How to capture what user is typing

  • Hi,
    I am trying to write a plugin which need to capture all what user is typing on the notepad++, even when it is set as “read-only”, so I was considering by filtering the “WM_KEYDOWN” message. but I did not receive these message in messageProc function.
    Can someone give some advice? Thanks.

  • Since you are wanting to receive notifications that something has happened you’d want to use the beNotified() function instead of messageProc().

    That being said you won’t receive WM_KEYDOWN notifications. Those are handled by Notepad++/Scintilla. What you normally do is catch notifications from Scintilla that tells you the user has added (or removed) text by catching the SCN_MODIFIED notification which has the info you need (e.g. position, text). You can also catch SCN_MODIFYATTEMPTRO which tells you a read-only document was attempted to be modified…but I don’t believe this notification tells you what was actually attempted.

    If indeed you are actually needing the raw WM_KEYDOWN notifications there are ways of subclassing (superclassing?) the Notepad++ window and catching them before Notepad++ does…but that is beyond by Win32 API knowledge, but I do know some plugins do that.

  • Thanks,

    I already got notified. but the notifyCode->ch is always equals to 0

    Can you please help to explain how can I check what user is typed?

  • You should read the documentation on those notifications. SCN_MODIFIED does not use the ch field, it uses the text field because the user could paste multiple characters (or delete a range of text).

    If indeed you do want individual characters only (and skip any paste/deletes) then you can catch SCN_CHARADDED notifications which does use ch.

  • I want to be notified when user typed “backspace”, but maybe VK_BACK is the not correct value. or maybe it was not captured in SCN_MODIFIED/CHARADDED. any recommendation?

  • SCN_MODIFIED does tell you when a character (or range of characters) is deleted, but not necessarily due to the backspace key. The modificationType will have the SC_MOD_DELETETEXT flag set.

    If you are needing to capture actual keyboard input and not just changes to the text document then you’ll have to go the subclassing/superclassing route.

  • Yes,
    the BACKSPACE will trigger the notification with SC_MOD_DELETETEXT bit in the modificationType. Thanks.

    I got another question.
    Currently I bind the hotkey with the function using the menu. But is it possible to hide the menu or is there any another to link the hotkey and func?

  • No it is only possible using the FuncItem struct which requires a hotkey.

    Edit: Actually it doesn’t require a hotkey, however the struct is the only way to register functions with Notepad++…which automatically show up in the menu.

  • How to response the VK_ESCAPE? currently I am binding the ESC on the menu command, it works. but I was wondering whether I can filter the VK_ESCAPE somewhere or I can dynamically bind it as a hotkey for a function.

  • As far as I know you can’t dynamically bind shortcuts.

  • Hi Dali,
    I was trying to intercept the user typing by receiving the notification when editor is read-only, so far, it works good. but read-only editor is not an ultimate solution, I wondering is there any way to ignore the key press on the editor and interact with the key pressing?

  • I’m not sure. I’m not saying it is impossible though, just don’t know how.

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