Syntax INKEY$ ( [#chan,][timeout] )
Location QL ROM

This function fetches a single character from the specified channel (default #0). If a timeout is specified, INKEY$ will wait for timeout frames (there are 50 frames per second in the UK, 60 frames per second in most other countries). If a character is read, the function will return straight away, otherwise, it will wait for the specified number of frames and then return. Timeout can be in the range -32768..32767. If a negative timeout is specified, INKEY$ will wait forever until a character is read from the specified channel. The default of timeout is 0 which means return immediately. A timeout is therefore not really necessary if INKEY$ is being used to access a channel opened to a file, as the data will either be there or not! If #chan is not an input channel (eg. scr_), error -15 (bad parameter) will be reported.


Using timeouts allows programs to run at the same speed on all QL compatibles.


It may be useful to clear the input buffer before trying to read a character from the keyboard (this prevents overrun on keys) - you can do this by using something along the lines of:

100 dummy=KEYROW(0)
110 key$=INKEY$(-1)


INKEY$ is channel based, which means that it can be used safely in multi-tasking programs. KEYROW will read the keyboard even though the current Job is not the one executing the KEYROW command (although see the options available with EXEP). INPUT allows you to read a string of characters in one go. PAUSE halts program execution temporarily.