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SendKeys Class

Provides methods for sending keystrokes to an application.

Namespace: System.Windows.Forms
Assembly: System.Windows.Forms (in system.windows.forms.dll)

public class SendKeys
public class SendKeys
public class SendKeys
Not applicable.

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.

Caution noteCaution:

If your application is intended for international use with a variety of keyboards, the use of Send could yield unpredictable results and should be avoided.

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.

NoteNote:

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.

NoteNote:

The SendKeys class has been updated for the .NET Framework 3.0 to enable its use in applications that run on Windows Vista. The enhanced security of Windows Vista (known as User Account Control or UAC) prevents the previous implementation from working as expected.

The SendKeys class is susceptible to timing issues, which some developers have had to work around. The updated implementation is still susceptible to timing issues, but is slightly faster and may require changes to the workarounds. The SendKeys class tries to use the previous implementation first, and if that fails, uses the new implementation. As a result, the SendKeys class may behave differently on different operating systems. Additionally, when the SendKeys class uses the new implementation, the SendWait method will not wait for messages to be processed when they are sent to another process.

If your application relies on consistent behavior regardless of the operating system, you can force the SendKeys class to use the new implementation by adding the following application setting to your app.config file.

<appSettings>

<add key="SendKeys" value="SendInput"/>

</appSettings>

To force the SendKeys class to use the previous implementation, use the value "JournalHook" instead.

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

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

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