Converting key code to key name and vice-versa

(click to interact)Converting key code to key name and vice-versa
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This is a small post about how to convert key codes to key names and/or convert key names to key codes. Comes with sample code for GameMaker and a generic version.

Mostly published because it covers majority of common and semi-common buttons.

The idea

You fill up a couple of global lookup tables with human-readable names and key codes that you got via experimentation (keyboard_lastkey in GameMaker, keyboard events or even from just polling all available buttons in other languages) and use those later.

If your language of choice has fast and fancy switch statements, you may use those instead, but it is rare that such functionality is used at frequency where performance matters too much.

For GameMaker

First, the initialization. This would have to be done once on game start:

var l_c2s = ds_map_create();
global.keyboard_key_to_name = l_c2s;
var l_s2c = ds_map_create();
global.keyboard_name_to_key = l_s2c;
var l_k, l_c, l_s, l_slq;
l_c2s[?27] = "Escape";
l_s2c[?"escape"] = 27;
l_s2c[?"esc"] = 27;
l_c2s[?32] = "Space";
l_s2c[?"space"] = 32;
l_s2c[?"spacebar"] = 32;
l_c2s[?13] = "Enter";
l_s2c[?"enter"] = 13;
l_s2c[?"return"] = 13;
l_c2s[?37] = "Left";
l_s2c[?"left"] = 37;
l_c2s[?39] = "Right";
l_s2c[?"right"] = 39;
l_c2s[?38] = "Up";
l_s2c[?"up"] = 38;
l_c2s[?40] = "Down";
l_s2c[?"down"] = 40;
l_c2s[?8] = "Backspace";
l_s2c[?"backspace"] = 8;
l_s2c[?"bksp"] = 8;
l_c2s[?9] = "Tab";
l_s2c[?"tab"] = 9;
l_c2s[?16] = "Shift";
l_s2c[?"shift"] = 16;
l_c2s[?17] = "Control";
l_s2c[?"control"] = 17;
l_s2c[?"ctrl"] = 17;
l_c2s[?18] = "Alt";
l_s2c[?"alt"] = 18;
l_c2s[?19] = "Pause";
l_s2c[?"pause"] = 19;
l_s2c[?"break"] = 19;
l_c2s[?20] = "Capslock";
l_s2c[?"capslock"] = 20;
l_s2c[?"caps"] = 20;
l_c2s[?160] = "LeftShift";
l_s2c[?"leftshift"] = 160;
l_s2c[?"lshift"] = 160;
l_c2s[?161] = "RightShift";
l_s2c[?"rightshift"] = 161;
l_s2c[?"rshift"] = 161;
l_c2s[?162] = "LeftControl";
l_s2c[?"leftcontrol"] = 162;
l_s2c[?"lcontrol"] = 162;
l_s2c[?"lctrl"] = 162;
l_c2s[?163] = "RightControl";
l_s2c[?"rightcontrol"] = 163;
