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Representing Keys and Shortcuts

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This page explains the different ways that you may use to represent keys or shortcuts (combinations of keys).

Representing Keys

To represent a single key, you may use either a code or a string. The following tables show a complete list of codes and strings that you may use to represent each key.

The following tables do not show a string representation for some keys because the UI framework is not responsible for the string representation of those keys. Instead, the operating system where your application is running provides the string representation of those keys. The following tables do not show those string representations provided by the operating system because they may vary; for example, Windows provides locale-specific key names.

Representing Letter Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) String

A

vkA

A

B

vkB

B

C

vkC

C

D

vkD

D

E

vkE

E

F

vkF

F

G

vkG

G

H

vkH

H

I

vkI

I

J

vkJ

J

K

vkK

K

L

vkL

L

M

vkM

M

N

vkN

N

O

vkO

O

P

vkP

P

Q

vkQ

Q

R

vkR

R

S

vkS

S

T

vkT

T

U

vkU

U

V

vkV

V

W

vkW

W

X

vkX

X

Y

vkY

Y

Z

vkZ

Z

Representing Digit Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) String

0

vk0

0

1

vk1

1

2

vk2

2

3

vk3

3

4

vk4

4

5

vk5

5

6

vk6

6

7

vk7

7

8

vk8

8

9

vk9

9

Representing Symbol Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) String

Backslash

vkBackslash

\

Bracket (Opening)

vkLeftBracket

[

Bracket (Closing)

vkRightBracket

]

Comma

vkComma

,

Equal sign

vkEqual

=

Minus sign

vkMinus

-

Period

vkPeriod

.

Quote

vkQuote

'

Semicolon

vkSemicolon

;

Slash

vkSlash

/

Tilde

vkTilde

~

Representing Editing Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) Constant (FMX.Consts, Vcl.Consts) String

BACKSPACE

vkBack

SmkcBkSp

BkSp

DELETE

vkDelete

SmkcDel

Del

ENTER
RETURN

vkReturn

SmkcEnter

Enter

INSERT

vkInsert

SmkcIns

Ins

SPACE BAR

vkSpace

SmkcSpace

Space

TAB

vkTab

SmkcTab

Tab

Representing Navigation Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) Constant (FMX.Consts, Vcl.Consts) String

ESC (Escape)

vkEscape

SmkcEsc

Esc

PGUP (Page up)

vkPrior

SmkcPgUp

PgUp

PGDN (Page down)

vkNext

SmkcPgDn

PgDn

END

vkEnd

SmkcEnd

End

HOME

vkHome

SmkcHome

Home

(Left arrow)

vkLeft

SmkcLeft

Left

(Up arrow)

vkUp

SmkcUp

Up

(Right arrow)

vkRight

SmkcRight

Right

(Down arrow)

vkDown

SmkcDown

Down

Representing Modifier Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
System.Classes Constant Constant (FMX.Consts, Vcl.Consts) String

ALT

scAlt

SmkcAlt

Alt+

CMD

scCommand

SmkcCmd

Cmd+

CTRL (Control)

scCtrl

SmkcCtrl

Ctrl+

^

SHIFT

scShift

SmkcShift

Shift+

Most computers running Windows do not have a CMD key, just as most computers running OS X do not have a CTRL key. Mind this when you configure the shortcuts of your application. You may need to define your shortcuts at run time and use conditional compilation to set the right shortcut for each platform. For example:

Delphi:

{$IF defined(MSWINDOWS)}
    MenuItem1.ShortCut := TextToShortCut('Ctrl+N');
{$ELSEIF defined(MACOS) and not defined(IOS)}
    MenuItem1.ShortCut := TextToShortCut('Cmd+N');
{$ENDIF}

C++:

#if defined(_WIN32)
    MenuItem1->ShortCut = TextToShortCut("Ctrl+N");
#elif defined(__APPLE__) && (defined(__i386__) or defined(__x86_64__))
    MenuItem1->ShortCut = TextToShortCut("Cmd+N");
#endif

