Send[Raw|Input|Play|Event]: Send Keys & Clicks

Sends simulated keystrokes and mouse clicks to the active window.

Send Keys
SendRaw Keys
SendInput Keys
SendPlay Keys
SendEvent Keys

Parameters

Keys

The sequence of keys to send. As with other commands, the comma in front of the first parameter is optional.

Raw mode - SendRaw or {Raw}: The characters ^+!#{} are interpreted literally rather than translating {Enter} to Enter, ^c to Control+C, etc. To use raw mode with SendInput, SendPlay, SendEvent, or ControlSend, write {Raw} as the first item in the string; for example: SendInput {Raw}abc.

Raw mode does not affect the interpretation of escape sequences, variable references and expressions. For example, SendRaw, ``100`% sends the string `100%. When using ControlSend, it is also necessary to escape literal commas (`,).

Text mode - {Text} [v1.1.27+]: Similar to Raw mode, except that no attempt is made to translate characters (other than `r, `n, `t and `b) to keycodes; instead, the fallback method is used for all of the remaining characters. For SendEvent, SendInput and ControlSend, this improves reliability because the characters are much less dependent on correct modifier state. Text mode can be combined with Blind mode to avoid releasing any modifier keys: Send {Blind}{Text}your text. However, some applications require that the modifier keys be released.

`n, `r and `r`n are all translated to a single Enter keystroke, unlike normal mode and Raw mode, which translate `r`n to two Enter keystrokes. `t is translated to Tab and `b to Backspace, but all other characters are sent without translation.

[v1.1.29+]: Like Blind mode, Text mode ignores SetStoreCapsLockMode (that is, the state of CapsLock is not changed) and does not wait for the Win key to be released. This is because Text mode typically does not depend on the state of CapsLock and cannot trigger the system Win+L hotkey. However, this only applies when Keys begins with {Text} or {Blind}{Text}.

Normal mode: When not in Raw mode or Text mode, the following symbols have special meaning: !+^#{}

The modifiers !+^# affect only the very next key. To send the corresponding modifier key on its own, enclose the key name in braces. To just press (hold down) or release the key, follow the key name with the word "down" or "up" as shown below.

Symbol Key Press Release Examples
! {Alt} {Alt down} {Alt up} Send !a presses Alt+A
+ {Shift} {Shift down} {Shift up} Send +abC sends the text "AbC"
Send !+a presses Alt+Shift+A
^ {Ctrl} {Ctrl down} {Ctrl up} Send ^{Home} presses Control+Home
# {LWin}
{RWin}
{LWin down}
{RWin down}
{LWin up}
{RWin up}
Send #e holds down the Win key and then presses the E key
Symbol Meaning
{ }

Braces are used to enclose key names and other options, and to send special characters literally. For example, {Tab} is the Tab key and {!} is a literal exclamation mark.

[v1.1.27+]: Enclosing a plain ASCII letter (a-z or A-Z) in braces forces it to be sent as the corresponding virtual keycode, even if the character does not exist on the current keyboard layout. In other words, Send a produces the letter "a" while Send {a} may or may not produce "a", depending on the keyboard layout. For details, see the remarks below.

Note: As capital letters are produced by sending the Shift key, A produces a different effect in some programs than a. For example, !A presses Alt+Shift+A and !a presses Alt+A. If in doubt, use lowercase.

Blind mode - {Blind}: Blind mode gives the script more control by disabling a number of things that are normally done automatically to make things work as expected. {Blind} must be the first item in the string to enable Blind mode. It has the following effects:

Blind mode is used internally when remapping a key. For example, the remapping a::b would produce: 1) "b" when you type "a"; 2) uppercase "B" when you type uppercase "A"; and 3) Control+B when you type Control+A.

{Blind} is not supported by SendRaw or ControlSendRaw; use {Blind}{Raw} instead.

Blind mode is not completely supported by SendPlay, especially when dealing with the modifier keys (Control, Alt, Shift, and Win).


SendInput and SendPlay [v1.0.43+]: SendInput and SendPlay use the same syntax as Send but are generally faster and more reliable. In addition, they buffer any physical keyboard or mouse activity during the send, which prevents the user's keystrokes from being interspersed with those being sent. SendMode can be used to make Send synonymous with SendInput or SendPlay. For more details about each mode, see SendInput and SendPlay below.

