hey guys. i've been working a lot with AutoIT, making some huge macros, but I'm thinking how nice it would be to build these kinds of things in a non-scripted environment. Using a C-based language or something.
I've never done any windows programming, but I suppose that's how these programs work? They can move the mouse, send simulated keystrokes, find the names of windows and windows components of windows, and find pixel values at various points in the window
To work with a window, you first need to find a window's handle. There are Windows API functions to do that, say, through window title etc. Keep in mind that in Windows, everything is a window - buttons, controls are all windows too.
Once you have a handle of a window, you can send events to that window. Basically, that's how a window knows that a user has pressed a button - it listens for events, and the OS sends it the event if it occurs. You will be generating such events manually.
You can also paint on these windows, get their pixel values, even cut them (to get, say, a window in the shape of a circle).
At least that's how it worked in the past, I don't think much has changed though. Last I did something like that was about 5 years ago.