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I had been trying to make Cocoa use an arrow key for a key command when building menus dynamically. (Using NSMenu) I figured out how and thought I’d share it here in case anyone else ever tries this.

I tried the old arrow key ASCII codes from OS 9. No Luck. I also tried unicode arrows. No Luck.

So then I noticed that uses Apple-arrow commands for Next Page and Previous Page. If I open up the MainMenu.nib file from the key command for these menus appears as some Japanese character. (Left is ? and Right is ?)

So then I promoted my source file to UTF-8 and tried specifying these Japanese characters in a normal @”?” style.

[ menu addItemWithTitle:@”Previous” action:@selector(prev:) keyEquivalent:@”?”];

Still no luck.

What finally worked was using:

[ menu addItemWithTitle:@”Previous” action:@selector(prev:) keyEquivalent:[NSString stringWithUTF8String:”?”]];

So I guess the morals of the story are:

Hmm, the Japanese characters just look like a ? in my post. If you need the actual character, just look in like I did.

In the NSEvent.h header, there’s a list of Unicode characters reserved for function keys, two of which are NSLeftArrowFunctionKey and NSRightArrowFunctionKey. It’s odd that those are not the values used for this purpose. – Bo

The UTF-8 characters I was using for left and right are: 0xef9c82 and 0xef9c83.

However, the constants Bo pointed out seem to work as well:

[ menu addItemWithTitle:@”Previous” action:@selector(prev:) keyEquivalent:[NSString stringWithFormat:@”%C”, NSRightArrowFunctionKey]];

I’m going to use those instead! THANKS!