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What are Window Declarations?

Window Declarations contain information Phantom uses to identify and communicate with a window. This information is contained in a special file which is included in the script via the use statement.

While windows can be accessed using the MainWin function or through window handles, it can often be beneficial to use the window declarations file when dealing with large, complex windows. The declarations file, recorded using the window declarations recorder, contains the properties of the window and all child windows, and makes them immediately available to the script.

The declarations file itself is an ASCII text file. The file contains a hierarchal structure of the window and all child windows and menus. The file can be edited manually with any text editor (not recommended) or by using the window declarations recorder's built-in editor. Additionally, the Phantom Test Driver (version 2.0 and later) also has a built-in window declarations editor and viewer.

Each element in a Window Declarations file corresponds to a window or control.  The exceptions to this are the menu and menu item.  Menus and menu items correspond to the menu hierarchy of the window, each element representing a menu element.  There is one top-level menu element that does not correspond to a window menu, but informs the interpreter that the following information represents a menu item and not a window or control.  This is done because menus require different processing than windows and controls.

The format of a Window Declarations file is very important. The tab spacing for each element is used to determine the order of the windows in the hierarchy. Therefore, use caution when manually editing a Window Declarations file and make sure the tab spacings are consistent with the hierarchy. Also, always use an ASCII text editor that represents tabs as tab characters and not spaces.

See Also: The Window Declarations Recorder, Elements, Using Window Declarations, Editing, Generic Windows

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