IAccessible::accHitTest method (oleacc.h)

The IAccessible::accHitTest method retrieves the child element or child object that is displayed at a specific point on the screen. All visual objects support this method, but sound objects do not. Client applications rarely call this method directly; to get the accessible object that is displayed at a point, use the AccessibleObjectFromPoint function, which calls this method internally.


HRESULT accHitTest(
  [in]          long    xLeft,
  [in]          long    yTop,
  [out, retval] VARIANT *pvarChild


[in] xLeft

Type: long

Specifies the screen coordinates of the point that is hit tested. The x-coordinates increase from left to right. Note that when screen coordinates are used, the origin is the upper-left corner of the screen.

[in] yTop

Type: long

Specifies the screen coordinates of the point that is hit tested. The y-coordinates increase from top to bottom. Note that when screen coordinates are used, the origin is the upper-left corner of the screen.

[out, retval] pvarChild


[out, retval] Address of a VARIANT that identifies the object displayed at the point specified by xLeft and yTop. The information returned in pvarID depends on the location of the specified point in relation to the object whose accHitTest method is being called.

Point location vt member Value member
Outside of the object's boundaries, and either inside or outside of the object's bounding rectangle. VT_EMPTY None.
Within the object but not within a child element or a child object. VT_I4 lVal is CHILDID_SELF.
Within a child element. VT_I4 lVal contains the child ID.
Within a child object. VT_DISPATCH pdispVal is set to the child object's IDispatch interface pointer

Return value


If successful, returns S_OK.

If not successful, returns one of the values in the table that follows, or another standard COM error code. Servers return these values, but clients must always check output parameters to ensure that they contain valid values. For more information, see Checking IAccessible Return Values.

Error Description
The point is outside of the object's boundaries. The vt member of pvarID is VT_EMPTY.
The object does not support this method.
An argument is not valid.

Note to client developers:  Although servers return S_FALSE if the vt member of pvarID is VT_EMPTY, clients must also handle the case where pvarID->vt is VT_EMPTY and the return value is S_OK.


If the tested point is on one of the object's children, and this child supports the IAccessible interface itself, this method should return an IAccessible interface pointer. However, clients should be prepared to handle an IAccessible interface pointer or a child ID. For more information, see How Child IDs Are Used in Parameters.

Because accLocation returns a bounding rectangle, not all points in that rectangle will be within the actual bounds of the object. Some points within the bounding rectangle may not be on the object. For non-rectangular objects, such as list view items in large-icon mode where a single item has a rectangle for the icon and another rectangle for the text of the icon, the coordinates of the object's bounding rectangle retrieved by IAccessible::accLocation could fail if tested with accHitTest .

As with other IAccessible methods and functions, clients might receive errors for IAccessible interface pointers because of a user action. For more information, see Receiving Errors for IAccessible Interface Pointers.

When this method is used in certain situations, additional usage notes apply. For more information, see Navigation Through Hit Testing and Screen Location.

Server Example

The following example code shows a possible implementation for a custom list box.

// m_pControl is the control that returns this accessible object. 
// m_hwnd is the HWND of the control window. 
    long xLeft,
    long yTop,
    VARIANT *pvarChild) 

    POINT pt;
    pt.x = xLeft;
    pt.y = yTop;

    // Not in our window. 
    if (WindowFromPoint(pt) != m_hwnd)
        pvarChild->vt = VT_EMPTY;
        return S_FALSE;

    else  // In our window; return list item, or self if in blank space. 
        pvarChild->vt = VT_I4;
        ScreenToClient(m_hwnd, &pt);
        // IndexFromY returns the 0-based index of the item at that point, 
        // or -1 if the point is not on any item.
        int index = m_pControl->IndexFromY(pt.y);
        if (index >= 0)
            // Increment, because the child array is 1-based. 
            pvarChild->lVal = index + 1;
            pvarChild->lVal = CHILDID_SELF;

        return S_OK;

Client Example

The following example function selects the item at a specified point on the screen within the list represented by pAcc. It is assumed that a single selection is wanted.

HRESULT SelectItemAtPoint(IAccessible* pAcc, POINT point)
    if (pAcc == NULL)
        return E_INVALIDARG;
    VARIANT varChild;

    HRESULT hr = pAcc->accHitTest(point.x, point.y, &varChild);        
    if ((hr == S_OK) && (varChild.lVal != CHILDID_SELF))
        return pAcc->accSelect((SELFLAG_TAKEFOCUS | SELFLAG_TAKESELECTION), varChild);
    return S_FALSE;


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header oleacc.h
Library Oleacc.lib
DLL Oleacc.dll
Redistributable Active Accessibility 1.3 RDK on Windows NT 4.0 with SP6 and later and Windows 95

See also

Active Accessibility and Windows Vista Screen Scaling




Navigation Through Hit Testing and Screen Location