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Version: 4.0

useHotkeys

This hook allows us to listen to hotkeys in a declarative way and execute a callback function once the user pressed down the given hotkey.

tip

This documentation is using react-live, so we can edit the code of every example and immediately see the results of our changes.

Basic Usage

Import the useHotkeys hook from the package:

import { useHotkeys } from 'react-hotkeys-hook';

or when using require style syntax:

const { useHotkeys } = require('react-hotkeys-hook')
// or
const useHotkeys = require('react-hotkeys-hook').useHotkeys

Simple Hotkey

The most basic usage for the hook is to assign a hotkey we want to listen to and a callback to get executed once the user hits that key.

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To make the hotkeys work, you have to focus the rendered output of the Live Editor.


Inside the callback we can do whatever we like. One common use case is to alter some component state:

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useHotkeys will create the listener on component mount and destroy the listener once the component unmounts.


Multiple hotkeys per component

Since useHotkeys is a hook, we can use it in one component as much as we like:

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Keystrokes

We can also listen to keystrokes. That is a combination of keys that the user has to hit in order to execute the callback. One example would be a Jira like UI that listens to the Shift+C keystroke to create a new ticket:

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This is not restricted to a combination of two keys. We can also do things like Ctrl+Shift+A+C (maybe not the most intuitive keystroke for a user to memorize, though).

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the keys argument is case-insensitive

It doesn't matter if we listen for CTRL+S, Ctrl+s, ctrl+S or any other possible way of writing the keys in different cases. They all will listen to the user pressing the ctrl and the s key. This also means that upper case letters are treated as lower case letters. If we want to listen to the user pressing the upper case letter S, we'd have to listen to shift+s.


Multiple hotkeys

We can also listen to multiple keystrokes and/or hotkeys and trigger the same callback. Combinations are separated by a comma sign:

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You can also use an array as first arguments: useHotkeys(['ctrl+shift+a+c', 'c', 'shift+c'], ....

Noticed something?

We used the ctrl+shift+a+c and shift+c combination two times for two components on this page. Since we pressed down one hotkey already the example above started at the count of one. Hotkeys are attached globally if we don't use its return value.


Modifiers & Special keys

Of course, we also want to leverage more complex keystrokes. useHotkeys supports the following modifiers:

  • shift
  • alt
  • ctrl
  • meta

Since version 4 alt and option are identical. The meta key is the same as cmd on macOS and os key on Windows.

function ExampleComponent() {
const [count, setCount] = useState(0)
useHotkeys(
'ctrl+shift+a+c, c, shift+c, alt+n, ctrl+d, meta+d',
() => setCount(prevCount => prevCount + 1)
)

return (
<span>Received the combination {count} times.</span>
)
}

There are also special keys like arrows, return, space bar, etc. that have their own name that can be used:

  • backspace
  • tab
  • clear
  • enter or return
  • esc or escape
  • space
  • up, down, left, right
  • pageup, pagedown
  • del or delete
  • f1, f2 ... f19
Warning

Please be aware that there are some hotkeys that we cannot override, because they would interfere with a safe browsing experience for the user. These depend on the browser. For example in Chrome, most notably those are meta + w which closes a tab, meta + n for opening a new window and meta + t to open a new tab. Additionally meta + shift + w (closing all tabs of the current window), meta + shift + n (opening incognito window) and meta + shift + t (reopen the last closed tab) cannot be overridden. meta + up + 1..9 on the other hand focuses the corresponding tab of the active window and also cannot be overridden.