Day: October 14, 2023

Keyboard Events: Responding to User Input with JavaScript

Keyboard Events in Javascript

Keyboard events are triggered when a physical key is pressed and a character is generated. They are not triggered for non-character keys such as arrow keys and function keys.

The following code uses the keydown event to validate user input in an element with an ID of “input-num”. It displays an error message if any non-numeric characters are typed.

What is a keyboard event?

The keydown, keypress, and keyup events allow you to respond to keyboard input in real time. Each event describes a single interaction between the user and a key (or combination of keys with modifier keys).

The event object contains properties that provide useful information about which key was pressed. For example, the key property returns a character value for the key that was pressed. The code property, on the other hand, represents a physical key on the keyboard without taking into account the keyboard layout, locale, or any modifier keys.

If a user presses an alphabetic, numeric, or punctuation key, then the keypress event fires and triggers functionality. For example, an alert might be displayed. The target of the keypress event shouldn’t be an input element, however; it should be a global window object. This can be accomplished by using the addEventListener() method. The event object will then be passed to any KeyListener or KeyAdapter objects that have registered to receive the event.


The keydown event is fired when a key is pressed down and continues to fire if the key is held down. This event is only triggered for keys that produce a character, so it doesn’t include things like the Ctrl, Shift, and Meta keys.

Keyup occurs when a key is released. This event is similar to keydown, but it is fired only once when a key is released. The keyup event is also not triggered for control keys, which makes it less useful than the keydown event.

Some browsers may allow you to suppress the default action of the keydown event using preventDefault(), but this varies from one browser to another. It is recommended to use this only if you need to. Calling preventDefault() in a handler for the keydown event will cancel the keyboard event on all keys, which could result in the input field not being able to accept any user input. So it’s better to use the keyup event in this case.


Keyup is an event that fires when a keyboard key is released. It occurs once the browser is done executing the default handler for the key down event. This means that calling preventDefault() on the keyup event won’t have any effect.

Keyboard events are used to capture user interaction and trigger functionality based on those actions. They can be triggered by a number of methods, including the html element, event handler function, or addEventListener method.

In the example below, an input text field is logged and a keyboard event is triggered by using the jQuery keyup() method. The event handler function logs a statement showing the type of key that was released. Afterwards, the background color of the input text field is changed to yellow. This is a simple but effective demonstration of how to use the jQuery keyboard events. The same logic could be applied to other html elements, such as links and form input elements.


Keyboard events such as keydown and keyup are often used to capture keyboard input. These events are triggered when a key is pressed down by the user and repeated as long as the key is pressed. However, these events may not work correctly in all browsers. This is because of inconsistencies between the way keyboard events are implemented by different browsers.

The key property of the keyboard event object returns a string that represents the value of the triggering key in a human-readable format. This value includes any modifier keys, such as ‘Shift’ or ‘Ctrl’, that were pressed in addition to the key itself.

In order to use keyboard events in your web application, you must first create a listener function for them. This listener must be attached to an HTML element that can receive focus, such as a input> or textarea>. This listener function must then catch the keyboard events and handle them appropriately.

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