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GetKeyState function

Retrieves the status of the specified virtual key. The status specifies whether the key is up, down, or toggled (on, off—alternating each time the key is pressed).

Syntax


SHORT WINAPI GetKeyState(
  _In_  int nVirtKey
);

Parameters

nVirtKey [in]

Type: int

A virtual key. If the desired virtual key is a letter or digit (A through Z, a through z, or 0 through 9), nVirtKey must be set to the ASCII value of that character. For other keys, it must be a virtual-key code.

If a non-English keyboard layout is used, virtual keys with values in the range ASCII A through Z and 0 through 9 are used to specify most of the character keys. For example, for the German keyboard layout, the virtual key of value ASCII O (0x4F) refers to the "o" key, whereas VK_OEM_1 refers to the "o with umlaut" key.

Return value

Type: SHORT

The return value specifies the status of the specified virtual key, as follows:

  • If the high-order bit is 1, the key is down; otherwise, it is up.
  • If the low-order bit is 1, the key is toggled. A key, such as the CAPS LOCK key, is toggled if it is turned on. The key is off and untoggled if the low-order bit is 0. A toggle key's indicator light (if any) on the keyboard will be on when the key is toggled, and off when the key is untoggled.

Remarks

The key status returned from this function changes as a thread reads key messages from its message queue. The status does not reflect the interrupt-level state associated with the hardware. Use the GetAsyncKeyState function to retrieve that information.

An application calls GetKeyState in response to a keyboard-input message. This function retrieves the state of the key when the input message was generated.

To retrieve state information for all the virtual keys, use the GetKeyboardState function.

An application can use the virtual key code constants VK_SHIFT, VK_CONTROL, and VK_MENU as values for the nVirtKey parameter. This gives the status of the SHIFT, CTRL, or ALT keys without distinguishing between left and right. An application can also use the following virtual-key code constants as values for nVirtKey to distinguish between the left and right instances of those keys:

VK_LSHIFT
VK_RSHIFT
VK_LCONTROL
VK_RCONTROL
VK_LMENU
VK_RMENU

These left- and right-distinguishing constants are available to an application only through the GetKeyboardState, SetKeyboardState, GetAsyncKeyState, GetKeyState, and MapVirtualKey functions.

Examples

For an example, see Displaying Keyboard Input.

Requirements

Minimum supported client

Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]

Minimum supported server

Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]

Header

Winuser.h (include Windows.h)

Library

User32.lib

DLL

User32.dll

See also

Reference
GetAsyncKeyState
GetKeyboardState
MapVirtualKey
SetKeyboardState
Conceptual
Keyboard Input

 

 

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