KeyboardEvent Value (keyCodes, metaKey, etc)

When a KeyboardEvent fires, you can test which key was pressed because that event contains information you can write logic against.

document.addEventListener("keydown", function(event) {

For example, by pressing "a", you'll get 65. Apparently it's best to write logic against which, as keyCode and charCode are complicated:

The event.which property normalizes event.keyCode and event.charCode. It is recommended to watch event.which for keyboard key input.


In a keypress event, the Unicode value of the key pressed is stored in either the keyCode or charCode property, never both. If the key pressed generates a character (e.g. 'a'), charCode is set to the code of that character, respecting the letter case. (i.e. charCode takes into account whether the shift key is held down). Otherwise, the code of the pressed key is stored in keyCode.

Tester Tool

See the Pen event.keyCode tester by Chris Coyier (@chriscoyier) on CodePen.

Table of Values

Key Code
backspace 8
tab 9
enter 13
shift 16
ctrl 17
alt 18
pause/break 19
caps lock 20
escape 27
(space) 32
page up 33
page down 34
end 35
home 36
left arrow 37
up arrow 38
right arrow 39
down arrow 40
insert 45
delete 46
0 48
1 49
2 50
3 51
4 52
5 53
6 54
7 55
8 56
9 57
a 65
b 66
c 67
d 68
Key Code
e 69
f 70
g 71
h 72
i 73
j 74
k 75
l 76
m 77
n 78
o 79
p 80
q 81
r 82
s 83
t 84
u 85
v 86
w 87
x 88
y 89
z 90
left window key 91
right window key 92
select key 93
numpad 0 96
numpad 1 97
numpad 2 98
numpad 3 99
numpad 4 100
numpad 5 101
numpad 6 102
numpad 7 103
Key Code
numpad 8 104
numpad 9 105
multiply 106
add 107
subtract 109
decimal point 110
divide 111
f1 112
f2 113
f3 114
f4 115
f5 116
f6 117
f7 118
f8 119
f9 120
f10 121
f11 122
f12 123
num lock 144
scroll lock 145
semi-colon 186
equal sign 187
comma 188
dash 189
period 190
forward slash 191
grave accent 192
open bracket 219
back slash 220
close braket 221
single quote 222

Reference URL


  1. Hugo
    Permalink to comment#

    Great tip Chris, thanks for sharing !

    I never figured it is that simple to know keyCodes with jQuery.

  2. John Jimenez
    Permalink to comment#

    Here is a decent article (a little out of date) about keycode support and the events that trigger.
    I am not affiliated with the link at all, just something I came across the other day and it happens to work here as well.

  3. JohnMotylJr
    Permalink to comment#

    Dang, im still using this:

    var code = (e.keyCode ? e.keyCode : e.which);
    • Chris
      Permalink to comment#

      I still use that and always will until every browser uses the same property! Which will most likely never happen so I’d keep using it! I mean half these morons on here saying “Never knew it was that easy with jQuery” they must not know jQuery is a library of JavaScript -_- old developers will always out due all these newcomers, “jQuery” programmers. They make me laugh!

    • spyter
      Permalink to comment#

      var code = e.keyCode || e.which; //is a shorter/cleaner version of what you have

    • J G
      Permalink to comment#

      @spyter: just know that if e.keyCode === 0, then it will be falsey and fall through to e.which (which may not be a problem, but is a possibility)

  4. James Larsson
    Permalink to comment#

    I found that the Apple command key is 224, which is not on this list.

  5. saurabh
    Permalink to comment#

    i want alt+q =keycode??

    • Mottie
      Permalink to comment#

      To detect that you’d need to look at the altKey value:

      if (event.altKey && event.which === 81) {
          // alt-q being used
  6. Mottie
    Permalink to comment#

    @chriscoyier The table seems to be missing “space” with a event.which value of 32 :)

  7. Crystal
    Permalink to comment#

    What about the key codes for other languages?

  8. Veronica
    Permalink to comment#

    Just found out that, for event.which, only in FF, backspace is 8, and the arrow keys are 0. In Chrome, it doesn’t set a value for either.

    • Aidan
      Permalink to comment#

      You are using element.onkeypress, to get the arrow keys you use element.onkeydown .