l_s2c[?"rcontrol"] = 163;
l_s2c[?"rctrl"] = 163;
l_c2s[?164] = "LeftAlt";
l_s2c[?"leftalt"] = 164;
l_s2c[?"lalt"] = 164;
l_c2s[?165] = "RightAlt";
l_s2c[?"rightalt"] = 165;
l_s2c[?"ralt"] = 165;
l_c2s[?91] = "Windows";
l_s2c[?"windows"] = 91;
l_s2c[?"system"] = 91;
l_s2c[?"win"] = 91;
l_s2c[?"sys"] = 91;
l_c2s[?92] = "RightWindows";
l_s2c[?"rightwindows"] = 92;
l_s2c[?"rightsystem"] = 92;
l_s2c[?"rwin"] = 92;
l_s2c[?"rsys"] = 92;
l_c2s[?33] = "PageUp";
l_s2c[?"pageup"] = 33;
l_s2c[?"pgup"] = 33;
l_c2s[?34] = "PageDown";
l_s2c[?"pagedown"] = 34;
l_s2c[?"pgdown"] = 34;
l_c2s[?35] = "End";
l_s2c[?"end"] = 35;
l_c2s[?36] = "Home";
l_s2c[?"home"] = 36;
l_c2s[?44] = "PrintScreen";
l_s2c[?"printscreen"] = 44;
l_s2c[?"prtscr"] = 44;
l_s2c[?"sysrq"] = 44;
l_c2s[?45] = "Insert";
l_s2c[?"insert"] = 45;
l_s2c[?"ins"] = 45;
l_c2s[?46] = "Delete";
l_s2c[?"delete"] = 46;
l_s2c[?"del"] = 46;
l_c2s[?145] = "ScrollLock";
l_s2c[?"scrolllock"] = 145;
l_s2c[?"scrlck"] = 145;
l_c2s[?186] = "Semicolon";
l_s2c[?"semicolon"] = 186;
l_s2c[?"colon"] = 186;
l_s2c[?":"] = 186;
l_s2c[?";"] = 186;
l_c2s[?187] = "Equals";
l_s2c[?"equals"] = 187;
l_s2c[?"="] = 187;
l_c2s[?188] = "Comma";
l_s2c[?"comma"] = 188;
l_s2c[?"less"] = 188;
l_s2c[?","] = 188;
l_s2c[?"<"] = 188;
l_c2s[?189] = "Underscore";
l_s2c[?"underscore"] = 189;
l_s2c[?"_"] = 189;
l_c2s[?190] = "Period";
l_s2c[?"period"] = 190;
l_s2c[?"dot"] = 190;
l_s2c[?"more"] = 190;
l_s2c[?"."] = 190;
l_s2c[?">"] = 190;
l_c2s[?191] = "Slash";
l_s2c[?"slash"] = 191;
l_s2c[?"?"] = 191;
l_s2c[?"/"] = 191;
l_c2s[?192] = "Tilde";
l_s2c[?"tilde"] = 192;
l_s2c[?"~"] = 192;
l_s2c[?"`"] = 192;
l_c2s[?219] = "OpenBracket";
l_s2c[?"openbracket"] = 219;
l_s2c[?"["] = 219;
l_s2c[?"{"] = 219;
l_c2s[?220] = "BackSlash";
l_s2c[?"backslash"] = 220;
l_s2c[?chr(92)/* "\" */] = 220;
l_s2c[?"|"] = 220;
l_c2s[?221] = "CloseBracket";
l_s2c[?"closebracket"] = 221;
l_s2c[?"]"] = 221;
l_s2c[?"}"] = 221;
l_c2s[?222] = "Quote";
l_s2c[?"quote"] = 222;
l_s2c[?"apostrophe"] = 222;
l_s2c[?"'"] = 222;
l_s2c[?'"'] = 222;
for (l_k = 65; l_k <= 90; l_k += 1) {
    l_c = chr(l_k);
    l_c2s[?l_k] = l_c;
    l_slq = string_lower(l_c);
    l_s2c[?l_slq] = l_k;
}
l_c2s[?48] = "D0";
l_s2c[?"d0"] = 48;
