1.1.3 • Public • Published

license npm

A declarative library for handling hotkeys based on explicit priority in React applications.

Feature Overview

  • Minimal and declarative API
  • Intuitive key commands thanks to Mousetrap
  • Explicit priority based event handling (see more later)

Inspired by

Difference in event handling

Most hotkey or shortcut managing libraries follow the focus tree for event handling. Meaning that the element that has focus tries its handler and if it does not process the hotkey allows its parent to try and so on up do the document root. However, there are many cases where one element has focus but another has the handler but they are not in each other linage.

          + root
      |            |
      |            |
  +---+---+        +
  |       |        Text
  |       |
  +       +
  Back    Next

For example, let say that you have a text element that currently have focus but you want the hotkeys alt+b and alt+n to work for the back and next buttons. These two buttons are not in the focus tree but are cousins. You could in those other libraries set the handlers on the root, but that often means that the root either has to have those same redux actions or has to have a reference to the next and back button to make those handlers work. Both are messy. Instead react-keyboard-shortcuts allows the Back and Next button to register hotkeys that work globally (regardless of what element has focus).

When the Back and Next buttons mount their hotkeys are register. When they unmount their hotkeys are unregister (via a higher-order-component). Also if two or more components want to have handlers for the same sequence they each provide a priority explicitly that determines who gets first chance (think of it like the z-index for css).



npm install react-keyboard-shortcuts


yarn add react-keyboard-shortcuts


Easy Example

import React from 'react'
import {hotkeys} from 'react-keyboard-shortcuts'
class NextButton extends React.PureComponent {
  static propTypes = {
    onClick: PropTypes.func.isRequired,
  hot_keys = {
    'alt+n': { // combo from mousetrap
      priority: 1,
      handler: (event) => this.props.onClick(),
  render () {
    return (
      <button onClick={this.props.onClick}> Next</button>
export default hotkeys(NextButton)


  • hotkeys([component], [options = {}])
    • options:
      • hot_key_property_name - defaults to hot_keys
  • handler ** return false if you do not want it to propagate to the next priority handler


  • If using with redux connect do the hotkey first then connect connect(mapStateToProps, actions)(hotkeys(NextButton))
  • hotkeys will work even in form elements (not Mousetrap's default behavior)


hotkey_display just a helper for display the keys to users

import {hotkey_display} from 'react-keyboard-shortcuts'
const tooltip = hotkey_display('alt+n') // on a mac this will return 'option'
const tooltip = hotkey_display('meta+n') // on a mac this will return '⌘'


Thanks to @ccampbell for Mousetrap



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npm i react-keyboard-shortcuts

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  • curtis.m.humphrey