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Global Hotkeys in WPF

, 1 Apr 2012 CPOL
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This tip shows how to register System-Global hotkeys in WPF applications.

Hotkeys in WPF are not as easy as in Windows Forms, so I have written a HotKeyHost class which encapsulates all the complicated stuff and makes its usage even easier than in Windows Forms.

Each HotKey-Instance has to be enabled and added to the HotKeyHost to work properly.

When you want to perform hotkey dependend actions, you can either use the HotKeyPressed-Event or (as in the example below) override the OnHotKeyPressed method in your own hotkey-class. In the last case you should mark you class as serializable, override GetObjectData and add a protected constructor for deserialization.

If two HotKey-instances have the same Key- and Modifiers-Property, they are equal to each other as the HotKey-class overrides the Equals-Method.

Example usage:

using HDLibrary.Wpf.Input;
	
[...]
	
    private void Window_Loaded(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)
    {
        HotKeyHost hotKeyHost = new HotKeyHost((HwndSource)HwndSource.FromVisual(App.Current.MainWindow));
        hotKeyHost.AddHotKey(new CustomHotKey("ShowPopup", Key.Q, ModifierKeys.Control | ModifierKeys.Shift, true));
        hotKeyHost.AddHotKey(new CustomHotKey("ClosePopup", Key.F2, ModifierKeys.Control, true));
    }
	
[...]

    [Serializable]
    public class CustomHotKey : HotKey
    {
        public CustomHotKey(string name, Key key, ModifierKeys modifiers, bool enabled)
            : base(key, modifiers, enabled)
        {
            Name = name;
        }

        private string name;
        public string Name
        {
            get { return name; }
            set
            {
                if (value != name)
                {
                    name = value;
                    OnPropertyChanged(name);
                }
            }
        }

        protected override void OnHotKeyPress()
        {
            MessageBox.Show(string.Format("'{0}' has been pressed ({1})", Name, this));

            base.OnHotKeyPress();
        }


        protected CustomHotKey(System.Runtime.Serialization.SerializationInfo info, System.Runtime.Serialization.StreamingContext context)
            : base(info, context)
        {
            Name = info.GetString("Name");
        }

        public override void GetObjectData(System.Runtime.Serialization.SerializationInfo info, System.Runtime.Serialization.StreamingContext context)
        {
            base.GetObjectData(info, context);

            info.AddValue("Name", Name);
        }
    }
When creating the HotKeyHost, the handle of the window has to be initialized, so it is recommended using the Loaded-event of the main window.

The classes:  

using System;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Windows.Input;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.Windows.Interop;

namespace HDLibrary.Wpf.Input
{
    public class HotKeyEventArgs : EventArgs
    {
        public HotKey HotKey { get; private set; }

        public HotKeyEventArgs(HotKey hotKey)
        {
            HotKey = hotKey;
        }
    }

    [Serializable]
    public class HotKeyAlreadyRegisteredException : Exception
    {
        public HotKey HotKey { get; private set; }
        public HotKeyAlreadyRegisteredException(string message, HotKey hotKey) : base(message) { HotKey = hotKey; }
        public HotKeyAlreadyRegisteredException(string message, HotKey hotKey, Exception inner) : base(message, inner) { HotKey = hotKey; }
        protected HotKeyAlreadyRegisteredException(
          SerializationInfo info,
          StreamingContext context)
            : base(info, context) { }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// Represents an hotKey
    /// </summary>
    [Serializable]
    public class HotKey : INotifyPropertyChanged, ISerializable, IEquatable<HotKey>
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Creates an HotKey object. This instance has to be registered in an HotKeyHost.
        /// </summary>
        public HotKey() { }

        /// <summary>
        /// Creates an HotKey object. This instance has to be registered in an HotKeyHost.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="key">The key</param>
        /// <param name="modifiers">The modifier. Multiple modifiers can be combined with or.</param>
        public HotKey(Key key, ModifierKeys modifiers) : this(key, modifiers, true) { }

        /// <summary>
        /// Creates an HotKey object. This instance has to be registered in an HotKeyHost.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="key">The key</param>
        /// <param name="modifiers">The modifier. Multiple modifiers can be combined with or.</param>
        /// <param name="enabled">Specifies whether the HotKey will be enabled when registered to an HotKeyHost</param>
        public HotKey(Key key, ModifierKeys modifiers, bool enabled)
        {
            Key = key;
            Modifiers = modifiers;
            Enabled = enabled;
        }


        private Key key;
        /// <summary>
        /// The Key. Must not be null when registering to an HotKeyHost.
        /// </summary>
        public Key Key
        {
            get { return key; }
            set
            {
                if (key != value)
                {
                    key = value;
                    OnPropertyChanged("Key");
                }
            }
        }

        private ModifierKeys modifiers;
        /// <summary>
        /// The modifier. Multiple modifiers can be combined with or.
        /// </summary>
        public ModifierKeys Modifiers
        {
            get { return modifiers; }
            set
            {
                if (modifiers != value)
                {
                    modifiers = value;
                    OnPropertyChanged("Modifiers");
                }
            }
        }

