Hook Chains

Windows contains many different types of hooks; each type provides access to a different aspect of the Windows message-handling mechanism. For example, an application can use the WH_MOUSE hook to monitor the message traffic for mouse messages.

Windows maintains a separate hook chain for each type of hook. A hook chain is a list of pointers to special, application-defined callback functions called hook procedures. When a message occurs that is associated with a particular type of hook, Windows passes the message to each hook procedure referenced in the hook chain, one after the other. The action a hook procedure can take depends on the type of hook involved. The hook procedures for some types of hooks can only monitor messages; others can modify messages or stop their progress though the chain, preventing them from reaching the next hook procedure or the destination window.

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