Retrieves text from a control.

ControlGetText, OutputVar , Control, WinTitle, WinText, ExcludeTitle, ExcludeText



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


If blank or omitted, the target window's topmost control will be used. Otherwise, specify 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.

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 ControlGet Hwnd, MouseGetPos, or DllCall().

WinTitle, WinText, ExcludeTitle, ExcludeText

If each of these is blank or omitted, the Last Found Window will be used. Otherwise, specify for WinTitle a window title or other criteria to identify the target window and/or for WinText a substring from a single text element of the target window (as revealed by the included Window Spy utility).

ExcludeTitle and ExcludeText can be used to exclude one or more windows by their title or text. Their specification is similar to WinTitle and WinText, except that ExcludeTitle does not recognize any criteria other than the window title.

Window titles and text are case-sensitive. By default, hidden windows are not detected and hidden text elements are detected, unless changed with DetectHiddenWindows and DetectHiddenText. By default, a window title must start with the specified WinTitle or ExcludeTitle to be a match, unless changed with SetTitleMatchMode.

Error Handling

[v1.1.04+]: This command is able to throw an exception on failure. For more information, see Runtime Errors.

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


Note: To retrieve text from a ListView, ListBox, or ComboBox, use ControlGet List 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.

The amount of text retrieved is limited to a variable's maximum capacity (which can be changed via the #MaxMem directive). As a result, this command might use a large amount of 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 mode (since it works on a broader range of control types).

To retrieve a list of all controls in a window, use WinGet ControlList.

ControlSetText, WinGetText, Control, ControlGet, ControlMove, ControlFocus, ControlClick, ControlSend, #MaxMem


Retrieves the current text from Notepad's edit control and stores it in OutputVar. This example may fail on Windows 11 or later, as it requires the classic version of Notepad.

ControlGetText, OutputVar, Edit1, Untitled -

Retrieves and reports the current text from the main window's edit control.

WinWaitActive ahk_class AutoHotkey
ControlGetText, OutputVar, Edit1 ; Use the window found above.
MsgBox % OutputVar