SendEvent [v1.0.43+]: SendEvent sends keystrokes using the same method as the pre-1.0.43 Send command. The rate at which keystrokes are sent is determined by SetKeyDelay. By default, Send is synonymous SendEvent; but it can be made a synonym for SendInput or SendPlay via SendMode.

Key Names: The following table lists the special keys that can be sent (each key name must be enclosed in braces):

   
{F1} - {F24} Function keys. For example: {F12} is the F12 key.
{!} !
{#} #
{+} +
{^} ^
{{} {
{}} }
{Enter} Enter key on the main keyboard
{Escape} or {Esc} Escape
{Space} Space (this is only needed for spaces that appear either at the beginning or the end of the string to be sent -- ones in the middle can be literal spaces)
{Tab} Tab
{Backspace} or {BS} Backspace
{Delete} or {Del} Delete
{Insert} or {Ins} Insert
{Up} (up arrow) key on main keyboard
{Down} (down arrow) key on main keyboard
{Left} (left arrow) key on main keyboard
{Right} (right arrow) key on main keyboard
{Home} Home key on main keyboard
{End} End key on main keyboard
{PgUp} PageUp key on main keyboard
{PgDn} PageDown key on main keyboard
   
{CapsLock} CapsLock (using SetCapsLockState is more reliable on Win 2k/XP). Sending {CapsLock} might require SetStoreCapsLockMode Off beforehand.
{ScrollLock} ScrollLock (see also: SetScrollLockState)
{NumLock} NumLock (see also: SetNumLockState)
   
{Control} or {Ctrl} Control (technical info: sends the neutral virtual key but the left scan code)
{LControl} or {LCtrl} Left Control key (technical info: sends the left virtual key rather than the neutral one)
{RControl} or {RCtrl} Right Control key
{Control down} or {Ctrl down} Holds the Control key down until {Ctrl up} is sent. To hold down the left or right key instead, use {RCtrl down} and {RCtrl up}.
   
{Alt} Alt (technical info: sends the neutral virtual key but the left scan code)
{LAlt} Left Alt key (technical info: sends the left virtual key rather than the neutral one)
{RAlt} Right Alt key (or AltGr, depending on keyboard layout)
{Alt down} Holds the Alt key down until {Alt up} is sent. To hold down the left or right key instead, use {RAlt down} and {RAlt up}.
   
{Shift} Shift (technical info: sends the neutral virtual key but the left scan code)
{LShift} Left Shift key (technical info: sends the left virtual key rather than the neutral one)
{RShift} Right Shift key
{Shift down} Holds the Shift key down until {Shift up} is sent. To hold down the left or right key instead, use {RShift down} and {RShift up}.
   
{LWin} Left Win key
{RWin} Right Win key
{LWin down} Holds the left Win key down until {LWin up} is sent
{RWin down} Holds the right Win key down until {RWin up} is sent
   
{AppsKey} Menu key (invokes the right-click or context menu)
{Sleep} Sleep key.
{ASC nnnnn}

Sends an Alt+nnnnn keypad combination, which can be used to generate special characters that don't exist on the keyboard. To generate ASCII characters, specify a number between 1 and 255. To generate ANSI characters (standard in most languages), specify a number between 128 and 255, but precede it with a leading zero, e.g. {Asc 0133}.

Unicode characters may be generated by specifying a number between 256 and 65535 (without a leading zero). However, this is not supported by all applications. For alternatives, see the section below.

{U+nnnn}

[AHK_L 24+]: Sends a Unicode character where nnnn is the hexadecimal value of the character excluding the 0x prefix. This typically isn't needed in Unicode versions of AutoHotkey, where Send and ControlSend automatically support Unicode text.

SendInput() or WM_CHAR is used to send the character and the current Send mode has no effect. Characters sent this way usually do not trigger shortcut keys or hotkeys.

{vkXX}
{scYYY}
{vkXXscYYY}

Sends a keystroke that has virtual key XX and scan code YYY. For example: Send {vkFFsc159}. If the sc or vk portion is omitted, the most appropriate value is sent in its place.