  9. Ali.MD
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you for exact copy paste and don’t read even once !
    I mean: ‘close braket’ just for fun ;)

  10. Ali.MD
    Permalink to comment#

    Please also add these:
    NUM_LOCK_MAC: 12,
    F13: 124,
    F14: 125,
    F15: 126,
    F16: 127,
    F17: 128,
    F18: 129,
    F19: 130,

  11. Strateji oyunu
    Permalink to comment#

    I wanting alt+q = keycode?

  12. Ben Zörb
    Permalink to comment#

    There are some conflicting keycodes which belong to two characters when using keyup or keydown:
    188 , <
    190 . >
    191 / ?
    192 ` ~
    219 [ {
    220 \ |
    221 ] }
    222 ‘ “

  13. Bhumi
    Permalink to comment#

    I have tried following but not working

    var DisableArrowKeys = function(e){
       if(e.keyCode == 40){
                    return false;
       if(e.keyCode == 39){
                    return false;
        return true;
    $("#id").bind("keyup change", DisableArrowKeys);
    $("#id").bind("keydown change", DisableArrowKeys);
    • sreeee
      Permalink to comment#
      $('#id').bind('keydown', function(e){
          if(e.keyCode == '39' || e.keyCode == '40'){

      this will help you i think

  14. Albert Straub
    Permalink to comment#

    How do you determine a capital letter from a lower-case letter?

    • Carl Dolerado
      Permalink to comment#

      You cannot tell the difference between capitals and lower case as keycode handles the key being pressed so to it there is no difference between a capital and lower case same as there is no difference between 0 and ).

  15. Marc
    Permalink to comment#

    Firefox 15+ returns 173 instead of 189 for dash. jQuery’s event.which does not normalize this. Previous versions returned 109.

  16. Marc
    Permalink to comment#

    This list is quite good, also pointing out inconsistencies:

    186, 187 and 189 from the above list are not safe to use.

  17. kenny
    Permalink to comment#

    A robust Javascript library for capturing keyboard input and key combinations entered. It has no dependencies.

    hotkeys('ctrl+a,ctrl+b,r,f', function(event,handler){
            case "ctrl+a":alert('you pressed ctrl+a!');break;
            case "ctrl+b":alert('you pressed ctrl+b!');break;
            case "r":alert('you pressed r!');break;
            case "f":alert('you pressed f!');break;

    hotkeys understands the following modifiers: , shift, option, , alt, ctrl, control, command, and .

    The following special keys can be used for shortcuts: backspace, tab, clear, enter, return, esc, escape, space, up, down, left, right, home, end, pageup, pagedown, del, delete and f1 through f19.

  18. Sharkes Monken
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank god! Great article been searching for it finally now i can identify the Keyboard codes with “KeyCode” method :) Good Job

  19. Muhammad Yasir
    Permalink to comment#

    Great post

  20. Sven
    Permalink to comment#

    Hello dear people, I mod games but I still haven’t found out what to put in an INI file for the keybinding of Arrow Up and Arrow Down.
    If someone can help me I would be happy to hear from you.

  21. Mottie

    ThecharCode, keyCode and which are being deprecated. They will soon be replaced by event.key which will return named keys:

    document.querySelector('input').addEventListener('keydown', function(event) {

    So If you type in “Hello World”, this will end up in the console:


    The event.shiftKey will still be true for shifted characters, but there is a new method to check for modifier keys (shift, alt, altGr, ctlr, capsLock, meta, OS, etc.) named getModifierState:

    document.querySelector('input').addEventListener('keydown', function(event) {

    Which will return values like this:

  22. Hrach

    Is there a reason the lowest keycode is 8, or is that just how it is for no reason what so ever.

  23. Mohamed Hussain S H

    In Codepen shared in the article, event.which is not respecting the case, always gives me 65 when i press lowercase “a” or uppercase “A”. am I understand something wrong here?

    • Mottie

      The codes within a keypress event will provide the proper ASCII character equivalents of the typed character. Try this demo.

      Note that the keypress does not contain a value for some special keys, like the arrows, insert, delete, home, pageUp/Down, etc.

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