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SendKeys Class

Provides methods for sending keystrokes to an application.

For a list of all members of this type, see SendKeys Members.

System.Object
   System.Windows.Forms.SendKeys

[Visual Basic]
Public Class SendKeys
[C#]
public class SendKeys
[C++]
public __gc class SendKeys
[JScript]
public class SendKeys

Thread Safety

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Remarks

Use SendKeys to send keystrokes and keystroke combinations to the active application. This class cannot be instantiated. To send a keystroke to a class and immediately continue with the flow of your program, use Send. To wait for any processes started by the keystroke, use SendWait.

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, pass in the string "A" to the method. To represent more than one character, append each additional character to the one preceding it. To represent the letters A, B, and C, specify the parameter as "ABC".

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 "{+}". To specify brace characters, use "{{}" and "{}}". Brackets ([ ]) have no special meaning to SendKeys, but you must enclose them in braces. In other applications, brackets do have a special meaning that might be significant when dynamic data exchange (DDE) occurs.

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 in the following table.

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} (reserved for future use)
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}
Keypad add {ADD}
Keypad subtract {SUBTRACT}
Keypad multiply {MULTIPLY}
Keypad divide {DIVIDE}

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 "+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.

Note   Because there is no managed method to activate another application, you can either use this class within the current application or use native Windows methods, such as FindWindow and SetForegroundWindow, to force focus on other applications.

Example

[Visual Basic, C#] The following code example demonstrates how to use the Send method. To run the example, paste the following code in a form called Form1 containing a button called Button1. The button control's TabIndex property should be set to 0. When the example is running, double-click the form to trigger the button's click event. Ensure the events are connected to their event-handling methods.

[Visual Basic] 

    ' Clicking Button1 causes a message box to appear.
    Private Sub Button1_Click(ByVal sender As System.Object, _
        ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        MessageBox.Show("Click here!")
    End Sub


    ' Use the SendKeys.Send method to trigger the Button1 click event 
    ' and display the message box.
    Private Sub Form1_DoubleClick(ByVal sender As Object, _
        ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.DoubleClick

        ' Send the enter key; since the tab stop of Button1 is 0, this
        ' will trigger the click event.
        SendKeys.Send("{ENTER}")
    End Sub

[C#] 

    // Clicking Button1 causes a message box to appear.
    private void Button1_Click(System.Object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {
        MessageBox.Show("Click here!");
    }


    // Use the SendKeys.Send method to trigger the Button1 click event 
    // and display the message box.
    private void Form1_DoubleClick(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    {

        // Send the enter key; since the tab stop of Button1 is 0, this
        // will trigger the click event.
        SendKeys.Send("{ENTER}");
    }

[C++, JScript] No example is available for C++ or JScript. To view a Visual Basic or C# example, click the Language Filter button Language Filter in the upper-left corner of the page.

Requirements

Namespace: System.Windows.Forms

Platforms: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 family

Assembly: System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

See Also

SendKeys Members | System.Windows.Forms Namespace

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