Master the Power of VBA SendKeys with these Mind-Blowing Code Examples

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Understanding SendKeys in VBA
  3. Sending Single and Multiple Key Strokes
  4. Delaying SendKeys Execution
  5. SendKeys with Function Keys and Special Characters
  6. Controlling Other Applications with SendKeys
  7. Advanced SendKeys Techniques
  8. Conclusion


VBA SendKeys is a powerful tool that can accelerate your workflow and automate your repetitive tasks. With its ability to simulate keystrokes and mouse clicks, you can easily interact with other applications and automate their processes. In this article, we will explore the power of VBA SendKeys and provide you with some code examples that will blow your mind.

Before we dive into the code examples, let's first understand what VBA SendKeys is all about. Simply put, VBA SendKeys is a command that allows you to simulate keystrokes and mouse clicks. This can be useful when you need to automate a repetitive task, such as filling out a form or clicking on a button. It can also be used to interact with other applications, such as Microsoft Excel or Internet Explorer.

The beauty of VBA SendKeys lies in its simplicity. You just need to specify the keys or mouse clicks that you want to simulate, and VBA will take care of the rest. However, it is important to note that VBA SendKeys is not foolproof. It can sometimes be unreliable, especially when used in applications that are not designed to work with it. Therefore, it is important to use caution when using VBA SendKeys and to test your code thoroughly before running it in a production environment.

Now that we have a basic understanding of VBA SendKeys, let's explore some code examples that will demonstrate its power. In the next section, we will walk you through some simple code examples that showcase the versatility of VBA SendKeys.

Understanding SendKeys in VBA

is crucial if you want to master the power of this command. SendKeys is a VBA function that allows automation of keyboard inputs to be sent to the active window. This function is useful in automating repetitive tasks that require a series of keystrokes to be entered.

The function works by sending keystrokes to the active window, just as if they were typed by the user. This function is simple yet powerful, and can be used to automate various tasks such as opening files and navigating menus in applications.

To use the SendKeys function in VBA, you must first activate the desired window by using the AppActivate command. This command ensures that the window you want to interact with is in focus and ready to receive keyboard inputs.

Once the window is active, you can then use the SendKeys function to send keystrokes to the window. This function takes a string as its argument, which represents the keystrokes to be sent. Keystrokes are entered using special characters that represent keyboard keys, such as "{ENTER}" for the Enter key and "{TAB}" for the Tab key.

To execute the SendKeys function, you can call it within a VBA sub procedure. For example, the following code sends the keystrokes required to open a file in Notepad:

Sub OpenFile()
    ' Activate Notepad window
    AppActivate "Notepad"
    ' Type file path
    SendKeys "C:\Example.txt"
    ' Press Enter
    SendKeys "{ENTER}"
End Sub

Overall, is essential for automating tasks and improving efficiency in your workflow. With the power of this command, you can automate keystrokes and navigate interfaces with ease.

Sending Single and Multiple Key Strokes

with VBA SendKeys is a powerful feature that allows you to automate tasks that require user input. With just a few lines of code, you can automate repetitive tasks such as entering data into forms, navigating through menus or even controlling other applications.

Sending a single keystroke is easy with the VBA SendKeys method. Simply specify the keystroke you want to send as a string using the "{KEY}" format. For example, if you want to send the "Enter" key, you can use the following code:

SendKeys "{ENTER}"

If you want to send multiple keystrokes, you can combine them in a single string. For example, if you want to send "ALT+F" to open the File menu, you can use the following code:

SendKeys "%f" ' Send ALT + F

Note that you need to use special characters to represent certain keys. Here are some of the most common special characters:

  • {ENTER}: Send the Enter key
  • {TAB}: Send the Tab key
  • {ESC}: Send the Escape key
  • {BACKSPACE}: Send the Backspace key
  • {DELETE}: Send the Delete key
  • {UP}: Send the Up arrow key
  • {DOWN}: Send the Down arrow key
  • {LEFT}: Send the Left arrow key
  • {RIGHT}: Send the Right arrow key
  • {F1} to {F24}: Send the function keys F1 to F24
  • {HOME}: Send the Home key
  • {END}: Send the End key
  • {PGUP}: Send the Page Up key
  • {PGDN}: Send the Page Down key
  • {PRINTSCREEN}: Send the Print Screen key
  • {CAPSLOCK}: Send the Caps Lock key
  • {NUMLOCK}: Send the Num Lock key
  • {SCROLLLOCK}: Send the Scroll Lock key

With these examples in mind, you'll be able to send single and multiple keystrokes to automate tasks in your own VBA programs. Just remember to use the correct special characters and to test your code thoroughly to ensure it works as intended.

Delaying SendKeys Execution

When using SendKeys in VBA, it is important to control the timing of the execution. can be achieved by using the Sleep function, which is included in the Windows API. The Sleep function is used to pause the execution of the program for a specified period of time, allowing the user to complete a task before the program continues.

To use the Sleep function, first declare it at the beginning of the module, like this:

Declare Sub Sleep Lib "kernel32" (ByVal dwMilliseconds As Long)

The Sleep function takes a single parameter, dwMilliseconds, which is the number of milliseconds to pause the execution of the program. The code to delay the execution of SendKeys looks like this:

Sleep 1000 'pause for 1 second
SendKeys "Hello World!"

In this example, the program waits for one second before sending the keystrokes "Hello World!". The Sleep function can be used in conjunction with the if statement to conditionally delay the execution of SendKeys based on a certain condition.

For example, if the user is working on a slow computer and the program is sending keystrokes too quickly, the following code could be used to increase the delay:

If System.Environment.MachineName = "SlowComputer" Then
    Sleep 2000
    Sleep 1000
End If
SendKeys "Hello World!"