The values for XX and YYY are hexadecimal and can usually be determined from the main window's View->Key history menu item. See also: Special Keys

Warning: Combining vk and sc in this manner is valid only with Send. Prior to [v1.1.27], hotkeys permitted but ignored any non-hexadecimal characters following XX.

   
{Numpad0} - {Numpad9} Numpad digit keys (as seen when NumLock is ON). For example: {Numpad5} is 5.
{NumpadDot} . (numpad period) (as seen when NumLock is ON).
{NumpadEnter} Enter key on keypad
{NumpadMult} * (numpad multiplication)
{NumpadDiv} / (numpad division)
{NumpadAdd} + (numpad addition)
{NumpadSub} - (numpad subtraction)
   
{NumpadDel} Delete key on keypad (this key and the following Numpad keys are used when NumLock is OFF)
{NumpadIns} Insert key on keypad
{NumpadClear} Clear key on keypad (usually the '5' key when NumLock is OFF).
{NumpadUp} (up arrow) key on keypad
{NumpadDown} (down arrow) key on keypad
{NumpadLeft} (left arrow) on keypad
{NumpadRight} (right arrow) key on keypad
{NumpadHome} Home key on keypad
{NumpadEnd} End key on keypad
{NumpadPgUp} PageUp key on keypad
{NumpadPgDn} PageDown key on keypad
   
{Browser_Back} Select the browser "back" button
{Browser_Forward} Select the browser "forward" button
{Browser_Refresh} Select the browser "refresh" button
{Browser_Stop} Select the browser "stop" button
{Browser_Search} Select the browser "search" button
{Browser_Favorites} Select the browser "favorites" button
{Browser_Home} Launch the browser and go to the home page
{Volume_Mute} Mute/unmute the master volume. Usually equivalent to SoundSet, +1, , mute.
{Volume_Down} Reduce the master volume. Usually equivalent to SoundSet -5.
{Volume_Up} Increase the master volume. Usually equivalent to SoundSet +5.
{Media_Next} Select next track in media player
{Media_Prev} Select previous track in media player
{Media_Stop} Stop media player
{Media_Play_Pause} Play/pause media player
{Launch_Mail} Launch the email application
{Launch_Media} Launch media player
{Launch_App1} Launch user app1
{Launch_App2} Launch user app2
   
{PrintScreen} PrintScreen
{CtrlBreak} Ctrl+Break
{Pause} Pause
   
{Click [Options]}
[v1.0.43+]
Sends a mouse click using the same options available in the Click command. For example, {Click} would click the left mouse button once at the mouse cursor's current position, and {Click 100, 200} would click at coordinates 100, 200 (based on CoordMode). To move the mouse without clicking, specify 0 after the coordinates; for example: {Click 100, 200, 0}. The delay between mouse clicks is determined by SetMouseDelay (not SetKeyDelay).
{WheelDown}, {WheelUp}, {WheelLeft}, {WheelRight}, {LButton}, {RButton}, {MButton}, {XButton1}, {XButton2} Sends a mouse button event at the cursor's current position (to have control over position and other options, use {Click} above). The delay between mouse clicks is determined by SetMouseDelay. WheelLeft/Right require [v1.0.48+], but have no effect on operating systems older than Windows Vista.
{Blind} Enables Blind mode, which gives the script more control by disabling a number of things that are normally done automatically to make things generally work as expected. The string {Blind} must occur at the beginning of the string.
{Raw}
[v1.0.43+]
Enables Raw mode, which causes the following characters to be interpreted literally: ^+!#{}. Although the string {Raw} need not occur at the beginning of the string, once specified, it stays in effect for the remainder of the string.
{Text}
[v1.1.27+]
Enables Text mode, which sends a stream of characters rather than keystrokes. Like Raw mode, Text mode causes the following characters to be interpreted literally: ^+!#{}. Although the string {Text} need not occur at the beginning of the string, once specified, it stays in effect for the remainder of the string.

Repeating or Holding Down a Key

To repeat a keystroke: Enclose in braces the name of the key followed by the number of times to repeat it. For example:

Send {DEL 4}  ; Presses the Delete key 4 times.
Send {S 30}   ; Sends 30 uppercase S characters.
Send +{TAB 4}  ; Presses Shift-Tab 4 times.

