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Global hotkeys made easy

, 19 Oct 2003
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A class to facilitates global hotkeys registration and handling
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This article will show you how to use the CHotkeyHandler class in order to manage and create global hotkeys.

Using the code

#include <conio.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include "hotkeyhandler.h"

void handA(void *)
  printf("this is A\n");

void handQ(void *)
  printf("this is Q\n");

void hand1(void *param)
  WinExec((char *)param, SW_SHOW);

int main(void)
  int err, id;

  CHotkeyHandler hk;

  hk.InsertHandler(MOD_CONTROL | MOD_ALT, 'Q', handQ, id);
  hk.InsertHandler(MOD_CONTROL | MOD_ALT, 'A', handA, id);
  hk.InsertHandler(MOD_CONTROL | MOD_ALT, '1', hand1, id);

  err = hk.Start("calc.exe");
  if (err != CHotkeyHandler::hkheOk)
    printf("Error %d on Start()\n", err);
    return err;
  printf("hotkeys started!!!\ any key to stop them...\n");
  err = hk.Stop();
  return 0;

First we declare a CHotkeyHandler instance. We then start inserting the hotkeys defined by their Control key, Virtual Key, Callback function. The InsertHandler() will return us an identifier for the registered hotkey. You can use this id with the RemoveHandler(). After we have inserted our handlers you can enable the hotkeys by calling Start(). You should always check for error codes returned by the CHotkeyHandler methods. The Start() will take an optional parameter that will be passed to the registered callback when it gets invoked. We then disable all hotkeys via Stop()

For more information about error codes and other methods description please refer to the CHotkeyHandler.cpp file. That's all.


  • 9 May 2003
    • Initial CodeProject version
  • 20 Oct 2003
    • Source code updated<!------------------------------- That's it! --------------------------->


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Elias Bachaalany
Web Developer
United States United States
Elias (aka lallousx86, @0xeb) has always been interested in the making of things and their inner workings.
His computer interests include system programming, reverse engineering, writing libraries, tutorials and articles.
In his free time, and apart from researching, his favorite reading topics include: dreams, metaphysics, philosophy, psychology and any other human/mystical science.
Former employee of Hex-Rays (the creators of IDA Pro), was responsible about many debugger plugins, IDAPython project ownership and what not.
Elias currently works at Microsoft as a software security engineer.
More articles and blog posts can be found here:

Comments and Discussions

GeneralProblem while compiling in VC++ 2008 PinmemberNitsanBr30-Aug-08 13:41 
GeneralRe: Problem while compiling in VC++ 2008 Pinmember428814-Aug-09 11:38 
GeneralErrors and problems PinmemberVal Samko18-Oct-03 12:26 
GeneralRe: Errors and problems Pinmemberlallous20-Oct-03 2:48 
Generallocal hotkey Pinmembershahrzad4-Aug-03 2:00 
GeneralRe: local hotkey PinsussAnonymous9-Aug-03 12:01 
GeneralHotkeys Vs. KB Hooks Pinmembersumudu12-Jun-03 7:41 
GeneralRe: Hotkeys Vs. KB Hooks Pinmemberlallous18-Jun-03 4:04 
GeneralRe: Hotkeys Vs. KB Hooks Pinmembersumudu18-Jun-03 7:42 
GeneralRe: Hotkeys Vs. KB Hooks PinmemberJGHG24-Jun-04 3:04 
GeneralRe: Hotkeys Vs. KB Hooks Pinmemberlallous24-Jun-04 3:28 
Generalsynchronous Pinmemberlins0121-May-03 19:58 
GeneralRe: synchronous Pinmemberlallous23-May-03 0:56 
GeneralRe: synchronous Pinmemberlins0127-May-03 20:49 
GeneralRe: synchronous Pinmemberlallous27-May-03 23:28 
GeneralRe: synchronous Pinmemberlins0128-May-03 15:47 
GeneralNot exactly.. Pinmemberpeterchen12-May-03 23:14 
GeneralRe: Not exactly.. Pinsusslallous13-May-03 22:40 
GeneralRe: Not exactly.. Pinmemberpeterchen13-May-03 23:28 
GeneralRe: Not exactly.. Pinmemberlallous13-May-03 23:43 
GeneralExample doesn't work for me PinmemberMr.X12-May-03 4:04 
GeneralRe: Example doesn't work for me Pinmemberlallous25-May-03 11:12 

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