. Hope you can help!

Visual Studio Express

Posted by Barney Hawes at 2007-09-18 10:19
Just in case it is useful for anyone, only the smaller of the downloads mentioned by Stuart is required to open the project.
Perhaps the other one is required on XP; I am using Vista.

Missing dependencies

Posted by David Colven at 2007-09-21 14:44
The new installer 1.02 now includes all files including the debug versions. it seems to build both the release and the debug versions correctly

I have been

Posted by darren sy at 2012-06-22 08:46
I have been looking for this file an good that I found it here, this one will help me. Thanks and hope to see more updates on this.

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