Get the Url of a Hyperlink when the Mouse moves Over a TWebBrowser Document

The TWebBrowser Delphi component provides access to the Web browser functionality from your Delphi applications.

In most situations you use the TWebBrowser to display HTML documents to the user - thus creating your own version of the (Internet Explorer) Web browser. Note that the TWebBrowser can also display Word documents, for example.

A very nice feature of a Browser is to display link information, for example, in the status bar, when the mouse hovers over a link in a document.

The TWebBrowser does not expose an event like "OnMouseMove". Even if such an event would exist it would be fired for the TWebBrowser component - NOT for the document being displayed inside the TWebBrowser.

In order to provide such information (and much more, as you will see in a moment) in your Delphi application using the TWebBrowser component, a technique called "events sinking" must be implemeted.

WebBrowser Event Sink

To navigate to a web page using the TWebBrowser component you call the Navigate method. The Document property of the TWebBrowser returns an IHTMLDocument2 value (for web documents). This interface is used to retrieve information about a document, to examine and modify the HTML elements and text within the document, and to process related events.

To get the "href" attribute (link) of an "a" tag inside a document, while the mouse hovers over a document, you need to react on the "onmousemove" event of the IHTMLDocument2.

Here are the steps to sink events for the currently loaded document:

  1. Sink the WebBrowser control's events in the DocumentComplete event raised by the TWebBrowser. This event is fired when the document is fully loaded into the Web Browser.
  2. Inside DocumentComplete, retrieve the WebBrowser's document object and sink the HtmlDocumentEvents interface.
  1. Handle the event you are interested in.
  2. Clear the sink in the in BeforeNavigate2 - that is when the new document is loaded in the Web Browser.

HTML Document OnMouseMove

Since we are interested in the HREF attribute of an A element - in order to show the URL of a link the mouse is over, we will sink the "onmousemove" event.

The procedure to get the tag (and its attributes) "below" the mouse can be defined as:

 var
   htmlDoc : IHTMLDocument2;
 
 ...
 procedure TForm1.Document_OnMouseOver;
 var
    element : IHTMLElement;
 begin
    if htmlDoc = nil then Exit;
 
    element := htmlDoc.parentWindow.event.srcElement;
 
    elementInfo.Clear;
 
    if LowerCase(element.tagName) = 'a' then
    begin
      ShowMessage('Link, HREF : ' + element.getAttribute('href',0)]) ;
    end
    else if LowerCase(element.tagName) = 'img' then
    begin
      ShowMessage('IMAGE, SRC : ' + element.getAttribute('src',0)]) ;
    end
    else
    begin
      elementInfo.Lines.Add(Format('TAG : %s',[element.tagName])) ;
    end;
 end; (*Document_OnMouseOver*)
 

As explained above, we attach to the onmousemove event of a document in the OnDocumentComplete event of a TWebBrowser:

 procedure TForm1.WebBrowser1DocumentComplete(   ASender: TObject;
   const pDisp: IDispatch; 
   var URL: OleVariant) ;
 begin
    if Assigned(WebBrowser1.Document) then
    begin
      htmlDoc := WebBrowser1.Document as IHTMLDocument2;
 
      htmlDoc.onmouseover := (TEventObject.Create(Document_OnMouseOver) as IDispatch) ;
    end;
 end; (*WebBrowser1DocumentComplete*)
 

And this is where the problems arise! As you might guess the "onmousemove" event is *not* a usual event - as are those we are used to work with in Delphi.

The "onmousemove" expects a pointer to a variable of type VARIANT of type VT_DISPATCH that receives the IDispatch interface of an object with a default method that is invoked when the event occurs.

In order to attach a Delphi procedure to "onmousemove" you need to create a wrapper that implements IDispatch and raises your event in its Invoke method.

Here's the TEventObject interface:

 TEventObject = class(TInterfacedObject, IDispatch)
 private
    FOnEvent: TObjectProcedure;
 protected
    function GetTypeInfoCount(out Count: Integer): HResult; stdcall;
    function GetTypeInfo(Index, LocaleID: Integer; out TypeInfo): HResult; stdcall;
    function GetIDsOfNames(const IID: TGUID; Names: Pointer; NameCount, LocaleID: Integer; DispIDs: Pointer): HResult; stdcall;
    function Invoke(DispID: Integer; const IID: TGUID; LocaleID: Integer; Flags: Word; var Params; VarResult, ExcepInfo, ArgErr: Pointer): HResult; stdcall;
 public
    constructor Create(const OnEvent: TObjectProcedure) ;
    property OnEvent: TObjectProcedure read FOnEvent write FOnEvent;
    end;
 

 

Here's how to implement event sinking for a document displayed by the TWebBrowser component - and get the info of a HTML element below the mouse.

