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Key shortcuts made simple
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jKey 1.0 Beta

The easiest way to add key shortcuts to your web app, period.


Easy. What key code is the g key? What about the alt? How do you check if alt, shift, and a are being pressed down at the same time?

If you don't know these off the top of your head, jKey is probably right for you.


jKey is a jQuery plugin written by Oscar Godson and Sebastian Nitu. It allows you to add key shortcuts to your web app super easily.

Enough already, how?

A simple example would be, if you wanted to add a key command to your app that alerts a user when they press alt + a you'd just do:

    alert('You pressed alt+a!');

It also supports multiple key commands that have the same functionality, for example:

$(window).jkey('s, alt+s',function(){
    alert('You pressed either s, or alt+s!');

It also allows you to get the keys pressed. This is useful if you have a command that fires off an event that is different, but very similar. For example, let's say you have a sliding panel that moves left or right based on the left or right key. The animation code and events fired are the same, but have an opposite direction. In this case, you could do:

$(window).jkey('left, right',function(key){
    if(key == 'left') {
        direction = 'left';
    else {
        direction = 'right';

Key Support

jKey doesn't support every possible key as every computer manufacturer and operating system implements keys differently. For example, some computers have a function key (Fn) and some of them return a keycode and some don't at all. In any case, here is what we currently support:

  • a-z
  • 0-9
  • F1-F12
  • left, up, down, right
  • shift, ctrl, control, alt, backspace, enter
  • Mac OS X: opt, option, cmd, command, delete [1], return [2]
  • Not on all OSs: fn, function

If we're missing something, let us know in the bug reporter on our Github page.

[1] - This is the Mac version of the backspace button. Calling either should work across OSs. Yes, there is a delete key on normal western keyboards as well, we're still trying to figure out how to handle this...

[2] - This is the Mac version of the enter key. Calling either should work across OSs.

[3] - This will NOT work in Mac OS X. It does not send a key event to the browser. Silly Apple.

Note about selectors

You don't have to always select the window. If you want to set a key command to an element it's just gotta be in focus. So, you could do something such as:

$('input').jkey('^',function(){ alert('not a valid character!'); });

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