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About Ilias Tsagklis

Ilias Tsagklis
Ilias is a software developer turned online entrepreneur. He is co-founder and Executive Editor at Java Code Geeks.

Handle key presses example

With this simple tutorial we are going to see how to implement a simple key listener for your Java Desktop Application. This is a very nice tool if your application offers rich keyboard activity to the user.

In short, in order to implement a simple key listener in Java, one should perform these steps:

  • Create a new KeyAdapter instance.
  • Override the keyPressed method to customize the handling of that specific event. Now every time the user presses a key this method will be launched.
  • Use KeyEvent.getKeyChar() and KeyEvent.getKeyCode() to find out which key the user pressed.

Let’s take a look at the code snippet that follows:

package com.javacodegeeks.snippets.desktop;

import java.awt.BorderLayout;
import java.awt.Component;
import java.awt.Frame;
import java.awt.TextArea;
import java.awt.event.KeyAdapter;
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;

public class KeyListener {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

// Create frame with specific title

Frame frame = new Frame("Example Frame");

// Create a component to add to the frame; in this case a text area with sample text

Component textArea = new TextArea("You pressed []: n");

textArea.addKeyListener(new KeyAdapter() {

	  public void keyPressed(KeyEvent evt) {

TextArea source = (TextArea)evt.getSource();

source.setText("You pressed [" + evt.getKeyText(evt.getKeyCode()) +"] : ");
	  }

});

// Add the components to the frame; by default, the frame has a border layout

frame.add(textArea, BorderLayout.NORTH);

// Show the frame

int width = 300;

int height = 300;

frame.setSize(width, height);

frame.setVisible(true);

  }

}

 
This was an example on how to handle key presses in Java.

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