In this example, the program checks the name of the computer using the System.Environment.MachineName property. If the name matches "SlowComputer", the program pauses for two seconds before sending keystrokes. Otherwise, it pauses for one second.

SendKeys with Function Keys and Special Characters

When it comes to automating repetitive tasks in Excel, VBA SendKeys function provides a versatile approach for simulating key presses on a keyboard. The function can be used to send special characters, function keys, and key combinations to Excel, making it a powerful tool for enhancing productivity. In this subtopic, we will delve deep into how to use .

To start with, let's understand what function keys are. Function keys are those keys on a keyboard that carries out specific functions when pressed. For instance, F1 is widely used for opening the help menu, F5 for refreshing the content in programs, and F12 for saving files as. To simulate a function key press in VBA, use the SendKeys function, and enclose the function key in curly braces. For example, SendKeys "{F1}" would simulate pressing the F1 key.

On the other hand, special characters are those keys on a keyboard that have a specific function, such as the arrow keys, Enter, and Tab keys. To send special characters in VBA, use the SendKeys function with the corresponding character enclosed in quotation marks. For example, SendKeys "{TAB}" would simulate pressing the Tab key.

It is crucial to note that sending keys through SendKeys can be potentially hazardous since the keys are sent to the active window. Therefore, it is always advisable to use SendKeys sparingly and where it is necessary.

In conclusion, mastering the SendKeys function with function keys and special characters can improve productivity in Excel by further automating repetitive tasks. However, it's essential to exercise caution when using SendKeys, and ensure it's only used where necessary to avoid unintended keystrokes or other adverse effects on the system.

Controlling Other Applications with SendKeys

One powerful application of SendKeys in VBA is its ability to control other applications. Using SendKeys, you can automate repetitive tasks in other applications, such as filling out forms or performing data entry. To control other applications, you'll first need to activate the application window.

To activate an application window, you can use the AppActivate method. This method takes the name or title of the target application window as its argument. Here's an example:

AppActivate "Notepad"

This code activates the Notepad window. Once the window is activated, you can use SendKeys to send keystrokes and commands to the application. For example, you can fill out a form in Microsoft Word by activating the window and then sending the desired keystrokes:

AppActivate "Microsoft Word"
SendKeys "John"
SendKeys "{TAB}"
SendKeys "Doe"

In this code, we activate the Microsoft Word window and then send the keystrokes "John" and "{TAB}" (which moves the cursor to the next input field), followed by "Doe". This fills out a form with the name "John Doe".

Note that SendKeys sends keystrokes to the application as if they were typed by a human user. This means that if the application is expecting input in a certain format, you'll need to send the keystrokes in the correct order and format. You can use the Sleep function to add delays between keystrokes, if necessary, to ensure that the application has enough time to process each input.

In addition to filling out forms, you can use SendKeys to perform other tasks, such as opening files or menus, selecting options, and even executing macros. With SendKeys and VBA, the possibilities for automating tasks and increasing productivity are endless.

Advanced SendKeys Techniques

SendKeys is one of the most useful VBA functions utilized for generating keystrokes and commands in a Windows environment. Learning can enhance your productivity and efficiency, particularly when automating repetitive tasks. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you master the power of SendKeys and streamline your workflow.

  1. Using SendKeys to Send Special Characters: SendKeys can be used to send special characters that are not available through the keyboard. These characters include the Enter key, Tab key, and Escape key, among others. For instance, to send the Enter key, you can use the following code:

SendKeys "{ENTER}"

Similarly, to send the Tab key, you can use:

SendKeys "{TAB}"

  1. Using SendKeys to Send Keystrokes Repeatedly: You can use SendKeys to send the same keystroke multiple times. To achieve this, you can use the parentheses operator and add the number of times you want the keystroke to be repeated before the key code. For example, to send the letter "a" ten times, you can use the following code:

SendKeys "({a 10})"

  1. Using SendKeys to Control Other Applications: With SendKeys, you can control other applications running in Windows, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, or even a web browser. To interact with other applications, you will need to activate the target application first by using the AppActivate function. Here is a sample code snippet to open Notepad and type the text "Hello, World!" into it:

AppActivate "Notepad"
SendKeys "Hello, World!"

In conclusion, the SendKeys function is a powerful tool that enables you to automate a range of Windows operations. By mastering , you can simplify your coding, save time, and enhance your productivity. Try out these examples for yourself and see how effectively they work in your VBA projects!


In , mastering the power of VBA SendKeys can greatly enhance your programming skills by allowing you to automate repetitive tasks and improve your workflow. Whether you're a beginner or advanced programmer, these code examples can help you explore the different ways in which SendKeys can be used to interact with applications and automate tasks within them. Remember to always test your code thoroughly before using it in a production environment, and to be aware of any security risks associated with using SendKeys. With practice, you can become proficient in using SendKeys to save time and increase productivity in your programming projects.

My passion for coding started with my very first program in Java. The feeling of manipulating code to produce a desired output ignited a deep love for using software to solve practical problems. For me, software engineering is like solving a puzzle, and I am fully engaged in the process. As a Senior Software Engineer at PayPal, I am dedicated to soaking up as much knowledge and experience as possible in order to perfect my craft. I am constantly seeking to improve my skills and to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the field. I have experience working with a diverse range of programming languages, including Ruby on Rails, Java, Python, Spark, Scala, Javascript, and Typescript. Despite my broad experience, I know there is always more to learn, more problems to solve, and more to build. I am eagerly looking forward to the next challenge and am committed to using my skills to create impactful solutions.

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