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    Ninja Keys

    Keyboard shortcut interface for your website that works with Vanilla JS, Vue, and React.

    FOSSA Status npm npm

    Demo Demo


    A lot of applications support a common pattern where the user hits +k (or ctrl+k) and a search UI dialog appears. I've recently seen this in Notion, Slack, Linear, Vercel and Algolia, but I'm sure there are plenty more. Apple Spotlight, Alfred and the Raycast app also have a similar pattern, but with different shortcuts. There are already some libraries built for this, but they are too framework specific, like Laravel only or React only Nevertheless, mine is not a silver bullet and if you need more framework integration, check them out too.

    I needed a keyboard interface for navigation with static websites without any frameworks. At the same time, I have a few Vue projects where something like this could be useful, so I decided to give it a try for Web Components and Lit Element.



    • Keyboard navigation
    • Light and dark theme built in
    • Built-in icon support from Material font and custom svg icons
    • Nested menu - a tree or flat data structure can be used
    • Auto register your shortcuts
    • Root search - for example, if you search "Dark," it will find it within the "Theme" submenu
    • CSS variable to customize the view
    • Customizable hotkeys to open/close etc. Choose what best fits your website.

    Why the "Ninja" name?

    Because it appears from nowhere and executes any actions quickly... Or because it allows your users to become keyboard ninjas 🙃

    Install from NPM

    npm i ninja-keys

    Import if you are using webpack, rollup, vite or other build system.

    import 'ninja-keys';

    Install from CDN

    Mostly for usage in HTML/JS without a build system.

    <script type="module" src=""></script>

    or inside your module scripts

    <script type="module">
      import {NinjaKeys} from '';


    Add the tag to your HTML.

    <ninja-keys> </ninja-keys>
      const ninja = document.querySelector('ninja-keys'); = [
          id: 'Projects',
          title: 'Open Projects',
          hotkey: 'ctrl+N',
          icon: 'apps',
          section: 'Projects',
          handler: () => {
            // it's auto register above hotkey with this handler
            alert('Your logic to handle');
          id: 'Theme',
          title: 'Change theme...',
          icon: 'desktop_windows',
          children: ['Light Theme', 'Dark Theme', 'System Theme'],
          hotkey: 'ctrl+T',
          handler: () => {
            // open menu if closed. Because you can open directly that menu from it's hotkey
  { parent: 'Theme' });
            // if menu opened that prevent it from closing on select that action, no need if you don't have child actions
            return {keepOpen: true};
          id: 'Light Theme',
          title: 'Change theme to Light',
          icon: 'light_mode',
          parent: 'Theme',
          handler: () => {
            // simple handler
          id: 'Dark Theme',
          title: 'Change theme to Dark',
          icon: 'dark_mode',
          parent: 'Theme',
          handler: () => {
            // simple handler

    Library using flat data structure inside, as in the example above. But you can also use a tree structure as below:

      id: 'Theme',
      children: [
        { id: 'light' title: 'light_mode', },
        { id: 'System Theme',
          children: [
            { title: 'Sub item 1' },
            { title: 'Sub item 2' }


    Field Default Description
    placeholder Type a command or search... Placeholder for search
    disableHotkeys false If attribute exist will register all hotkey for all actions
    hideBreadcrumbs false Hide breadcrumbs on header if true
    openHotkey cmd+k,ctrl+k Open or close shortcut
    navigationUpHotkey up,shift+tab Navigation up shortcuts
    navigationDownHotkey down,tab Navigation down shortcuts
    closeHotkey esc Close shortcut
    goBackHotkey backspace Go back on one level if has parent menu
    selectHotkey enter Select action and execute handler or open submenu
    hotKeysJoinedView false If exist/true will display hotkeys inside one element
    noAutoLoadMdIcons false If exist it disable load material icons font on connect


    <ninja-keys placeholder="Must app is awesome" openHotkey="cmd+l" hideBreadcrumbs></ninja-keys>


    Array of INinjaAction - interface properties below

    Name Type Description
    id string Unique id/text. Will be displayed as breadcrumb in multimenu
    title string Title of action
    hotkey string(optional) Shortcut to display and register
    handler Function(optional) Function to execute on select
    mdIcon string(optional) Material Design font icon name
    icon string(optional) Html to render as custom icon
    parent string(optional) If using flat structure use id of actions to make a multilevel menu
    keywords string(optional) Keywords to use for search
    children Array(optional) If using flat structure then ids of child menu actions. Not required on tree structure
    section string(optional) Section text. Like a header will be group with other same sections


    Name Arg Description
    open { parent?: string } Open menu with parent, if null then open root menu
    close Close menu
    setParent parent?: string Navigate to parent menu


    const ninja = document.querySelector('ninja-keys'); 
    // or{ parent: 'Theme' })


    Component wide events

    Name Description Payload
    change Emitted when on each change of search input { detail: { search: string, actions: Array<NinjaAction> } }
    selected Emitted when on user selected action or on submit of input { detail: { search: string, action: NinjaAction or undefined }}

    Both handler of action and component event selected emitted when user submit form or select item.

