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jQuery Hotkeys lets you watch for keyboard events anywhere in your code supporting almost any key combination.
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jQuery.hotkeys is a plug-in that lets you easily add and remove handlers for keyboard events anywhere in your code supporting almost any key combination.

It is based on a library Shortcut.js written by Binny V A.

The syntax is as follows:

$(expression).bind(,, );
$(expression).unbind(,, );

$(document).bind('keydown', 'Ctrl+a', fn);

// e.g. replace '$' sign with 'EUR'
$('').bind('keyup', '$', function(){
    this.value = this.value.replace('$', 'EUR');

$('').unbind('keydown', 'Ctrl+a', fn);


Supported types are 'keydown', 'keyup' and 'keypress'


The options are 'combi' i.e. the key combination, and 'disableInInput' which allow your code not to be executed when the cursor is located inside an input ( $(elem).is('input') || $(elem).is('textarea') ).

As you can see, the key combination can be passed as string or as an object. You may pass an object in case you wish to override the default option for disableInInput which is set to false:

$(document).bind('keydown', {combi:'a', disableinInput: true}, fn);

I.e. when cursor is within an input field, 'a' will be inserted into the input field without interfering.

If you want to use more than one modifiers (e.g. alt+ctrl+z) you should define them by an alphabetical order e.g. alt+ctrl+shift

Modifiers are case insensitive, i.e. 'Ctrl+a' 'ctrl+a'.


In previous versions there was an option propagate which is removed now and implemented at the user code level.

When using jQuery, if an event handler returns false, jQuery will call stopPropagation() and preventDefault()

[ Live Demo]

jQuery Compatibility

Tested with jQuery 1.2.6

Browser support

IE 6/7/8FF 1.5/2/3Opera-9Safari-3Chrome-0.2
Mac OS Xx+?+x
  • + Works fine.
  • X The browser is not available on that platform.
  • ? I don't have that browser installed on that platform.

  • If you happened to have a browser installed on a platform which I marked as '?', I will appreciate if you kindly run the demo and send over the results.*

Features added in this version (0.7.x)

  • Implemented as $.fn - let you use this.
  • jQuery selectors are supported.
  • Extending $.fn.bind and $.fn.unbind so you get a single interface for binding events to handlers

Overriding jQuery

The plugin wraps the following jQuery methods:

  • $.fn.bind
  • $.fn.unbind
  • $.find

Even though the plugin overrides these methods, the original methods will always be called.

The plugin will add functionality only for the keydown, keyup and keypress event types. Any other types are passed untouched to the original 'bind()' and 'unbind()' methods.

Moreover, if you call bind() without passing the shortcut key combination e.g. $(document).bind('keydown', fn) only the original 'bind()' method will be executed.

I also modified the $.fn.find method by adding a single line at the top of the function body. here is the code:

    jQuery.fn.find = function( selector ) {
        // the line I added
        // call jQuery original find
        return jQuery.fn.__find__.apply(this, arguments);

You can read about this at jQuery's User Group


Firefox is the most liberal one in the manner of letting you capture all short-cuts even those that are built-in in the browser such as Ctrl-t for new tab, or Ctrl-a for selecting all text. You can always bubble them up to the browser by returning true in your handler.

Others, (IE) either let you handle built-in short-cuts, but will add their functionality after your code has executed. Or (Opera/Safari) will not pass those events to the DOM at all.

So, if you bind Ctrl-Q or Alt-F4 and your Safari/Opera window is closed don't be surprised.

Current Version is: beta 0.7

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