Retrieves text from a control.

OutputVar := ControlGetText(Control, WinTitle, WinText, ExcludeTitle, ExcludeText)



The name of the variable in which to store the retrieved text.


Can be either ClassNN (the classname and instance number of the control) or the control's text, both of which can be determined via Window Spy. When using text, the matching behavior is determined by SetTitleMatchMode. If this parameter is blank or omitted, the target window's topmost control will be used.

To operate upon a control's HWND (window handle), leave the Control parameter blank and specify "ahk_id " ControlHwnd for the WinTitle parameter (this also works on hidden controls even when DetectHiddenWindows is Off). The HWND of a control is typically retrieved via ControlGetHwnd, MouseGetPos, or DllCall.


A window title or other criteria identifying the target window. See WinTitle.


If present, this parameter must be a substring from a single text element of the target window (as revealed by the included Window Spy utility). Hidden text elements are detected if DetectHiddenText is ON.


Windows whose titles include this value will not be considered.


Windows whose text include this value will not be considered.


ErrorLevel is set to 1 if there was a problem or 0 otherwise.


Note: To retrieve text from a ListView, ListBox, or ComboBox, use ControlGetList instead.

If the retrieved text appears to be truncated (incomplete), try using VarSetCapacity(OutputVar, 55) prior to ControlGetText [replace 55 with a size that is considerably longer than the truncated text]. This is necessary because some applications do not respond properly to the WM_GETTEXTLENGTH message, which causes AutoHotkey to make the output variable too small to fit all the text.

This function might use a large amount RAM if the target control (e.g. an editor with a large document open) contains a large quantity of text. However, a variable's memory can be freed after use by assigning it to nothing, i.e. OutputVar := "".

Text retrieved from most control types uses carriage return and linefeed (`r`n) rather than a solitary linefeed (`n) to mark the end of each line.

It is not necessary to do SetTitleMatchMode "Slow" because ControlGetText always retrieves the text using the slow method (since it works on a broader range of control types).

To retrieve a list of all controls in a window, use WinGetControls or WinGetControlsHwnd.

Window titles and text are case sensitive. Hidden windows are not detected unless DetectHiddenWindows has been turned on.


ControlSetText, WinGetText, Control functions, ControlMove, ControlFocus, ControlClick, ControlSend


OutputVar := ControlGetText("Edit1", "Untitled -")