Re: unicode values for keyboard keys?

From: Markus G. Kuhn (
Date: Tue Jul 29 1997 - 18:13:12 EDT wrote on 1997-07-29 21:26 UTC:
> are there any unicode values defined for the common keys on keyboards:
> home, end, insert, page up/down, left/right/up/down arrow
> function keys 1-12, print, scroll, pause

Not directly as far as I know.

There are some new ISO standards that might be relevant:

  ISO/IEC 9995-1:1994 Information technology -- Keyboard layouts for text
  and office systems --
    Part 1: General principles governing keyboard layouts
    Part 2: Alphanumeric section
    Part 3: Complementary layouts of the alphanumeric zone of the
            alphanumeric section
    Part 4: Numeric section
    Part 5: Editing section
    Part 6: Function section
    Part 7: Symbols used to represent
    Part 8: Allocation of letters to the keys
  ISO/IEC DIS 14755 Information technology -- Input methods to
  enter characters from the repertoire of ISO/IEC 10646 with a
  keyboard or other input device

I guess that ISO 9995 assigns some number to all the function keys you
commonly find on keyboard layouts. Add to the ISO 9995 number some offset
to move this number range into a Unicode private area, and you might
end up with a nice and comprehensive encoding of function keys in
Unicode space.

If ISO 9995 provides a reasonable set of codes for keys (I haven't seen
the standard myself yet), then it might be a nice idea to reserve some
small Unicode range (at least on Plane 1) for ISO 9995 key codes for
applications like keyboard drivers where characters and function key
events appear in the same data stream.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Science grad student, Purdue
University, Indiana, USA -- email:

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