KEEN stands for Key Environment. It was built for web developers and everyone! Developers can use it to find “keyCode” data. Everyone can enjoy the “Font-Like” characters to spice up text messages.

Instructions – Type a key on your keyboard to have the corresponding “key”, “code”, “keyCode”, “keyIdentifier” and “keyLocation” display onscreen. The virtual keyboard can also be used to select a key.

KEEN is available on the Mac App Store (USA only)

Q. What’s a Key Code?
A. This project started as a tool for web developers. Actually, I built this software for myself. It was designed to quickly get KeyCodes for use in HTML games. Each key on your keyboard is assigned a number. That number is the key code. While this information can be retrieved with JavaScript, using “console.log” to display the key code, KEEN has onscreen keys that most Mac keyboards don’t have — especially compared to those compact keyboards. It can also be easier to use KEEN, as additional key event data is neatly displayed.

Q. So what’s this other data?
A. The original “KeyCodes” are deprecated. (That means it’s being phased out.) The modernized way is to use the new “Key” property. This information is also displayed in “KEEN”. If you want to know the exact string returned from a JavaScript “e.key”, “e.code” or “e.keyCode” event, it’s shown at the bottom-left corner of KEEN.

Q. What’s a real world use for this?
A. The extra data shown in KEEN is great for determining the differences between very similar keys, such as “modifier” keys. If you wanted to make a pinball game, you would likely want to use the left and right shift keys to control the flippers. Shift keys are modifier keys. But using the old key code method, the number 16 is returned for both shift keys. The new “e.code” is “ShiftLeft” for the left shift key and “ShiftRight” for the right shift key. Case does matter! Knowing this exact information makes it much easier to program events related to key presses.

Q. Is this a trick to capture my keystrokes?
A. No, Photics doesn’t use KEEN to collect private information. See the “Code of Honor” at

Q. How is this app for everyone?
A. Realizing that not everyone is a web developer, this app also has a feature that everyone can enjoy – Mathematical “Font-Like” Characters.

Q. That doesn’t sound like fun. What is that?
A. With UTF-8 encoding, there are a lot more characters… such as a smiley face or chess pieces. Surprisingly, there’s a set of “Font-Like” characters. It is the alphabet but with different type faces, such as Fraktur, Script, Double-Struck or Monospace.

Q. Why would I need that?!
A. Make your love feel special by sending a decorative text message. Instead of “I Love You” in plain letters, you could use the script letters to make it more romantic. Or if you’re arguing, you can use the bold letters to truly express your feelings.

Q. How do I type a special message?
A. With just a normal keyboard, it’s essentially impossible. But with KEEN, you can! Just select the style you want to use, type your message in KEEN, copy your message and then paste it where you want it displayed… such as iMessage or perhaps a social media website.

Q. Why not use those characters right now?
A. 𝕆𝕂, 𝕕𝕠 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕚𝕖𝕧𝕖 𝕞𝕖 𝕟𝕠𝕨? 𝕋𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕚𝕤𝕟’𝕥 𝕖𝕩𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕝𝕪 𝕒 𝕗𝕠𝕟𝕥. 𝕋𝕙𝕖 “𝔻𝕠𝕦𝕓𝕝𝕖-𝕊𝕥𝕣𝕦𝕔𝕜” 𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕤 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕡𝕒𝕣𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕌𝕋𝔽-𝟠 𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕤𝕖𝕥.

Q. Why did you call it “KEEN” and not something else?
A. The name I wanted was already taken.

Q. How did you make this?
A. It was built with Tumult Hype, HTML / JavaScript and Wrapping.