You may also represent modifier keys as regular keys using the following constants and strings:

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) Constant (FMX.Consts) String

ALT

vkMenu

Alt

ALT (Left)

vkLMenu

SmkcLMenu

Left Alt

ALT (Right)

vkRMenu

SmkcRMenu

Right Alt

CTRL (Control)

vkControl

Ctrl

CTRL (Left Control)

vkLControl

SmkcLControl

Left Ctrl

CTRL (Right Control)

vkRControl

SmkcRControl

Right Ctrl

SHIFT

vkShift

Shift

SHIFT (Left)

vkLShift

SmkcLShift

Left Shift

SHIFT (Right)

vkRShift

SmkcRShift

Right Shift

WINDOWS (Left)

vkLWin

SmkcLWin

Left Win

WINDOWS (Right)

vkRWin

SmkcRWin

Right Win

Representing Function Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) String

F1

vkF1

F1

F2

vkF2

F2

F3

vkF3

F3

F4

vkF4

F4

F5

vkF5

F5

F6

vkF6

F6

F7

vkF7

F7

F8

vkF8

F8

F9

vkF9

F9

F10

vkF10

F10

F11

vkF11

F11

F12

vkF12

F12

F13

vkF13

F13

F14

vkF14

F14

F15

vkF15

F15

F16

vkF16

F16

F17

vkF17

F17

F18

vkF18

F18

F19

vkF19

F19

F20

vkF20

F20

F21

vkF21

F21

F22

vkF22

F22

F23

vkF23

F23

F24

vkF24

F24

Representing Lock Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) Constant (FMX.Consts) String

CAPS LOCK

vkCapital

SmkcCapital

Caps Lock

NUM LOCK

vkNumLock

SmkcNumLock

Num Lock

SCROLL LOCK

vkScroll

SmkcScroll

Scroll Lock

Representing Numeric Pad Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) String

0

vkNumpad0

Num 0

1

vkNumpad1

Num 1

2

vkNumpad2

Num 2

3

vkNumpad3

Num 3

4

vkNumpad4

Num 4

5

vkNumpad5

Num 5

6

vkNumpad6

Num 6

7

vkNumpad7

Num 7

8

vkNumpad8

Num 8

9

vkNumpad9

Num 9

vkMultiply

Num *

+

vkAdd

Num +

,

vkSeparator

Num ,

-

vkSubtract

Num -

.

vkDecimal

Num .

/

vkDivide

Num /

Representing Multimedia Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) Constant (FMX.Consts) String

Browser: Back

vkBrowserBack

SmkcBrowserBack

BrowserBack

Browser: Forward

vkBrowserForward

Browser: Refresh

vkBrowserRefresh

Browser: Stop

vkBrowserStop

Browser: Search

vkBrowserSearch

Browser: Favorites

vkBrowserFavorites

Browser: Home

vkBrowserHome

Camera

vkCamera

SmkcCamera

Camera

Launch: Email

vkLaunchMail

Launch: Media Select

vkLaunchMediaSelect

Launch: App 1

vkLaunchApp1

Launch: App 2

vkLaunchApp2

Media: Next track

vkMediaNextTrack

Media: Previous track

vkMediaPrevTrack

Media: Stop

vkMediaStop

Media: Play/Pause

vkMediaPlayPause

Volume: Mute

vkVolumeMute

Volume: Down

vkVolumeDown

Volume: Up

vkVolumeUp

Representing Buttons

Button Code Representation
Constant (System.UITypes)

