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Navigate Among UI Automation Elements with TreeWalker

Note Note

This documentation is intended for .NET Framework developers who want to use the managed UI Automation classes defined in the System.Windows.Automation namespace. For the latest information about UI Automation, see Windows Automation API: UI Automation.

This topic contains example code that shows how to navigate among Microsoft UI Automation elements by using the TreeWalker class.

The following example uses GetParent to walk up the Microsoft UI Automation tree until it finds the root element, or desktop. The element just below that is the parent window of the specified element.

    ''' <summary> 
    ''' Retrieves the top-level window that contains the specified UI Automation element. 
    ''' </summary> 
    ''' <param name="element">The contained element.</param> 
    ''' <returns>The containing top-level window element.</returns> 
    Private Function GetTopLevelWindow(ByVal element As AutomationElement) As AutomationElement 
        Dim walker As TreeWalker = TreeWalker.ControlViewWalker
        Dim elementParent As AutomationElement
        Dim node As AutomationElement = element
        If node = elementRoot Then 
            Return node
        End If 
        Do
            elementParent = walker.GetParent(node)
            If elementParent = AutomationElement.RootElement Then 
                Exit Do 
            End If
            node = elementParent
        Loop While True 
        Return node

    End Function 'GetTopLevelWindow
End Class 'Reader 

The following example uses GetFirstChild and GetNextSibling to create a TreeView that shows an entire subtree of Microsoft UI Automation elements that are in the control view and that are enabled.

    ''' <summary> 
    ''' Walks the UI Automation tree and adds the control type of each enabled control  
    ''' element it finds to a TreeView. 
    ''' </summary> 
    ''' <param name="rootElement">The root of the search on this iteration.</param> 
    ''' <param name="treeNode">The node in the TreeView for this iteration.</param> 
    ''' <remarks> 
    ''' This is a recursive function that maps out the structure of the subtree beginning at the 
    ''' UI Automation element passed in as rootElement on the first call. This could be, for example, 
    ''' an application window. 
    ''' CAUTION: Do not pass in AutomationElement.RootElement. Attempting to map out the entire subtree of 
    ''' the desktop could take a very long time and even lead to a stack overflow. 
    ''' </remarks> 
    Private Sub WalkEnabledElements(ByVal rootElement As AutomationElement, ByVal treeNode As TreeNode)
        Dim condition1 As New PropertyCondition(AutomationElement.IsControlElementProperty, True)
        Dim condition2 As New PropertyCondition(AutomationElement.IsEnabledProperty, True)
        Dim walker As New TreeWalker(New AndCondition(condition1, condition2))
        Dim elementNode As AutomationElement = walker.GetFirstChild(rootElement)
        While (elementNode IsNot Nothing)
            Dim childTreeNode As TreeNode = treeNode.Nodes.Add(elementNode.Current.ControlType.LocalizedControlType)
            WalkEnabledElements(elementNode, childTreeNode)
            elementNode = walker.GetNextSibling(elementNode)
        End While 

    End Sub 'WalkEnabledElements
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