l_s2c[?"dig0"] = 48;
l_s2c[?"digit0"] = 48;
l_s2c[?"0"] = 48;
l_c2s[?49] = "D1";
l_s2c[?"d1"] = 49;
l_s2c[?"dig1"] = 49;
l_s2c[?"digit1"] = 49;
l_s2c[?"1"] = 49;
l_c2s[?50] = "D2";
l_s2c[?"d2"] = 50;
l_s2c[?"dig2"] = 50;
l_s2c[?"digit2"] = 50;
l_s2c[?"2"] = 50;
l_c2s[?51] = "D3";
l_s2c[?"d3"] = 51;
l_s2c[?"dig3"] = 51;
l_s2c[?"digit3"] = 51;
l_s2c[?"3"] = 51;
l_c2s[?52] = "D4";
l_s2c[?"d4"] = 52;
l_s2c[?"dig4"] = 52;
l_s2c[?"digit4"] = 52;
l_s2c[?"4"] = 52;
l_c2s[?53] = "D5";
l_s2c[?"d5"] = 53;
l_s2c[?"dig5"] = 53;
l_s2c[?"digit5"] = 53;
l_s2c[?"5"] = 53;
l_c2s[?54] = "D6";
l_s2c[?"d6"] = 54;
l_s2c[?"dig6"] = 54;
l_s2c[?"digit6"] = 54;
l_s2c[?"6"] = 54;
l_c2s[?55] = "D7";
l_s2c[?"d7"] = 55;
l_s2c[?"dig7"] = 55;
l_s2c[?"digit7"] = 55;
l_s2c[?"7"] = 55;
l_c2s[?56] = "D8";
l_s2c[?"d8"] = 56;
l_s2c[?"dig8"] = 56;
l_s2c[?"digit8"] = 56;
l_s2c[?"8"] = 56;
l_c2s[?57] = "D9";
l_s2c[?"d9"] = 57;
l_s2c[?"dig9"] = 57;
l_s2c[?"digit9"] = 57;
l_s2c[?"9"] = 57;
for (l_k = 112; l_k < 136; l_k += 1) {
    l_c = "F" + string(l_k - 111);
    l_c2s[?l_k] = l_c;
    l_slq = string_lower(l_c);
    l_s2c[?l_slq] = l_k;
}
l_c2s[?144] = "Numlock";
l_s2c[?"numlock"] = 144;
l_c2s[?111] = "Divide";
l_s2c[?"divide"] = 111;
l_s2c[?"div"] = 111;
l_s2c[?"numdiv"] = 111;
l_s2c[?"/"] = 111;
l_c2s[?106] = "Multiply";
l_s2c[?"multiply"] = 106;
l_s2c[?"mul"] = 106;
l_s2c[?"nummul"] = 106;
l_s2c[?"*"] = 106;
l_c2s[?107] = "Add";
l_s2c[?"add"] = 107;
l_s2c[?"plus"] = 107;
l_s2c[?"numadd"] = 107;
l_s2c[?"+"] = 107;
l_c2s[?109] = "Subtract";
l_s2c[?"subtract"] = 109;
l_s2c[?"minus"] = 109;
l_s2c[?"numsub"] = 109;
l_s2c[?"-"] = 109;
l_c2s[?110] = "NumpadDelete";
l_s2c[?"numpaddelete"] = 110;
l_s2c[?"numdel"] = 110;
l_s2c[?"numperiod"] = 110;
for (l_k = 96; l_k < 106; l_k += 1) {
    l_c = string(l_k - 96);
    l_s = "Numpad" + l_c;
    l_c2s[?l_k] = l_c;
    l_slq = string_lower(l_c);
    l_s2c[?l_slq] = l_k;
    l_s = "Num" + l_c;
    l_slq = string_lower(l_s);
    l_s2c[?l_slq] = l_k;
}
l_s2c[?""] = 0;
l_s2c[?"none"] = 0;
l_c2s[?0] = "None";
for (l_k = 1; l_k < 256; l_k += 1) {
    l_s = "Key" + string(l_k);
    if (!ds_map_exists(l_c2s, l_k)) l_c2s[?l_k] = l_s;
    l_slq = string_lower(l_s);
    l_s2c[?l_slq] = l_k;
}

