Using UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW Keys to Move the Focus

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Article ID: 100413 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q100413
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SUMMARY

You can trap for the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW extended keyboard keys in some Visual Basic controls by placing code in the KeyDown event procedure. The code uses KeyCode values to trap the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys. You cannot, however, trap the keys in all Visual Basic controls because some controls already have built-in functionality for the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys, so there is no KeyDown event generated.

MORE INFORMATION

The information in this article is provided to show that it is possible to trap the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys, however Microsoft does not recommend that you implement it because the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys have standard, predefined behavior on some controls. Microsoft recommends that you use the standard method for using the keyboard to move the focus; that is, use the TAB and SHIFT+TAB keys or use the access keys.

Step-by-Step Example for Moving the Focus Using UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW

  1. Start Visual Basic or from the File menu, choose New Project (ALT, F, N) if Visual Basic is already running.
  2. Add a Picture box and two Text boxes to Form1.
  3. In the Picture1_KeyDown event procedure, add this code:
       Sub Picture1_KeyDown(KeyCode AS INTEGER, Shift AS INTEGER)
          IF KeyCode = 38 Then    '* 38 = up arrow key
             Text2.SetFocus
          Text2.SelStart = 0   '* set the cursor to the start
          END IF
    
          IF KeyCode = 40 Then    '* 40 = down arrow key
             Text1.SetFocus
          Text1.SelStart = 0   '* set the cursor to the start
          END IF
       END SUB
    						
  4. In the Text1_KeyDown event procedure, add this code:
       Sub Text1_KeyDown(KeyCode AS INTEGER, Shift AS INTEGER)
          If KeyCode = 38 Then    '* 38 = UP ARROW key
             Picture1.SetFocus
          End If
    
          If KeyCode = 40 Then    '* 40 = DOWN ARROW key
             Text2.SetFocus
             Text2.SelStart = 0   '* set the cursor to the start
          End If
       End Sub
    						
  5. In the Text2_KeyDown event procedure, add this code:
       Sub Text2_KeyDown(KeyCode AS INTEGER, Shift AS INTEGER)
          If KeyCode = 38 Then    '* 38 = UP ARROW key
             Text1.SetFocus
             Text1.SelStart = 0   '* set the cursor to the start
          End If
    
          If KeyCode = 40 Then    '* 40 = DOWN ARROW key
             Picture1.SetFocus
          End If
       End Sub
    						
  6. Choose Start from the Run menu or press F5 to run the example. Press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key to see the focus move to a different control.
If you use the LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW keys, you can scroll in a Text box, but these keys are ignored in the Picture box in this example.

Properties

Article ID: 100413 - Last Review: August 16, 2005 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 3.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 3.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 1.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic for MS-DOS
Keywords: 
KB100413
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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