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Technical Reference: Base Operating System and Extensions , Volume 2

keyname, key_name Subroutine


Gets the name of keys.


Curses Library (libcurses.a)


#include <curses.h>
char *keyname(int c);
char *key_name(wchar_t c);


The keyname and key_name subroutines generate a character string whose value describes the key c. The c argument of keyname can be an 8-bit character or a key code. The c argument of key_name must be a wide character.

The string has a format according to the first applicable row in the following table:

Input Format of Returned String
Visible character The same character
Control character ^X
Meta-character (keyname only) M-X
Key value defined in <curses.h> (keyname only) KEY_name
None of the above UNKNOWN KEY

The meta-character notation shown above is used only, if meta-characters are enabled.



Return Values

Upon successful completion, the keyname subroutine returns a pointer to a string as described above, Otherwise, it returns a null pointer.


int key;
char *name;
keypad(stdscr, TRUE);
addstr("Hit a key");

Note: If the Page Up key is pressed, keyname will return KEY_PPAGE.

Implementation Specifics

This subroutine is part of Base Operating System (BOS) Runtime.

Related Information

The meta (meta Subroutine) and wgetch (getch, mvgetch, mvwgetch, or wgetch Subroutine) subroutines.

List of Curses Subroutines in AIX 5L Version 5.1 General Programming Concepts: Writing and Debugging Programs.

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