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Is there a Windows utility that can report which program(s) in memory, reserve which function keys?

Ed Covney
Ed Covney asked
If I start Techsmith's Camtasia, it reserves the F9 and F10 keys for it's own use (pause & stop screen recording). If I then start Excel, F9 (calculate) no longer works. Is there a utility, preferably Microsoft, that can report which programs in memory are reserving which keys or key combinations? I have a work around for Excel, but what other programs won't work as advertised?

Alternatively, is there something I can search in the registry that would tattle on an offending program?
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NVITEnd-user support

How about changing Camtasia's start and stop recording hotkeys to something else, maybe use the CTRL+? keys.

Via Recorder > Tools > Options > Hotkeys


Sean BravenerSenior Information Technology Consultant
Awarded 2019
Distinguished Expert 2019

currently there is not a tool that I know of that will list off function keys.  also looking in the reg could be problematic as there will be dozens of keys you would need to examine based on all the programs you have installed.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Ed CovneyRetired



Thanks for the quick response, but as I mentioned the Camtasia Hooks have been worked around. It's easy-peasy. It's the hundreds of other similar programs that I don't know if . . they're biting me in the arsh.
NVITEnd-user support

Not sure I understand. Camtasia Recorder's F9 & F10 keys are the offenders. Are you saying there are other Camtasia keys involved?

I'm not sure if it's possible and has been written already but one solution that comes to mind is a program that acts as a gatekeeper and catches all the function key presses, e.g. AutoHotKey or AutoIT. Then, it "presses" the right keys based on the active program window, i.e. Excel, Word, Acrobat, etc.

One member here that's done many AutoHotKey solutions is Joe Winograd. He can say if that solution's possible.

Test your restores, not your backups...
Expert of the Year 2019
Top Expert 2016
There used to be a utility that got close to what you are describing, but it DOES NOT WORK on Windows 10, so isn't much use.  It was called Windows Hotkey Explorer at http://hkcmdr.anymania.com/index.html .

I'm not aware of any other tools like that, which can show the application defined hotkeys etc, sadly it just doesn't exist...

Ed CovneyRetired


NVIT: In this instance, yes Camtasia reserves keys (F9 & F10) for screen recording. If I'm using Camtasia, it's probably recording an Excel spreadsheet with commentary. If I weren't recording in Camtasia, pressing F9 in Excel would recalculate cells in the current worksheet.

In Excel its relatively easy to (a couple lines in VBA) to record a macro or push-button to issue the "Calculate".

What I'd like to know is, is there a Windows 10 utility that could report all keys being reserved and by what program?

Bill -  Hotkey Commander just may do it. I'll try running it in compatibility mode. Thank you !!