Element: keydown event

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The keydown event is fired when a key is pressed.

Unlike the keypress event, the keydown event is fired for all keys, regardless of whether they produce a character value.

Bubbles Yes
Cancelable Yes
Interface KeyboardEvent
Event handler property onkeydown

The keydown and keyup events provide a code indicating which key is pressed, while keypress indicates which character was entered. For example, a lowercase "a" will be reported as 65 by keydown and keyup, but as 97 by keypress. An uppercase "A" is reported as 65 by all events.

Keyboard events are only generated by <inputs>, <textarea> and anything with the contentEditable attribute or with tabindex="-1".

Since Firefox 65, the keydown and keyup events are now fired during IME composition, to improve cross-browser compatibility for CJKT users (bug 354358, also see keydown and keyup events are now fired during IME composition for more useful details). To ignore all keydown events that are part of composition, do something like this (229 is a special value set for a keyCode relating to an event that has been processed by an IME):

eventTarget.addEventListener("keydown", event => {
  if (event.isComposing || event.keyCode === 229) {
    return;
  }
  // do something
});

Examples

addEventListener keydown example

This example logs the KeyboardEvent.code value whenever you press down a key inside the <input> element.

<input placeholder="Click here, then press down a key." size="40">
<p id="log"></p>
const input = document.querySelector('input');
const log = document.getElementById('log');

input.addEventListener('keydown', logKey);

function logKey(e) {
  log.textContent += ` ${e.code}`;
}

onkeydown equivalent

input.onkeydown = logKey;

Specifications

Specification Status
UI Events Working Draft

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
keydown eventChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE ? Opera ? Safari ? WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android ? Safari iOS ? Samsung Internet Android ?

Legend

Full support  
Full support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown

See also