VB5: Making a hotkey to activate a function

I need code that will tell windows that when a specific key, or combo, such as F12 for example, is pushed, that it should execute code from my program running in the background.  I can do this is my app has focus without problem...but I need it to work when it doesn't have focus and is running in the background minimized, or in the system tray.

And also is there a way to pull the names of all the active programs running under windows?
Who is Participating?
mcriderConnect With a Mentor Commented:
To monitor keys, you can try the GetKeyState API... Here is the documentation on the API: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/psdk/winui/keybinpt_4z51.htm 

As for your second question, this article shows how to to pull the names of all the active programs running under windows.

VB3 How to Get Windows Master List (Task List)

It's a 16-bit example, but here are the 32-bit api calls used in the program:

Declare Function GetWindow Lib "user32" Alias "GetWindow" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal wCmd As Long) As Long
Declare Function GetWindowText Lib "user32" Alias "GetWindowTextA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal lpString As String, ByVal cch As Long) As Long
Declare Function GetWindowTextLength Lib "user32" Alias "GetWindowTextLengthA" (ByVal hwnd As Long) As Long

You can also get the pathname of the programs executing...
HOWTO: List Running Processes

ChrisKAuthor Commented:
By "names" I mean the title in the application menu bar for use with the AppActivate command.
To register a hot key in Windows, instead of using GetKeyState (takes CPU-power)..

Private Const WM_SETHOTKEY = &H32
 Private Declare Function SendMessageByLong Lib "user32" Alias "SendMessageA"
 (ByVal hWnd As Long, ByVal wMsg As Long, ByVal wParam As Long, ByVal lParam As
 Long) As Long

 Public Enum echkModifierKeys
     HOTKEYF_ALT = &H4
     HOTKEYF_EXT = &H8
 End Enum

 Public Function SetHotKey( _
         ByVal hWnd As Long, _
         ByVal eKeyCode As VBRUN.KeyCodeConstants, _
         ByVal eModifier As echkModifierKeys _
     ) As Boolean
 Dim iR As Long
 Dim lKey As Long
     ' wParam is a word with the LoByte set to
     ' the key code and the HiByte set to the modifier:
     lKey = (eKeyCode And &HFF&) Or ((eModifier And &HFF&) * &H100&)
     iR = SendMessageByLong(hWnd, WM_SETHOTKEY, lKey, 0)
     Select Case iR
     Case 2
         Err.Raise 20001, App.EXEName & ".SetHotKey", "Hot key previously
     Case 1
         ' success
         SetHotKey = True
     Case 0
         Err.Raise 20002, App.EXEName & ".SetHotKey", "Invalid window for Hot
     Case -1
         Err.Raise 20003, App.EXEName & ".SetHotKey", "Invalid Hot key"
     Case Else
         Err.Raise 20004, App.EXEName & ".SetHotKey", "Failed to set Hot key"
     End Select
 End Function

(code from http://www.vbaccelerator.com/codelib/comctl/hotkey.htm)
"VBnet Subclassing: System-Wide Keyboard Trapping with RegisterHotKey"

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.