Giving IE the Focus

Ginger comments:

The only thing I can’t do is to get XL to open the existing IE window so I can ‘sendkeys’ to do that part. I can only see similar posts for “create.object” related to IE, and nothing for “get.object” (or whatever will work).

According to XtremeVBTalk, GetObject doesn’t work with IE and you have to use Shell. You need to set a reference to Microsoft Internet Controls and Microsoft Shell Controls and Automation.

Then this sub will give one of the IE instances the focus. In this example, it’s the IE instance whose title contains the phrase “Daily Dose”, but you’ll have to change to suit your situation.

Sub CopyWebPage()
    Dim objShell As Shell
    Dim objIndex As InternetExplorer
    Set objShell = New Shell
    For Each objIndex In objShell.Windows
        If TypeName(objIndex.Document) = “HTMLDocument” Then
            If InStr(1, objIndex.Document.Title, “Daily Dose”) > 0 Then
                objIndex.Visible = True
                Exit For
            End If
        End If
    Next objIndex
End Sub

Of course I almost never advocate the use of SendKeys. There is almost certainly a better way to get that html into Excel than copying and pasting, but it’s probably beyond the scope of a blog post.

Also, there’s some question in my mind about whether I can declare objIndex as InternetExplorer. From ExtremeVBTalk, it seems like both Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer windows are in the Shell.Windows collecton. If that’s the case, declaring objIndex as Object would be more prudent (similar to looping through sheets in a workbook – you don’t know if you’ll get worksheets, chartsheets, or something else). At msdn, it says that Shell.Windows returns a ShellWindows collection object, which is a collection of InternetExplorer windows, and doesn’t mention Window Explorer windows. I tried the code as written with multiple IE and Windows open and it didn’t fail. It did loop through both types of windows, but it happily coerced Windows Explorer windows into an InternetExplorer object, I guess.

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7 thoughts on “Giving IE the Focus

  1. This may be more suited to Slashdot comment, but why would you want to give Internet Explorer the focus at all ?

  2. Hui,

    I use this method quite often. Not as he used it giving IE the focus.

    I created a function called GetIE that grabs a Website if already open and returns the IE object, or creates a new IE object.

    Pretty useful in my opinion.

    Function GetIE(Optional ByVal sWindowTitle As String = vbNullString) As Object
        Dim oShellWin As SHDocVw.ShellWindows, _
            oWin As Object, _
            ieRunning As Boolean

        ieRunning = False
        Set oShellWin = New SHDocVw.ShellWindows
        If oShellWin.Count Then
            For Each oWin In oShellWin
                If Not sWindowTitle Like vbNullString Then
                    If oWin.LocationName Like “*” & sWindowTitle & “*” Then
                        ieRunning = True
                        Set GetIE = oWin
                        Exit For
                    End If
                    If oWin.Name Like “Microsoft Internet Explorer” Then
                        ieRunning = True
                        Set GetIE = oWin
                        Exit For
                    End If
                End If
            Next oWin
        End If
        If ieRunning = False Then
            Set GetIE = CreateObject(“InternetExplorer.Application”)
        End If
        Set objSW = Nothing
    End Function

  3. There’s a section in the book “Professional Excel Development” called “Working With Windows” that uses some pretty complicated API calls with multiple instances of Excel to determine which is the correct one to use. Perhaps it could be altered to work with IE.

    I like David’s code, I do some work with IE occasionally so I’ll test it out.


  4. HI,

    I wanted to learn automation IE apps through EXcel.

    below is one of the code that i saw in this site.
    but, it doesnt work.

    it throws an error “User-defined type not defined”

    however, please provide good way to learn automating webapps.
    Regarding, the references none of them are in my PC version Excel2007.

    have to be download separately.?

    Dim IeApp As InternetExplorer
    Dim sURL As String
    Dim IeDoc As Object
    Dim i As Long

    ‘Create new instance of IE
    Set IeApp = New InternetExplorer

    ‘Make it visible – some things don’t work
    ‘unless it’s visible
    IeApp.Visible = True

    ‘define the page to open
    sURL = “www.dicks –”

    ‘navigate to the page
    IeApp.Navigate sURL

    ‘Pause the macro using a loop until the
    ‘page is fully loaded
    Loop Until IeApp.ReadyState = READYSTATE_COMPLETE

    ‘store the Document object
    Set IeDoc = IeApp.Document

    ‘Loop through the links collection. Most collections
    ‘seem to be zero based, but it’s pretty much trial and
    ‘error for me
    For i = 0 To IeDoc.Links.Length – 1
    ‘write the linking url to a cell
    Cells(i + 1, 1).Value = IeDoc.Links(i).href
    Next i

    ‘Clean up
    Set IeApp = Nothing


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