please dont rip this site Prev Next

WM_SYSKEYDOWN Overview  Group

The WM_SYSKEYDOWN message is posted to the window with the keyboard focus when the user holds down the ALT key and then presses another key. It also occurs when no window currently has the keyboard focus; in this case, the WM_SYSKEYDOWN message is sent to the active window. The window that receives the message can distinguish between these two contexts by checking the context code in the lKeyData parameter.


nVirtKey = (int) wParam;    // virtual-key code 

lKeyData = lParam;          // key data 



Value of wParam. Specifies the virtual-key code of the key being pressed.
Value of lParam. Specifies the repeat count, scan code, extended-key flag, context code, previous key-state flag, and transition-state flag, as shown in the following table:




Specifies the repeat count for the current message. The value is the number of times the keystroke is auto-repeated as a result of the user holding down the key. If the keystroke is held long enough, multiple messages are sent. However, the repeat count is not cumulative.


Specifies the scan code. The value depends on the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).


Specifies whether the key is an extended key, such as the right-hand ALT and CTRL keys that appear on an enhanced 101- or 102-key keyboard. The value is 1 if it is an extended key; otherwise, it is 0.


Reserved; do not use.


Specifies the context code. The value is 1 if the ALT key is down while the key is pressed; it is 0 if the WM_SYSKEYDOWN message is posted to the active window because no window has the keyboard focus.


Specifies the previous key state. The value is 1 if the key is down before the message is sent, or it is 0 if the key is up.


Specifies the transition state. The value is always 0 for a WM_SYSKEYDOWN message.

Return Values

An application should return zero if it processes this message.

Default Action

The DefWindowProc function examines the given key and generates a WM_SYSCOMMAND message if the key is either TAB or ENTER.


When the context code is zero, the message can be passed to the TranslateAccelerator function, which will handle it as though it were a normal key message instead of a system character-key message. This allows accelerator keys to be used with the active window even if the active window does not have the keyboard focus.

Because of automatic repeat, more than one WM_SYSKEYDOWN message may occur before a WM_SYSKEYUP message is sent. The previous key state (bit 30) can be used to determine whether the WM_SYSKEYDOWN message indicates the first down transition or a repeated down transition.

For enhanced 101- and 102-key keyboards, enhanced keys are the right ALT and CTRL keys on the main section of the keyboard; the INS, DEL, HOME, END, PAGE UP, PAGE DOWN and arrow keys in the clusters to the left of the numeric keypad; and the divide (/) and ENTER keys in the numeric keypad. Other keyboards may support the extended-key bit in the lParam parameter.

See Also

DefWindowProc, TranslateAccelerator, WM_SYSCOMMAND, WM_SYSKEYUP

file: /Techref/os/win/api/win32/mess/src/msg28_11.htm, 5KB, , updated: 2000/4/7 12:20, local time: 2022/8/17 21:41,

 ©2022 These pages are served without commercial sponsorship. (No popup ads, etc...).Bandwidth abuse increases hosting cost forcing sponsorship or shutdown. This server aggressively defends against automated copying for any reason including offline viewing, duplication, etc... Please respect this requirement and DO NOT RIP THIS SITE. Questions?
Please DO link to this page! Digg it! / MAKE!


After you find an appropriate page, you are invited to your to this massmind site! (posts will be visible only to you before review) Just type a nice message (short messages are blocked as spam) in the box and press the Post button. (HTML welcomed, but not the <A tag: Instead, use the link box to link to another page. A tutorial is available Members can login to post directly, become page editors, and be credited for their posts.

Link? Put it here: 
if you want a response, please enter your email address: 
Attn spammers: All posts are reviewed before being made visible to anyone other than the poster.
Did you find what you needed?


Welcome to!

Site supported by
sales, advertizing,
& kind contributors
just like you!

Please don't rip/copy
(here's why

Copies of the site on CD
are available at minimal cost.

Welcome to!