To hold down or release a key: Enclose in braces the name of the key followed by the word Down or Up. For example:

Send {b down}{b up}
Send {TAB down}{TAB up}
Send {Up down}  ; Press down the up-arrow key.
Sleep 1000  ; Keep it down for one second.
Send {Up up}  ; Release the up-arrow key.

When a key is held down via the method above, it does not begin auto-repeating like it would if you were physically holding it down (this is because auto-repeat is a driver/hardware feature). However, a Loop can be used to simulate auto-repeat. The following example sends 20 tab keystrokes:

Loop 20
{
    Send {Tab down}  ; Auto-repeat consists of consecutive down-events (with no up-events).
    Sleep 30  ; The number of milliseconds between keystrokes (or use SetKeyDelay).
}
Send {Tab up}  ; Release the key.

By default, Send will not automatically release a modifier key (Control/Shift/Alt/Win) if that modifier key was "pressed down" by sending it. For example, Send a may behave similar to Send {Blind}{Ctrl up}a{Ctrl down} if the user is physically holding Ctrl, but Send {Ctrl Down} followed by Send a will produce a Control+A keystroke. DownTemp and DownR can be used to override this behavior. DownTemp and DownR have the same effect as Down except for the modifer keys (Control/Shift/Alt/Win).

DownTemp tells subsequent sends that the key is not permanently down, and may be released whenever a keystroke calls for it. For example, Send {Control DownTemp} followed later by Send a would produce a normal A keystroke, not a Control+A keystroke. Any use of Send may potentially release the modifier permanently, so DownTemp is not ideal for remapping modifier keys.

[v1.1.27+]: DownR (where "R" stands for remapping, which is its main use) tells subsequent sends that if the key is automatically released, it should be pressed down again when send is finished. For example, Send {Control DownR} followed later by Send a would produce a normal A keystroke, not a Control+A keystroke, but will leave the Control key in the pressed state for use with keyboard shortcuts. In other words, DownR has an effect similar to physically pressing the key.

If a character does not correspond to a virtual key on the current keyboard layout, it cannot be "pressed" or "released". For example, Send {µ up} has no effect on most layouts, and Send {µ down} is equivalent to Send µ.

General Remarks

Characters vs. keys: By default, characters are sent by first translating them to keystrokes. If this translation is not possible (that is, if the current keyboard layout does not contain a key or key combination which produces that character), the character is sent by one of following fallback methods:

Note: Characters sent using any of the above methods usually do not trigger keyboard shortcuts or hotkeys.

[v1.1.27+]: For characters in the range a-z or A-Z (plain ASCII letters), each character which does not exist in the current keyboard layout may be sent either as a character or as the corresponding virtual keycode (vk41-vk5A):

If the letter exists in the current keyboard layout, it is always sent as whichever keycode the layout associates with that letter (unless Text mode is used, in which case the character is sent by other means). In other words, the section above is only relevant for non-Latin based layouts such as Russian.

Modifier State: When Send is required to change the state of the Win or Alt modifier keys (such as if the user was holding one of those keys), it may inject additional keystrokes (Ctrl by default) to prevent the Start menu or window menu from appearing. For details, see #MenuMaskKey.

BlockInput Compared to SendInput/SendPlay: Although the BlockInput command can be used to prevent any keystrokes physically typed by the user from disrupting the flow of simulated keystrokes, it is often better to use SendInput or SendPlay so that keystrokes and mouse clicks become uninterruptible. This is because unlike BlockInput, SendInput/Play does not discard what the user types during the send; instead, such keystrokes are buffered and sent afterward.

When sending a large number of keystrokes, a continuation section can be used to improve readability and maintainability.

Since the operating system does not allow simulation of the Ctrl+Alt+Delete combination, doing something like Send ^!{Delete} will have no effect.

Send may have no effect on Windows Vista or later if the active window is running with administrative privileges and the script is not. This is due to a security mechanism called User Interface Privilege Isolation.

SendInput [v1.0.43+]

SendInput is generally the preferred method to send keystrokes and mouse clicks because of its superior speed and reliability. Under most conditions, SendInput is nearly instantaneous, even when sending long strings. Since SendInput is so fast, it is also more reliable because there is less opportunity for some other window to pop up unexpectedly and intercept the keystrokes. Reliability is further improved by the fact that anything the user types during a SendInput is postponed until afterward.

