Detecting "Shift" + "MouseClick" on a JButton ....

Posted on 2000-02-24
Last Modified: 2008-03-17
Is there a way to detect if the "Shift" key is pressed while clicking on a JButton?  If so, how can I do this?
Question by:bjg
  • 4
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 2555733
use the keyUp method to detect when shift is pressed. Set a boolean to true when shift is pressed down in keyDown and false then it is let up again.
I don't know if seeing if shift will work when pressing it using the variable key, but you could try evt.SHIFT
So you might want something like:

public boolean keyUp(Event evt, int key) {
if (evt.SHIFT) Shiftdown=true;

public boolean keyDown(Event evt, int key) {
if (evt.SHIFT) Shiftdown=false;

then in the action listener for the button, do what ever the button makes happen only if Shiftdown=true.

If evt.SHIFT doesn't work, make sure the form has the focus (put requestFocus() in the init() statement) and if that doesn't work, try seeing if the variable key changes when you hit shift.
Tho do that put a line like:
System.out.println(""+key); in the keyUp or keyDown method.

Accepted Solution

billy_98_1 earned 100 total points
ID: 2555742
Sorry, I clicked 'comment' instead of 'answer'.

Expert Comment

ID: 2555766
This will capture the shift click...

import javax.swing.*;
import java.awt.event.MouseListener;
import java.awt.event.MouseEvent;
import java.awt.*;
import java.applet.Applet;

public class tt extends Applet implements MouseListener {
  boolean setColour = false;

  JButton b = new JButton("Shift click to Turn me Blue");

  public void start() {


  public void mousePressed(MouseEvent e) { }
  public void mouseEntered(MouseEvent e) { }
  public void mouseExited(MouseEvent e) { }
  public void mouseReleased(MouseEvent e) { }
  public void mouseClicked(MouseEvent e) {
    if (e.isShiftDown()) {
      if (!setColour) {
        b.setText("Shift click to Turn me Grey");
        setColour = true;
      } else {
        setColour = false;
        b.setText("Shift click to Turn me Blue");

Announcing the Most Valuable Experts of 2016

MVEs are more concerned with the satisfaction of those they help than with the considerable points they can earn. They are the types of people you feel privileged to call colleagues. Join us in honoring this amazing group of Experts.


Expert Comment

ID: 2555783
This is a slightly different approach. The JButton registers itself with a mouselistener (in this case the tt class) and then the processing to deal with the shift click is done in there in the mouseClicked event.

In this case a normal click does nothing, but a shift click changes the button colour.

If you do it the way billy_98_1 suggests then it is more difficult to figure out when the shift key is pressed and mouse button are pressed together.

This way is just a bit easier...

Expert Comment

ID: 2555788
Finally, use this HTML file to open the above code as an Applet in appletviewer:

<applet codebase="." width=500 height=500>

Expert Comment

ID: 2634342
I'm sorry you clicked answer instead of comment...

Featured Post

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Maven Project: Hibernate Dependencies Conflict 10 38
eclipse apache tomcat admin console 52 121
Running JavaFX on JDeveloper 12C 1 54
Tagging and Merging on Branch 1 29
After being asked a question last year, I went into one of my moods where I did some research and code just for the fun and learning of it all.  Subsequently, from this journey, I put together this article on "Range Searching Using Visual Basic.NET …
Java Flight Recorder and Java Mission Control together create a complete tool chain to continuously collect low level and detailed runtime information enabling after-the-fact incident analysis. Java Flight Recorder is a profiling and event collectio…
Video by: Michael
Viewers learn about how to reduce the potential repetitiveness of coding in main by developing methods to perform specific tasks for their program. Additionally, objects are introduced for the purpose of learning how to call methods in Java. Define …
This theoretical tutorial explains exceptions, reasons for exceptions, different categories of exception and exception hierarchy.

856 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question