Types of action
These are the types of action that you can assign to your controller's controls in the "Edit actions" window.
Many of the action types also have ready-made templates that you can apply using the Quick-edit menu in the Profile Designer.
Presses a key and releases it a short time later (by default 0.1 seconds). Use this
action for pressing a key where the length of key stroke is not particularly important
(e.g. for entering text). If you want the key to be held down for the length of
time you hold the control down for, use a pair of "Press down key" and "Release
key" actions, as per the "Hold key" templates.
Press down key
Presses down a key but doesn't release it. Use this action when you want control
over how long a key is held down for. Remember to include a "Release key" action
to release the key at a later time! Note: in case you accidentally end up holding
down a key without an action to release it, physically typing the key on your keyboard
will release it, as far as Windows is concerned.
Releases a key if Keysticks has previously pressed it down (otherwise does nothing).
Use this action to release a key that you have previously pressed down using your
Flips whether or not a key is pressed. I.e. Presses the key if it is not currently
pressed down, and releases it if it is. Use this action when you want to hold and
later release a key without having to hold down a control on your controller for
Notes for key actions
The type/press down/release/toggle key actions all have a "Treat as virtual key" option.
This forces the key stroke to be generated using a virtual key code instead of a scan code.
In practical terms, it's a good idea to tick this option:
- When you want to type the left or right Windows key or the Application key (except if they're for game controls), or;
- When you want to type a Windows shortcut (e.g. Ctrl+P for print), or;
- When you want to type "virtual" keys like the media / browser keys (e.g. Play/pause, Browser Back, Volume Up/Down), or;
- When you don't want "extended" keys like the arrow keys, Page Up/Down, Home/End etc to change function when NumLock is on.
Otherwise, or if you're unsure, leave "Treat as virtual key" unticked. In many cases, it doesn't matter whether it's ticked.
Types the specified text in the active window. The text can include special characters
(unicode) as well as regular ASCII text.
Click mouse button
Presses a mouse button and releases it a short time later (by default 0.1 seconds).
Use this action for clicking when the length of click is not particularly important
(e.g. clicking where holding down to drag isn't required). If you want the button
to be held down for the length of time you hold the control down for (e.g. for dragging
objects), use a pair of "Press down mouse button" and "Release mouse button" actions.
Double-click mouse button
Double-clicks a mouse button.
Press down mouse button
Presses down a mouse button (if Keysticks hasn't already pressed it down), but doesn't
release it. Use this action when you want control over how long the mouse button
is held down for (e.g. when dragging objects). Remember to include a "Release mouse
button" action to release the button at a later time! Note: in case you accidentally
end up holding down a mouse button without an action to release it, physically clicking
the button on your mouse will release it, as far as Windows is concerned.
Release mouse button
Releases a mouse button if Keysticks has previously pressed it down (otherwise does
nothing). Use this action to release a mouse button that you have previously pressed
down using your controller.
Toggle mouse button
Flips whether or not a mouse button is pressed. I.e. Presses the button if it is
not currently pressed down, and releases it if it is. Use this action when you want
to hold and later release a mouse button without having to hold down a control on
your controller for the duration. This is sometimes called "Drag lock".
Mouse wheel up/down
Emulates moving the mouse wheel up or down by one notch.
Control the mouse pointer
Moves the mouse pointer around the screen as you move a stick control. You can choose
whether you want the stick position to control the speed or the position
of the pointer.
Speed mode is the default, with larger stick movements causing faster
movements. Tick "Fixed speed" if you want the speed to be independent of the amount
of stick movement. In position mode, you can choose whether you want the stick position
to correspond to the full screen area ("Absolute" option), or to a circular region around
the initial pointer position ("Relative" option). The Relative option makes the stick
behave like a catapult, with a radius of movement specified as a percentage of the screen width.
Change control set
Switches to a different control set in your profile. Use this to change which controls
currently apply to your controller.
- Tip: If you combine a Change control set action with other actions, make sure it
is the last action in the list, because any actions after it will not be performed.
- Tip: If you are adding actions for navigating around the virtual keyboard, you can
use "Navigate cells" actions instead.
Moves left / right / up / down by one cell in the virtual
keyboard window. You can choose whether or not you want to wrap around when
the edge of the keyboard is reached.
When the virtual keyboard is open and word prediction is enabled, moves up or down
the word suggestion list, inserts the current suggestion, or temporarily cancels
the suggestions while the current word is typed.
Loads a different profile, or a blank one. Use this action if you want to quickly
switch between two or more profiles. This action won't be performed if the current
profile has unsaved changes or if the Profile Designer is open.
Executes a command to start a program. You can also open folders or documents by
leaving the program name blank.
- If Windows knows where to find the program, you can leave the folder blank.
- If you just specify a folder in the Folder field, it will open the folder in Windows
- If you just specify a file or document in the Arguments field, it will open with
the default program for that type of file.
- It doesn't matter whether you include the ".exe" at the end of the program name
If "Check if running" is ticked, the program will only be started if it isn't already
running. If "Try both folders" is ticked, when a "Program Files" folder is specified,
the action will look in "Program Files (x86)" if it doesn't find the program, and
For your security, the first time you run a new command, Keysticks will prompt you
to confirm that you want to run it. The confirmation message includes a "Don't show
this again" option, so you can choose whether you want to be asked every time the
command is run or just the first time.
Switches to the first window that matches the specified title. You can match the
exact window title, or just the start or end portion of it. The "Starts" and "Ends"
options are useful because many programs include the current document name in the
window title, so the full title is not fixed. The title match is not case sensitive.
To help you create these actions, you can choose a running program from the drop-down
menu and then choose one of its windows. If you know the details, you can also type
them in directly. You don't need to include the ".exe" at the end of the program
name. The "Starts" and "Ends" options are only available when a program name is
specified. If you need to refresh the program and window lists, just close and re-open
the "Edit actions" window.
If "Restore if minimised" is ticked, when the window is activated, it will also
be restored (i.e. "unminimised"). If "Minimise if active" is ticked, the action
will minimise the window if it's already active. This lets you activate a window,
then switch back to the previous window when you've finished using it, using a single
Maximise / restore window
Toggles the currently active window between maximised and normal size, provided
the window is capable of being maximised.
Minimises the currently active window, provided it is capable of being minimised.
Show / hide controls
Toggles between opening / showing the controller window (for the player who triggered the action),
and minimising it. This action lets you pop up the controls when you need a reminder,
but then minimise them out of the way again.
Waits for the specified number of seconds. Use this action to perform two other
actions separated by a specific time interval. E.g. Press down Space, wait 1 second,
Performs no action. Use this if you want to prevent actions inherited from a parent control set
higher up the control set tree from occuring when a lower level control set is active.
Back to: Profile Designer - Controls