Then, you could have a script like keyboard_key_name that does

/// keyboard_key_name(keycode:int)
var name = global.keyboard_key_to_name[?argument0];
if (name == undefined) return "";
return name;

and keyboard_key_code that does

/// keyboard_key_code(keyname:string)
var k = global.keyboard_name_to_key[?string_lower(argument0)];
if (k == undefined) return -1;
return k;

and use them as you please.

For other languages

To make this as generalized as possible, the code here is just a flattened version of original - in other words, a pile of calls to a function that you'd have to do the actual setup.

This is for converting key codes to key names:

setKeyName(27, "Escape");
setKeyName(32, "Space");
setKeyName(13, "Enter");
setKeyName(37, "Left");
setKeyName(39, "Right");
setKeyName(38, "Up");
setKeyName(40, "Down");
setKeyName(8, "Backspace");
setKeyName(9, "Tab");
setKeyName(16, "Shift");
setKeyName(17, "Control");
setKeyName(18, "Alt");
setKeyName(19, "Pause");
setKeyName(20, "Capslock");
setKeyName(160, "LeftShift");
setKeyName(161, "RightShift");
setKeyName(162, "LeftControl");
setKeyName(163, "RightControl");
setKeyName(164, "LeftAlt");
setKeyName(165, "RightAlt");
setKeyName(91, "Windows");
setKeyName(92, "RightWindows");
setKeyName(33, "PageUp");
setKeyName(34, "PageDown");
setKeyName(35, "End");
setKeyName(36, "Home");
setKeyName(44, "PrintScreen");
setKeyName(45, "Insert");
setKeyName(46, "Delete");
setKeyName(145, "ScrollLock");
setKeyName(186, "Semicolon");
setKeyName(187, "Equals");
setKeyName(188, "Comma");
setKeyName(189, "Underscore");
setKeyName(190, "Period");
setKeyName(191, "Slash");
setKeyName(192, "Tilde");
setKeyName(219, "OpenBracket");
setKeyName(220, "BackSlash");
setKeyName(221, "CloseBracket");
setKeyName(222, "Quote");
setKeyName(65, "A");
setKeyName(66, "B");
setKeyName(67, "C");
setKeyName(68, "D");
setKeyName(69, "E");
setKeyName(70, "F");
setKeyName(71, "G");
setKeyName(72, "H");
setKeyName(73, "I");
setKeyName(74, "J");
setKeyName(75, "K");
setKeyName(76, "L");
setKeyName(77, "M");
setKeyName(78, "N");
setKeyName(79, "O");
setKeyName(80, "P");
setKeyName(81, "Q");
setKeyName(82, "R");
setKeyName(83, "S");
setKeyName(84, "T");
setKeyName(85, "U");
setKeyName(86, "V");
setKeyName(87, "W");
setKeyName(88, "X");
setKeyName(89, "Y");
setKeyName(90, "Z");
setKeyName(48, "D0");
setKeyName(49, "D1");
setKeyName(50, "D2");
setKeyName(51, "D3");
setKeyName(52, "D4");
setKeyName(53, "D5");
setKeyName(54, "D6");
setKeyName(55, "D7");
setKeyName(56, "D8");
setKeyName(57, "D9");
setKeyName(112, "F1");
setKeyName(113, "F2");
setKeyName(114, "F3");
setKeyName(115, "F4");
setKeyName(116, "F5");
setKeyName(117, "F6");
setKeyName(118, "F7");
setKeyName(119, "F8");
setKeyName(120, "F9");
setKeyName(121, "F10");
setKeyName(122, "F11");
setKeyName(123, "F12");
setKeyName(124, "F13");
setKeyName(125, "F14");
setKeyName(126, "F15");
setKeyName(127, "F16");
setKeyName(128, "F17");
setKeyName(129, "F18");
setKeyName(130, "F19");
setKeyName(131, "F20");
setKeyName(132, "F21");
setKeyName(133, "F22");
setKeyName(134, "F23");
setKeyName(135, "F24");
setKeyName(144, "Numlock");
setKeyName(111, "Divide");
setKeyName(106, "Multiply");
setKeyName(107, "Add");
setKeyName(109, "Subtract");
setKeyName(110, "NumpadDelete");
setKeyName(96, "0");
setKeyName(97, "1");
setKeyName(98, "2");
setKeyName(99, "3");
setKeyName(100, "4");
setKeyName(101, "5");
setKeyName(102, "6");
setKeyName(103, "7");
setKeyName(104, "8");
setKeyName(105, "9");

