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Copy and Paste complicated system question


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My company is considering purchasing macro express for employees, and we have an issue I am hoping Macro Express can help us handle.

 

We do contracting work for other companies, and some of their systems have copy and paste restrictions to where you can only copy paste within their system.

For instance, if I copy something from our system using only the clipboard (not ME at all), I can also copy something within their system. If I go outside of their system to say notepad, I can paste the original content I copied, but if I go within their system, I can only paste what was copied from within their system.

 

I know based on previous experience that I can get around pasting into their system from outside by simulating keystrokes through macro express. But I am wondering if Macro Express has the capability to read what is listed on the second clipboard located within their program, so that I can paste info out of their system into our system. This would greatly increase our ability to process our work and would be a huge asset to our company. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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It sounds like their program is using their own clipboard and into the Windows Clipboard. In this case MEP would not be able to access the contents of their clipboard. I would look for an API for the program or some sort of export command. EG instead of copy and pasting in a form in the application export some report to file and access it as a text file in MEP.

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You could also experiment with having ME read directly from the controls within the application form, as opposed to copying to the clipboard. (If you can make it work, it's very fast and the user need not even know it has happened if, say, you launch a macro based on the form's window title.) Then as Cory suggests have ME write the data to a file in order to transport it outside the application.

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I don't believe we have any access to an export command either. When you say read directly from the controls within the application, how would I go about doing that? The application we're working with has a scratch pad built into it, but even trying to write to something else in their system is disabled. The window title doesn't change unfortunately. Basically, we have a large report and are going into this system to check if anything has been changed since the data was sent to us. So all I need it to do is be able to recognize if a recent change indicator has changed or not. In past macros, I was only able to use the clipboard and can't for the life of me figure out a way to do so.

 

Is there some way ME can recognize what gets pasted? Say for instance, copy from inside the system, paste it into the scratch pad (which also has outside C/P disabled) and have ME read what is pasted?

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When you say read directly from the controls within the application, how would I go about doing that?

 

If the application supports it you can read the content of a control via the "Get Control Text" command.

 

I think the suggestion was to try to see if Window Control commands would work.

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The work being done, the data being read, the comparisons being made, is the work performed through logging into one of their systems via something like LogMeIn, or is it performed by logging in with a user ID and password to a website?

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I see your problem. MEP is accessing the clipboard on the local machine but when you copy something there it's going to the clipboard on the host machine. Most remote desktop or VM clients support access to the host systems clipboard. Usually it's a simple check box in the connection configuration. Have you tries that?

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If you are using a Citrix client on your PC to access an application on a remote server, then I withdraw my suggestion about reading from controls -- I don't think it will work, because the "real" controls don't exist on the client machine, they are only simulated. At least that is my high-level un-detailed understanding. I have had mixed success with Macro Express running on the Citrix client machine and doing copy/paste -- sometimes it would work, sometimes not, maybe depending on the version of Citrix, I don't know.

 

Sorry, I'm not sure that is very helpful, but I'm a little confused as to just what configuration of remote vs. local machines and applications you are working with.

 

Edit: I see Cory posted while I was typing. Maybe THAT'S why I could make it work sometimes and not others. I didn't configure the Citrix piece, so it could have been dependent on the preference or whim of the Citrix guru. :o

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So let me restate what I think you are saying:

 

1) On the Citrix client, you can (sort of) paste into an application field by simulating keystrokes with ME. I am guessing you simulate typing the actual characters you want entered, rather than having ME enter Ctrl-v, because Citrix would intercept the Ctrl-v and paste inappropriate material from the application server's clipboard. Correct so far?

 

2) On the Citrix client, you can probably highlight the contents of an application field either by keystrokes or by a mouse swipe. You can accomplish this highlighting either manually or via ME keyboard/mouse actions. However, if you then do a Ctrl-c, Citrix intercepts the Ctrl-c and the copied data winds up in the (inaccessible) application server's clipboard. Correct?

 

I don't know how big a development budget you have -- i.e., how important this is to your company -- but could you (1) highlight the desired field(s) on your local Citrix client machine, (2) do a full or partial screen capture via a PrntScrn key or with a package like SnagIT, then (3) use character-recognition software to read the data off the screen image? At that point you would have the data captured on your local PC and could do with it as you wish.

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For my suggestion you don't have to modify anything on the host. It's how you configure the connection with the Citrix client running on your local machine. By example using Microsoft's Remote Desktop I simply check a box to enable access to the host's clipboard. I don't have to change anytign oin the other end. I imagine a similar thing is possible with the Citrix client.

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MS Remote Desktop allows the remote user to sign on to the host machine, more or less at the operating system level, and then to do whatever his user ID allows him to do, as if he were sitting at the host's keyboard and monitor.

 

Citrix allows extensive configuration of APPLICATIONS on the host, and retains a lot of control at the host as to what the remote user can do. Generally the remote user has no access to the host desktop, nor to any programs on the host other than those allocated to him. For example, the remote Citrix user could not even open Notepad on the host unless Notepad is permitted to him. Again, I'm no Citrix expert, but it doesn't surprise me that the host machine clipboard can be restricted, with no ability for the remote client to override.

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