    But event selected can be used to handle edge cases, so it's not recommended to write each action logic here. It’s better to use the action handler property.

    For example, if a user enters a search query and there is an empty list, listening to this event you can handle that.

    ninja.addEventListener('change', (event) => {
      console.log('ninja on change', event.detail);
      // detail = {search: 'your search query', actions: Array<NinjaAction>}
    ninja.addEventListener('selected', (event) => {
      console.log('ninja on selected', event.detail);
      // detail = {search: 'your search query', action: NinjaAction | undefined }
      if (event.detail.action){
      // perform API search for example


    Component supports a dark theme out-of-box. You just need to add a class.

    <ninja-keys class="dark"></ninja-keys>

    If you need more style control, use any of the CSS variables below.

    CSS variables

    Name Default
    --ninja-width 640px;
    --ninja-backdrop-filter none;
    --ninja-overflow-background rgba(255, 255, 255, 0.5);
    --ninja-text-color rgb(60, 65, 73);
    --ninja-font-size 16px;
    --ninja-top 20%;
    --ninja-key-border-radius 0.25em
    --ninja-accent-color rgb(110, 94, 210);
    --ninja-secondary-background-color rgb(239, 241, 244);
    --ninja-secondary-text-color rgb(107, 111, 118);
    --ninja-selected-background rgb(248, 249, 251);
    --ninja-icon-color var(--ninja-secondary-text-color);
    --ninja-icon-size 1.2em;
    --ninja-separate-border 1px solid var(--ninja-secondary-background-color);
    --ninja-modal-background #fff;
    --ninja-modal-shadow rgb(0 0 0 / 50%) 0px 16px 70px;
    --ninja-actions-height 300px;
    --ninja-group-text-color rgb(144, 149, 157);
    --ninja-footer-background rgba(242, 242, 242, 0.4);
    --ninja-placeholder-color #8e8e8e
    --ninja-z-index 1


    ninja-keys {
      --ninja-width: 400px;

    CSS Shadow Parts

    Allowing you to style specific elements from your style. Because styles are encapsulated by Shadow DOM, it will be annoying to create css variables for all properties. That's why you can use ::part to make a custom look for the component. It's supported by all modern browsers

    Name Description
    actions-list Element that wraps all child elements.
    ninja-action Single action
    ninja-selected Selected action
    ninja-input Input element
    ninja-input-wrapper Wrapper element around div, useful for advanced styles

    Example style using parts

    ninja-keys::part(actions-list) {
      padding: 8px;
    ninja-keys::part(ninja-action) {
      border-radius: 8px;
      border-left: none;
    ninja-keys::part(ninja-selected) {
      background: rgba(51, 51, 51, 0.1);
    ninja-keys::part(ninja-input) {
      color: #14b8a6;
    ninja-keys::part(ninja-input)::placeholder {
      color: #f43f5e;
    ninja-keys::part(ninja-input-wrapper) {
      background: rgba(244, 63, 93, 0.3);


    By default, components use icons from

    For example, you can just set mdIcon to light_mode to render a sun icon.

    To add Material icons for your website, you need to add them to your HTML, for example

    <link href="" rel="stylesheet">

    If you want custom icons, you can use svg or img to insert it with an icon property for action with ninja-icon class. Example:

      title: 'Search projects...',
      icon: `<svg xmlns="" class="ninja-icon" fill="none" viewBox="0 0 24 24" stroke="currentColor">
        <path stroke-linecap="round" stroke-linejoin="round" stroke-width="2" d="M7 8h10M7 12h4m1 8l-4-4H5a2 2 0 01-2-2V6a2 2 0 012-2h14a2 2 0 012 2v8a2 2 0 01-2 2h-3l-4 4z" />
      section: 'Projects',

    You can also change the width and font using CSS variables

    ninja-keys {
      --ninja-icon-size: 1em;

    Change or hide footer

      <div slot="footer">You can use a custom footer or empty div to hide it</div>

    Dev Server

    npm run start


    To lint the project run:

    npm run lint


    Prettier is used for code formatting. It has been pre-configured according to the Lit's style.


    Copyright (c) Sergei Sleptsov

    Licensed under the MIT license.

    FOSSA Status


    npm i ninja-keys

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    • ssleptsov