A simple JavaScript library for handling keyboard events.
Pull request Compare This branch is 15 commits behind marquete:master.
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.



Kibo is a simple JavaScript library for handling keyboard events.

Getting started

Kibo has no dependencies. Just include it in your HTML code:

<script type="text/javascript" src="kibo.js"></script>

Then set up an event listener by creating an instance of Kibo:

var k = new Kibo();

Kibo's constructor takes an optional argument - the HTML element on which you want to define the event handler. It defaults to window.document.

Syntax and usage

Two short-hand methods are provided - down and up, which take two arguments: one or more key combinations or wildcards, and a function to invoke when a matching event is fired on the element.

A key combination is a string consisting of zero or more modifiers and a key name or, alternatively, one or more modifiers. You can pass the short-hand methods a single key combination or an array of one or more key combinations.

When the function is invoked, it is passed the event as its sole argument. Feel free to ignore it if you don't need to do anything else about it. If the function returns false, the default action will be prevented.

A lastKey method is provided for querying Kibo about which key was involved in the last keyboard event. It will return the key's name or undefined if the last key is not supported. Additionally, you can ask lastKey about a particular modifier key and it will reply either true or false.

Supported keys

Kibo understands these keys and is case-insensitive about their spelling:

  • modifiers shift, ctrl, alt

  • letters a to z

  • numbers 0 to 9

  • functions f1 to f12

  • arrows left, up, right and down

  • enter, esc, space, backspace, delete, insert, tab, page_up, page_down, home, end, caps_lock, num_lock

  • wildcards any, any arrow, any number, any letter, any f


Single or multiple key combinations

var k = (new Kibo()).down(['up', 'down'], function() {
  console.log('up or down arrow key pressed');
}).up('tab', function() {
  console.log('TAB key released');

Key combinations with modifiers

var k = new Kibo(), handler = function() {
  console.log('last key: ' + k.lastKey());

k.down(['shift q', 'ctrl alt x'], handler);


var k = (new Kibo()).down(['any letter', 'any number'], function() {
  console.log('letter or number key pressed');
  console.log('shift key was' + (k.lastKey('shift') ? '' : ' not') + ' pressed');

k.up('any', function() {
  console.log('key released');

Preventing the default action

var k = (new Kibo()).down('f5', function() { return false; });


Kibo is released under the MIT License.