Unlike the other sending modes, the operating system limits SendInput to about 5000 characters (this may vary depending on the operating system's version and performance settings). Characters and events beyond this limit are not sent.

Note: SendInput ignores SetKeyDelay because the operating system does not support a delay in this mode. However, when SendInput reverts to SendEvent under the conditions described below, it uses SetKeyDelay -1, 0 (unless SendEvent's KeyDelay is -1,-1, in which case -1,-1 is used). When SendInput reverts to SendPlay, it uses SendPlay's KeyDelay.

If a script other than the one executing SendInput has a low-level keyboard hook installed, SendInput automatically reverts to SendEvent (or SendPlay if SendMode InputThenPlay is in effect). This is done because the presence of an external hook disables all of SendInput's advantages, making it inferior to both SendPlay and SendEvent. However, since SendInput is unable to detect a low-level hook in programs other than [AutoHotkey v1.0.43+], it will not revert in these cases, making it less reliable than SendPlay/Event.

When SendInput sends mouse clicks by means such as {Click}, and CoordMode Mouse, Relative is in effect (the default), every click will be relative to the window that was active at the start of the send. Therefore, if SendInput intentionally activates another window (by means such as alt-tab), the coordinates of subsequent clicks within the same command will be wrong because they will still be relative to the old window rather than the new one.

SendPlay [v1.0.43+]

Warning: SendPlay may have no effect at all if UAC is enabled, even if the script is running as an administrator. For more information, refer to the FAQ.

SendPlay's biggest advantage is its ability to "play back" keystrokes and mouse clicks in a broader variety of games than the other modes. For example, a particular game may accept hotstrings only when they have the SendPlay option.

Of the three sending modes, SendPlay is the most unusual because it does not simulate keystrokes and mouse clicks per se. Instead, it creates a series of events (messages) that flow directly to the active window (similar to ControlSend, but at a lower level). Consequently, SendPlay does not trigger hotkeys or hotstrings.

Like SendInput, SendPlay's keystrokes do not get interspersed with keystrokes typed by the user. Thus, if the user happens to type something during a SendPlay, those keystrokes are postponed until afterward.

Although SendPlay is considerably slower than SendInput, it is usually faster than the traditional SendEvent mode (even when KeyDelay is -1).

The Win keys (LWin and RWin) are automatically blocked during a SendPlay if the keyboard hook is installed. This prevents the Start Menu from appearing if the user accidentally presses a Win key during the send. By contrast, keys other than LWin and RWin do not need to be blocked because the operating system automatically postpones them until after the SendPlay (via buffering).

SendPlay does not use the standard settings of SetKeyDelay and SetMouseDelay. Instead, it defaults to no delay at all, which can be changed as shown in the following examples:

SetKeyDelay, 0, 10, Play  ; Note that both 0 and -1 are the same in SendPlay mode.
SetMouseDelay, 10, Play

SendPlay is unable to turn on or off CapsLock, NumLock, or ScrollLock. Similarly, it is unable to change a key's state as seen by GetKeyState unless the keystrokes are sent to one of the script's own windows. Even then, any changes to the left/right modifier keys (e.g. RControl) can be detected only via their neutral counterparts (e.g. Control). Also, SendPlay has other limitations described on the SendMode page.

Unlike SendInput and SendEvent, the user may interrupt a SendPlay by pressing Control+Alt+Del or Control+Escape. When this happens, the remaining keystrokes are not sent but the script continues executing as though the SendPlay had completed normally.

Although SendPlay can send LWin and RWin events, they are sent directly to the active window rather than performing their native operating system function. To work around this, use SendEvent. For example, SendEvent #r would show the Start Menu's Run dialog.

Related

SendMode, SetKeyDelay, SetStoreCapsLockMode, Escape sequences (e.g. `%), ControlSend, BlockInput, Hotstrings, WinActivate

Examples

Send Sincerely,{enter}John Smith  ; Types a two-line signature.
Send !fs ; Select the File->Save menu (Alt+F followed by S).
Send {End}+{Left 4} ; Jump to the end of the text then send four shift+left-arrow keystrokes.
SendInput {Raw}A long series of raw characters sent via the fastest method (SendInput).