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I'm looking for a best way to implement common Windows keyboard shortcuts (for example Ctrl+FCtrl+N) in my Windows Forms application in C#.

The application has a main form which hosts many child forms (one at a time). When a user hits Ctrl+F, I'd like to show a custom search form. The search form would depend on the current open child form in the application.

I was thinking of using something like this in the ChildForm_KeyDown event:

   if (e.KeyCode == Keys.F && Control.ModifierKeys == Keys.Control)
        // Show search form

But this doesn't work. The event doesn't even fire when you press a key. What is the solution?

You probably forgot to set the form's KeyPreview property to True. Overriding the ProcessCmdKey() method is the generic solution:

protected override bool ProcessCmdKey(ref Message msg, Keys keyData) {
  if (keyData == (Keys.Control | Keys.F)) {
    MessageBox.Show("What the Ctrl+F?");
    return true;
  return base.ProcessCmdKey(ref msg, keyData);
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