This is for converting lower-case key names (with variants where it made sense to) to key codes:

setKeyCode("escape", 27);
setKeyCode("esc", 27);
setKeyCode("space", 32);
setKeyCode("spacebar", 32);
setKeyCode("enter", 13);
setKeyCode("return", 13);
setKeyCode("left", 37);
setKeyCode("right", 39);
setKeyCode("up", 38);
setKeyCode("down", 40);
setKeyCode("backspace", 8);
setKeyCode("bksp", 8);
setKeyCode("tab", 9);
setKeyCode("shift", 16);
setKeyCode("control", 17);
setKeyCode("ctrl", 17);
setKeyCode("alt", 18);
setKeyCode("pause", 19);
setKeyCode("break", 19);
setKeyCode("capslock", 20);
setKeyCode("caps", 20);
setKeyCode("leftshift", 160);
setKeyCode("lshift", 160);
setKeyCode("rightshift", 161);
setKeyCode("rshift", 161);
setKeyCode("leftcontrol", 162);
setKeyCode("lcontrol", 162);
setKeyCode("lctrl", 162);
setKeyCode("rightcontrol", 163);
setKeyCode("rcontrol", 163);
setKeyCode("rctrl", 163);
setKeyCode("leftalt", 164);
setKeyCode("lalt", 164);
setKeyCode("rightalt", 165);
setKeyCode("ralt", 165);
setKeyCode("windows", 91);
setKeyCode("system", 91);
setKeyCode("win", 91);
setKeyCode("sys", 91);
setKeyCode("rightwindows", 92);
setKeyCode("rightsystem", 92);
setKeyCode("rwin", 92);
setKeyCode("rsys", 92);
setKeyCode("pageup", 33);
setKeyCode("pgup", 33);
setKeyCode("pagedown", 34);
setKeyCode("pgdown", 34);
setKeyCode("end", 35);
setKeyCode("home", 36);
setKeyCode("printscreen", 44);
setKeyCode("prtscr", 44);
setKeyCode("sysrq", 44);
setKeyCode("insert", 45);
setKeyCode("ins", 45);
setKeyCode("delete", 46);
setKeyCode("del", 46);
setKeyCode("scrolllock", 145);
setKeyCode("scrlck", 145);
setKeyCode("semicolon", 186);
setKeyCode("colon", 186);
setKeyCode(":", 186);
setKeyCode(";", 186);
setKeyCode("equals", 187);
setKeyCode("=", 187);
setKeyCode("comma", 188);
setKeyCode("less", 188);
setKeyCode(",", 188);
setKeyCode("<", 188);
setKeyCode("underscore", 189);
setKeyCode("_", 189);
setKeyCode("period", 190);
setKeyCode("dot", 190);
setKeyCode("more", 190);
setKeyCode(".", 190);
setKeyCode(">", 190);
setKeyCode("slash", 191);
setKeyCode("?", 191);
setKeyCode("/", 191);
setKeyCode("tilde", 192);
setKeyCode("~", 192);
setKeyCode("`", 192);
setKeyCode("openbracket", 219);
setKeyCode("[", 219);
setKeyCode("{", 219);
setKeyCode("backslash", 220);
setKeyCode("\\", 220); // (backslash character)
setKeyCode("|", 220);
setKeyCode("closebracket", 221);
setKeyCode("]", 221);
setKeyCode("}", 221);
setKeyCode("quote", 222);
setKeyCode("apostrophe", 222);
setKeyCode("'", 222);
setKeyCode("\"", 222); // (double quote character)
setKeyCode("a", 65);
setKeyCode("b", 66);
setKeyCode("c", 67);
setKeyCode("d", 68);
setKeyCode("e", 69);
setKeyCode("f", 70);
setKeyCode("g", 71);
setKeyCode("h", 72);
setKeyCode("i", 73);
setKeyCode("j", 74);
setKeyCode("k", 75);
setKeyCode("l", 76);
setKeyCode("m", 77);
setKeyCode("n", 78);
setKeyCode("o", 79);
setKeyCode("p", 80);
setKeyCode("q", 81);
setKeyCode("r", 82);
setKeyCode("s", 83);
setKeyCode("t", 84);
setKeyCode("u", 85);
setKeyCode("v", 86);
setKeyCode("w", 87);
setKeyCode("x", 88);
setKeyCode("y", 89);