        private bool enabled;
        public bool Enabled
        {
            get { return enabled; }
            set
            {
                if (value != enabled)
                {
                    enabled = value;
                    OnPropertyChanged("Enabled");
                }
            }
        }

        public event PropertyChangedEventHandler PropertyChanged;

        protected virtual void OnPropertyChanged(string propertyName)
        {
            if (PropertyChanged != null)
                PropertyChanged(this, new PropertyChangedEventArgs(propertyName));
        }


        public override bool Equals(object obj)
        {
            HotKey hotKey = obj as HotKey;
            if (hotKey != null)
                return Equals(hotKey);
            else
                return false;
        }

        public bool Equals(HotKey other)
        {
            return (Key == other.Key && Modifiers == other.Modifiers);
        }

        public override int GetHashCode()
        {
            return (int)Modifiers + 10 * (int)Key;
        }

        public override string ToString()
        {
            return string.Format("{0} + {1} ({2}Enabled)", Key, Modifiers, Enabled ? "" : "Not ");
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Will be raised if the hotkey is pressed (works only if registed in HotKeyHost)
        /// </summary>
        public event EventHandler<HotKeyEventArgs> HotKeyPressed;

        protected virtual void OnHotKeyPress()
        {
            if (HotKeyPressed != null)
                HotKeyPressed(this, new HotKeyEventArgs(this));
        }

        internal void RaiseOnHotKeyPressed()
        {
            OnHotKeyPress();
        }


        protected HotKey(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context)
        {
            Key = (Key)info.GetValue("Key", typeof(Key));
            Modifiers = (ModifierKeys)info.GetValue("Modifiers", typeof(ModifierKeys));
            Enabled = info.GetBoolean("Enabled");
        }

        public virtual void GetObjectData(SerializationInfo info, StreamingContext context)
        {
            info.AddValue("Key", Key, typeof(Key));
            info.AddValue("Modifiers", Modifiers, typeof(ModifierKeys));
            info.AddValue("Enabled", Enabled);
        }
    }

    /// <summary>
    /// The HotKeyHost needed for working with hotKeys.
    /// </summary>
    public sealed class HotKeyHost : IDisposable
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Creates a new HotKeyHost
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="hwndSource">The handle of the window. Must not be null.</param>
        public HotKeyHost(HwndSource hwndSource)
        {
            if (hwndSource == null)
                throw new ArgumentNullException("hwndSource");

            this.hook = new HwndSourceHook(WndProc);
            this.hwndSource = hwndSource;
            hwndSource.AddHook(hook);
        }

        #region HotKey Interop

        private const int WM_HotKey = 786;

        [DllImport("user32", CharSet = CharSet.Ansi,
                   SetLastError = true, ExactSpelling = true)]
        private static extern int RegisterHotKey(IntPtr hwnd,
                int id, int modifiers, int key);

        [DllImport("user32", CharSet = CharSet.Ansi,
                   SetLastError = true, ExactSpelling = true)]
        private static extern int UnregisterHotKey(IntPtr hwnd, int id);

        #endregion

        #region Interop-Encapsulation

        private HwndSourceHook hook;
        private HwndSource hwndSource;

        private void RegisterHotKey(int id, HotKey hotKey)
        {
            if ((int)hwndSource.Handle != 0)
            {
                RegisterHotKey(hwndSource.Handle, id, (int)hotKey.Modifiers, KeyInterop.VirtualKeyFromKey(hotKey.Key));
                int error = Marshal.GetLastWin32Error();
                if (error != 0)
                {
                    Exception e = new Win32Exception(error);

                    if (error == 1409)
                        throw new HotKeyAlreadyRegisteredException(e.Message, hotKey, e);
                    else
                        throw e;
                }
            }
            else
                throw new InvalidOperationException("Handle is invalid");
        }

        private void UnregisterHotKey(int id)
        {
            if ((int)hwndSource.Handle != 0)
            {
                UnregisterHotKey(hwndSource.Handle, id);
                int error = Marshal.GetLastWin32Error();
                if (error != 0)
                    throw new Win32Exception(error);
            }
        }

        #endregion

        /// <summary>
        /// Will be raised if any registered hotKey is pressed
        /// </summary>
        public event EventHandler<HotKeyEventArgs> HotKeyPressed;

        private IntPtr WndProc(IntPtr hwnd, int msg, IntPtr wParam, IntPtr lParam, ref bool handled)
        {
            if (msg == WM_HotKey)
            {
                if (hotKeys.ContainsKey((int)wParam))
                {
                    HotKey h = hotKeys[(int)wParam];
                    h.RaiseOnHotKeyPressed();
                    if (HotKeyPressed != null)
                        HotKeyPressed(this, new HotKeyEventArgs(h));
                }
            }