TWebBrowser Document Event Sinking Example

Download

Drop a TWebBrowser ("WebBrowser1") on a Form ("Form1"). Add a TMemo ("elementInfo")...

unit Unit1;

interface

uses
   Windows, Messages, SysUtils, Variants, Classes, Graphics, Controls, Forms,
   Dialogs, OleCtrls, SHDocVw, MSHTML, ActiveX, StdCtrls;

type
   TObjectProcedure = procedure of object;

   TEventObject = class(TInterfacedObject, IDispatch)
   private
     FOnEvent: TObjectProcedure;
   protected
     function GetTypeInfoCount(out Count: Integer): HResult; stdcall;
     function GetTypeInfo(Index, LocaleID: Integer; out TypeInfo): HResult; stdcall;
     function GetIDsOfNames(const IID: TGUID; Names: Pointer; NameCount, LocaleID: Integer; DispIDs: Pointer): HResult; stdcall;
     function Invoke(DispID: Integer; const IID: TGUID; LocaleID: Integer; Flags: Word; var Params; VarResult, ExcepInfo, ArgErr: Pointer): HResult; stdcall;
   public
     constructor Create(const OnEvent: TObjectProcedure) ;
     property OnEvent: TObjectProcedure read FOnEvent write FOnEvent;
   end;

   TForm1 = class(TForm)
     WebBrowser1: TWebBrowser;
     elementInfo: TMemo;
     procedure WebBrowser1BeforeNavigate2(ASender: TObject; const pDisp: IDispatch; var URL, Flags, TargetFrameName, PostData, Headers: OleVariant; var Cancel: WordBool) ;
     procedure WebBrowser1DocumentComplete(ASender: TObject; const pDisp: IDispatch; var URL: OleVariant) ;
     procedure FormCreate(Sender: TObject) ;
   private
     procedure Document_OnMouseOver;
   public
     { Public declarations }
   end;

var
   Form1: TForm1;

   htmlDoc : IHTMLDocument2;

implementation

{$R *.dfm}

procedure TForm1.Document_OnMouseOver;
var
   element : IHTMLElement;
begin
   if htmlDoc = nil then Exit;

   element := htmlDoc.parentWindow.event.srcElement;

   elementInfo.Clear;

   if LowerCase(element.tagName) = 'a' then
   begin
     elementInfo.Lines.Add('LINK info...') ;
     elementInfo.Lines.Add(Format('HREF : %s',[element.getAttribute('href',0)])) ;
   end
   else if LowerCase(element.tagName) = 'img' then
   begin
     elementInfo.Lines.Add('IMAGE info...') ;
     elementInfo.Lines.Add(Format('SRC : %s',[element.getAttribute('src',0)])) ;
   end
   else
   begin
     elementInfo.Lines.Add(Format('TAG : %s',[element.tagName])) ;
   end;
end; (*Document_OnMouseOver*)


procedure TForm1.FormCreate(Sender: TObject) ;
begin
   WebBrowser1.Navigate('http://delphi.about.com') ;

   elementInfo.Clear;
   elementInfo.Lines.Add('Move your mouse over the document...') ;
end; (*FormCreate*)

procedure TForm1.WebBrowser1BeforeNavigate2(ASender: TObject; const pDisp: IDispatch; var URL, Flags, TargetFrameName, PostData, Headers: OleVariant; var Cancel: WordBool) ;
begin
   htmlDoc := nil;
end; (*WebBrowser1BeforeNavigate2*)

procedure TForm1.WebBrowser1DocumentComplete(ASender: TObject; const pDisp: IDispatch; var URL: OleVariant) ;
begin
   if Assigned(WebBrowser1.Document) then
   begin
     htmlDoc := WebBrowser1.Document as IHTMLDocument2;

     htmlDoc.onmouseover := (TEventObject.Create(Document_OnMouseOver) as IDispatch) ;
   end;
end; (*WebBrowser1DocumentComplete*)


{ TEventObject }

constructor TEventObject.Create(const OnEvent: TObjectProcedure) ;
begin
   inherited Create;
   FOnEvent := OnEvent;
end;

function TEventObject.GetIDsOfNames(const IID: TGUID; Names: Pointer; NameCount, LocaleID: Integer; DispIDs: Pointer): HResult;
begin
   Result := E_NOTIMPL;
end;

function TEventObject.GetTypeInfo(Index, LocaleID: Integer; out TypeInfo): HResult;
begin
   Result := E_NOTIMPL;
end;

function TEventObject.GetTypeInfoCount(out Count: Integer): HResult;
begin
   Result := E_NOTIMPL;
end;

function TEventObject.Invoke(DispID: Integer; const IID: TGUID; LocaleID: Integer; Flags: Word; var Params; VarResult, ExcepInfo, ArgErr: Pointer): HResult;
begin
   if (DispID = DISPID_VALUE) then
   begin
     if Assigned(FOnEvent) then FOnEvent;
     Result := S_OK;
   end
   else Result := E_NOTIMPL;
end;

end.

 

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Your Citation
Gajic, Zarko. "Get the Url of a Hyperlink when the Mouse moves Over a TWebBrowser Document." ThoughtCo, Jul. 1, 2017, thoughtco.com/url-hyperlink-twebbrowser-document-1058415. Gajic, Zarko. (2017, July 1). Get the Url of a Hyperlink when the Mouse moves Over a TWebBrowser Document. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/url-hyperlink-twebbrowser-document-1058415 Gajic, Zarko. "Get the Url of a Hyperlink when the Mouse moves Over a TWebBrowser Document." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/url-hyperlink-twebbrowser-document-1058415 (accessed November 20, 2017).