setKeyCode("z", 90);
setKeyCode("d0", 48);
setKeyCode("dig0", 48);
setKeyCode("digit0", 48);
setKeyCode("0", 48);
setKeyCode("d1", 49);
setKeyCode("dig1", 49);
setKeyCode("digit1", 49);
setKeyCode("1", 49);
setKeyCode("d2", 50);
setKeyCode("dig2", 50);
setKeyCode("digit2", 50);
setKeyCode("2", 50);
setKeyCode("d3", 51);
setKeyCode("dig3", 51);
setKeyCode("digit3", 51);
setKeyCode("3", 51);
setKeyCode("d4", 52);
setKeyCode("dig4", 52);
setKeyCode("digit4", 52);
setKeyCode("4", 52);
setKeyCode("d5", 53);
setKeyCode("dig5", 53);
setKeyCode("digit5", 53);
setKeyCode("5", 53);
setKeyCode("d6", 54);
setKeyCode("dig6", 54);
setKeyCode("digit6", 54);
setKeyCode("6", 54);
setKeyCode("d7", 55);
setKeyCode("dig7", 55);
setKeyCode("digit7", 55);
setKeyCode("7", 55);
setKeyCode("d8", 56);
setKeyCode("dig8", 56);
setKeyCode("digit8", 56);
setKeyCode("8", 56);
setKeyCode("d9", 57);
setKeyCode("dig9", 57);
setKeyCode("digit9", 57);
setKeyCode("9", 57);
setKeyCode("f1", 112);
setKeyCode("f2", 113);
setKeyCode("f3", 114);
setKeyCode("f4", 115);
setKeyCode("f5", 116);
setKeyCode("f6", 117);
setKeyCode("f7", 118);
setKeyCode("f8", 119);
setKeyCode("f9", 120);
setKeyCode("f10", 121);
setKeyCode("f11", 122);
setKeyCode("f12", 123);
setKeyCode("f13", 124);
setKeyCode("f14", 125);
setKeyCode("f15", 126);
setKeyCode("f16", 127);
setKeyCode("f17", 128);
setKeyCode("f18", 129);
setKeyCode("f19", 130);
setKeyCode("f20", 131);
setKeyCode("f21", 132);
setKeyCode("f22", 133);
setKeyCode("f23", 134);
setKeyCode("f24", 135);
setKeyCode("numlock", 144);
setKeyCode("divide", 111);
setKeyCode("div", 111);
setKeyCode("numdiv", 111);
setKeyCode("/", 111);
setKeyCode("multiply", 106);
setKeyCode("mul", 106);
setKeyCode("nummul", 106);
setKeyCode("*", 106);
setKeyCode("add", 107);
setKeyCode("plus", 107);
setKeyCode("numadd", 107);
setKeyCode("+", 107);
setKeyCode("subtract", 109);
setKeyCode("minus", 109);
setKeyCode("numsub", 109);
setKeyCode("-", 109);
setKeyCode("numpaddelete", 110);
setKeyCode("numdel", 110);
setKeyCode("numperiod", 110);
setKeyCode("0", 96);
setKeyCode("num0", 96);
setKeyCode("1", 97);
setKeyCode("num1", 97);
setKeyCode("2", 98);
setKeyCode("num2", 98);
setKeyCode("3", 99);
setKeyCode("num3", 99);
setKeyCode("4", 100);
setKeyCode("num4", 100);
setKeyCode("5", 101);
setKeyCode("num5", 101);
setKeyCode("6", 102);
setKeyCode("num6", 102);
setKeyCode("7", 103);
setKeyCode("num7", 103);
setKeyCode("8", 104);
setKeyCode("num8", 104);
setKeyCode("9", 105);
setKeyCode("num9", 105);

Key codes are largely as per virtual key format, which is fairly standard, but does not match up with key codes on Android, for example.

Bonus: a tileset with images for virtual key codes specifically.

Related posts:

3 thoughts on “Converting key code to key name and vice-versa

  1. There’s an error in line 140 init script btw
    >l_s2c[?’ ” ‘] = 222
    instead of
    l_s2c[?” ‘ “] = 222;

    • In GMS2 it’d have to be either that, l_s2c[?@'”‘] or l_s2c[?”\””] because single-quote strings have been eliminated.

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