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OnKey Method [Excel 2003 VBA Language Reference]

Runs a specified procedure when a particular key or key combination is pressed.

expression**.OnKey(Key**, Procedure)

expression Required. An expression that returns an Application object.

Key   Required String. A string indicating the key to be pressed.

Procedure   Optional Variant. A string indicating the name of the procedure to be run. If Procedure is "" (empty text), nothing happens when Key is pressed. This form of OnKey changes the normal result of keystrokes in Microsoft Excel. If Procedure is omitted, Key reverts to its normal result in Microsoft Excel, and any special key assignments made with previous OnKey methods are cleared.


The Key argument can specify any single key combined with ALT, CTRL, or SHIFT, or any combination of these keys. Each key is represented by one or more characters, such as "a" for the character a, or "{ENTER}" for the ENTER key.

To specify characters that aren't displayed when you press the corresponding key (ENTER or TAB, for example), use the codes listed in the following table. Each code in the table represents one key on the keyboard.

You can also specify keys combined with SHIFT and/or CTRL and/or ALT. To specify a key combined with another key or keys, use the following table.

To combine keys with Precede the key code by
SHIFT + (plus sign)
CTRL ^ (caret)
ALT % (percent sign)

To assign a procedure to one of the special characters (+, ^, %, and so on), enclose the character in braces. For details, see the example.


This example assigns "InsertProc" to the key sequence CTRL+PLUS SIGN and assigns "SpecialPrintProc" to the key sequence SHIFT+CTRL+RIGHT ARROW.

Application.OnKey "^{+}", "InsertProc"
Application.OnKey "+^{RIGHT}", "SpecialPrintProc"

This example returns SHIFT+CTRL+RIGHT ARROW to its normal meaning.

Application.OnKey "+^{RIGHT}"

This example disables the SHIFT+CTRL+RIGHT ARROW key sequence.

Application.OnKey "+^{RIGHT}", ""

Applies to | Application Object