Left mouse button

vkLButton

Right mouse button

vkRButton

Middle mouse button

vkMButton

X1 mouse button

vkXButton1

X2 mouse button

vkXButton2

Representing Language Input Keys

Key Code Representation

IME Kana mode

vkKana

IME Hangul mode

vkHangul

IME Junja mode

vkJunja

IME final mode

vkFinal

IME Hanja mode

vkHanja

IME Kanji mode

vkKanji

IME convert

vkConvert

IME nonconvert

vkNonConvert

IME accept

vkAccept

IME mode change request

vkModeChange

IME process

vkProcessKey

Representing Other Keys

Key Code Representation String Representation
Constant (System.UITypes) Constant (FMX.Consts) String

ATTN

vkAttn

BACK

vkHardwareBack

SmkcHardwareBack

HardwareBack

BREAK

vkCancel

SmkcCancel

Break

CLEAR

vkClear

SmkcClear

Clear

CRSEL

vkCrsel

ERASE EOF

vkErEof

EXECUTE

vkExecute

EXSEL

vkExsel

HELP

vkHelp

Line feed

vkLineFeed

MENU

vkApps

SmkcApps

Application

OEM 102
Either the angle bracket key or the backslash key on the RT 102-key keyboard.

vkOem102

SmkcOem102

OEM \

OEM-specific Clear key

vkOemClear

OEM-specific Ico 00

vkIco00

OEM-specific Ico Clear

vkIcoClear

OEM-specific Ico Help

vkIcoHelp

PA1

vkPA1

Packet
Used to pass Unicode characters as if they were keystrokes.

vkPacket

Paragraph

vkPara

SmkcPara

Paragraph

PAUSE

vkPause

SmkcPause

Pause

PLAY

vkPlay

PRINT

vkPrint

PRINT SCREEN

vkSnapshot

Reserved

vkNoname

SELECT

vkSelect

SLEEP

vkSleep

ZOOM

vkZoom

No key

vkNone

Representing Shortcuts

The following sections explain how to represent a shortcut as either an instance of TShortCut or a string.

Representing Shortcuts as Instances of TShortCut

To define a shortcut as an instance of System.Classes.TShortCut, join the code of a regular key and the codes of modifier keys using the OR bitwise operator. For example:

Delphi:

Shortcut := vkZ or scShift or scCtrl;

C++:

Shortcut = vkZ | scShift | scCtrl;

Representing Shortcuts Using Strings

To define a shortcut using a string, you can simply concatenate the keys, and place the main key at the end. These are some examples of strings that represent shortcuts:

  • ^P (CTRL + P)
  • Shift+Ctrl+Z (SHIFT + CTRL + Z)

Specifying Accelerator Keys

On Windows platforms, the Accelerator keys enable the user to access controls using only the keyboard input. For example, by pressing Alt+<accelerator_letter> key combination. An accelerator key is shown as an underlined letter in the Caption or Text property of your control. To specify an accelerator key in your code, precede an <accelerator_letter> with an ampersand & character in the caption or text property of your control. The letter after the ampersand appears underlined in the caption/text on the control. For example, to set the S character as an accelerator key for a Save button, type &Save in the text property. On some controls specified <accelerator_letter>s appear underlined only when the ALT key is pressed.

Note: This feature only works on Windows platforms. When run on other platforms, the ampersand is stripped from the text.

Since an ampersand & character in a caption/text property is handled as an instruction to underline the next letter, therefore, a single ampersand character is not shown in the caption/text of a corresponding control. To show a single ampersand & character in a caption/text specify two ampersand && characters.

Switching Between Code and String Representation

Given an instance of System.Classes.TShortCut that represents either a key or a shortcut, you may use the following methods to obtain the string representation of that key or shortcut:

Conversely, given the string representation of a key or shortcut, you may use the following methods to obtain an instance of TShortCut that represents that key or shortcut:

Using these functions you can easily set the shortcut of a menu item or some other control at run time using the string representation of the shortcut instead of its code representation, which makes your code more readable:

Delphi:

MenuItem1.ShortCut := TextToShortCut('Cmd+N');

C++:

MenuItem1->ShortCut = TextToShortCut("Cmd+N");

See Also

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