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SendKeys Statement

This page is specific to the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Language Reference for Office 2010.

Sends one or more keystrokes to the active window as if typed at the keyboard.

Syntax

SendKeys string[, wait]

The SendKeys statement syntax has these named arguments:

Part

Description

string

Required. String expression specifying the keystrokes to send.

Wait

Optional. Boolean value specifying the wait mode. If False (default), control is returned to the procedure immediately after the keys are sent. If True, keystrokes must be processed before control is returned to the procedure.

Remarks

Each key is represented by one or more characters. To specify a single keyboard character, use the character itself. For example, to represent the letter A, use "A" for string. To represent more than one character, append each additional character to the one preceding it. To represent the letters A, B, and C, use "ABC" for string.

The plus sign (+), caret (^), percent sign (%), tilde (~), and parentheses ( ) have special meanings to SendKeys. To specify one of these characters, enclose it within braces ({}). For example, to specify the plus sign, use {+}. Brackets ([ ]) have no special meaning to SendKeys, but you must enclose them in braces. In other applications, brackets do have a special meaning that may be significant when dynamic data exchange (DDE) occurs. To specify brace characters, use {{} and {}}.

To specify characters that aren't displayed when you press a key, such as ENTER or TAB, and keys that represent actions rather than characters, use the codes shown below:

Key

Code

BACKSPACE

{BACKSPACE}, {BS}, or{BKSP}

BREAK

{BREAK}

CAPS LOCK

{CAPSLOCK}

DEL or DELETE

{DELETE} or{DEL}

DOWN ARROW

{DOWN}

END

{END}

ENTER

{ENTER} or ~

ESC

{ESC}

HELP

{HELP}

HOME

{HOME}

INS or INSERT

{INSERT} or {INS}

LEFT ARROW

{LEFT}

NUM LOCK

{NUMLOCK}

PAGE DOWN

{PGDN}

PAGE UP

{PGUP}

PRINT SCREEN

{PRTSC}

RIGHT ARROW

{RIGHT}

SCROLL LOCK

{SCROLLLOCK}

TAB

{TAB}

UP ARROW

{UP}

F1

{F1}

F2

{F2}

F3

{F3}

F4

{F4}

F5

{F5}

F6

{F6}

F7

{F7}

F8

{F8}

F9

{F9}

F10

{F10}

F11

{F11}

F12

{F12}

F13

{F13}

F14

{F14}

F15

{F15}

F16

{F16}

To specify keys combined with any combination of the SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT keys, precede the key code with one or more of the following codes:

Key

Code

SHIFT

+

CTRL

^

ALT

%

To specify that any combination of SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT should be held down while several other keys are pressed, enclose the code for those keys in parentheses. For example, to specify to hold down SHIFT while E and C are pressed, use "+(EC)". To specify to hold down SHIFT while E is pressed, followed by C without SHIFT, use "". To specify to hold down SHIFT while E is pressed, followed by C without SHIFT, use "+EC".

To specify repeating keys, use the form {key number}. You must put a space between key and number. For example, {LEFT 42} means press the LEFT ARROW key 42 times; {h 10} means press H 10 times.

NoteNote

You can't use SendKeys to send keystrokes to an application that is not designed to run in Microsoft Windows or Macintosh. Sendkeys also can't send the PRINT SCREEN key {PRTSC} to any application.

This example uses the Shell function to run the Calculator application included with Microsoft Windows. It uses the SendKeys statement to send keystrokes to add some numbers, and then quit the Calculator. (To see the example, paste it into a procedure, then run the procedure. Because AppActivate changes the focus to the Calculator application, you can't single step through the code.). On the Macintosh, use a Macintosh application that accepts keyboard input instead of the Windows Calculator.

Dim ReturnValue, I 
ReturnValue = Shell("CALC.EXE", 1)    ' Run Calculator. 
AppActivate ReturnValue     ' Activate the Calculator. 
For I = 1 To 100    ' Set up counting loop. 
    SendKeys I & "{+}", True    ' Send keystrokes to Calculator 
Next I    ' to add each value of I. 
SendKeys "=", True    ' Get grand total. 
SendKeys "%{F4}", True    ' Send ALT+F4 to close Calculator. 

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