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How do I ensure the CTRL, ALT or SHIFT keys are held down in a macro?

There are 2 methods that you can employ. They are listed below.

  1. The first method is to use the CTRL, ALT and SHIFT keys that can be accessed in the Text Type command or Direct Editor.  

    For example select the CTRL key followed by the letter “a”. It would look like this in the script – <CONTROL>a. It will hold down the CTRL key and press the letter “a”. The same holds true for the ALT and SHIFT keys.

  2. The second method is to use the specific functions for “Alt Key Down”, “Alt Key Up”, “Ctrl Key Down”, etc. Here you would choose the macro command “Alt Key Down” and the following command would be a text command containing the letters you want to be associated with the ALT key. You would follow this with an “Alt Key Up” command. The “WIN” Windows key is also available for down and up usage. 

    For example to press Alt + a, the sequence would look like this in the macro script – <ALTD>a<ALTU>.

Notes and Considerations

  • If you use an upper case letter (i.e. A), then you may not get the results you expect. For example if you use <ALT>A, the program will interpret this as <ALT><SHIFT>a, which may do something entirely different.

  • There are certain system keystroke commands that are built into the operating system at a low level such as CTRL+ALT+DELETE. Placing these commands in macros will not be recognized by Windows at this low level and will not work as intended.

  • If using the key down and key up method, make sure to always include a corresponding “Up” command with the “Down” command. Otherwise the key will remain stuck down and potentially cause problems.

– Applies to: Macro Express and Macro Express Pro