            return new IntPtr(0);
        }


        void hotKey_PropertyChanged(object sender, PropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        {
            var kvPair = hotKeys.FirstOrDefault(h => h.Value == sender);
            if (kvPair.Value != null)
            {
                if (e.PropertyName == "Enabled")
                {
                    if (kvPair.Value.Enabled)
                        RegisterHotKey(kvPair.Key, kvPair.Value);
                    else
                        UnregisterHotKey(kvPair.Key);
                }
                else if (e.PropertyName == "Key" || e.PropertyName == "Modifiers")
                {
                    if (kvPair.Value.Enabled)
                    {
                        UnregisterHotKey(kvPair.Key);
                        RegisterHotKey(kvPair.Key, kvPair.Value);
                    }
                }
            }
        }


        private Dictionary<int, HotKey> hotKeys = new Dictionary<int, HotKey>();


        public class SerialCounter
        {
            public SerialCounter(int start)
            {
                Current = start;
            }

            public int Current { get; private set; }

            public int Next()
            {
                return ++Current;
            }
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// All registered hotKeys
        /// </summary>
        public IEnumerable<HotKey> HotKeys { get { return hotKeys.Values; } }


        private static readonly SerialCounter idGen = new SerialCounter(1); //Annotation: Can be replaced with "Random"-class

        /// <summary>
        /// Adds an hotKey.
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="hotKey">The hotKey which will be added. Must not be null and can be registed only once.</param>
        public void AddHotKey(HotKey hotKey)
        {
            if (hotKey == null)
                throw new ArgumentNullException("value");
            if (hotKey.Key == 0)
                throw new ArgumentNullException("value.Key");
            if (hotKeys.ContainsValue(hotKey))
                throw new HotKeyAlreadyRegisteredException("HotKey already registered!", hotKey);

            int id = idGen.Next();
            if (hotKey.Enabled)
                RegisterHotKey(id, hotKey);
            hotKey.PropertyChanged += hotKey_PropertyChanged;
            hotKeys[id] = hotKey;
        }

        /// <summary>
        /// Removes an hotKey
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="hotKey">The hotKey to be removed</param>
        /// <returns>True if success, otherwise false</returns>
        public bool RemoveHotKey(HotKey hotKey)
        {
            var kvPair = hotKeys.FirstOrDefault(h => h.Value == hotKey);
            if (kvPair.Value != null)
            {
                kvPair.Value.PropertyChanged -= hotKey_PropertyChanged;
                if (kvPair.Value.Enabled)
                    UnregisterHotKey(kvPair.Key);
                return hotKeys.Remove(kvPair.Key);
            }
            return false;
        }


        #region Destructor

        private bool disposed;

        private void Dispose(bool disposing)
        {
            if (disposed)
                return;

            if (disposing)
            {
                hwndSource.RemoveHook(hook);
            }

            for (int i = hotKeys.Count - 1; i >= 0; i--)
            {
                RemoveHotKey(hotKeys.Values.ElementAt(i));
            }


            disposed = true;
        }

        public void Dispose()
        {
            this.Dispose(true);
            GC.SuppressFinalize(this);
        }

        ~HotKeyHost()
        {
            this.Dispose(false);
        }

        #endregion
    }
}

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Henning Dieterichs
Student
Germany Germany
Presently I am a student of computer science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionFull Screen Applications PinmemberVSZM14-Apr-13 5:57 
AnswerRe: Full Screen Applications PinmemberHenning Dieterichs14-Apr-13 6:17 
GeneralRe: Full Screen Applications PinmemberVSZM14-Apr-13 7:50 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 844697317-Jul-12 2:58 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberHenning Dieterichs17-Jul-12 3:12 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberMember 844697317-Jul-12 3:15 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberMember 844697317-Jul-12 3:34 
QuestionAwesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberMember 842483422-Nov-11 10:41 
This is a great class! I've been trying to implement it in one of my project but I'm getting no dice....here's my code, any idea why?
 
HotKey hotkey = new HotKey((System.Windows.Interop.HwndSource)System.Windows.Interop.HwndSource.FromVisual(App.Current.MainWindow));
                hotkey.Modifiers = HotKey.ModifierKeys.Shift; hotkey.Key = Key.F2;
                hotkey.HotKeyPressed += new EventHandler<HotKeyEventArgs>(delegate(Object o, HotKeyEventArgs e)
                {
                    Console.WriteLine("Congratulations, Cap'n.");
                    System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show("YAAY HOTKEY HAZ BEEN TEH PRESSEDS!");
                });
                hotkey.Enabled = true;
 
Thanks in advance.
AnswerRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberHenning Dieterichs22-Nov-11 12:03 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberMember 842483422-Nov-11 12:28 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberHenning Dieterichs23-Nov-11 7:22 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberMember 842483423-Nov-11 9:02 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work [modified] PinmemberMember 842483427-Nov-11 15:12 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work [modified] PinmemberHenning Dieterichs28-Nov-11 5:09 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberMember 84248343-Dec-11 10:18 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberMember 842483415-Dec-11 10:19 
AnswerRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberHenning Dieterichs24-Mar-12 2:43 
GeneralRe: Awesome class, can't get it to work PinmemberMember 842483424-Mar-12 6:23 

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