Quick Info

Windows NT
Import Library
Header File
Platform Notes


The TranslateAccelerator function processes accelerator keys for menu commands. The function translates a WM_KEYDOWN or WM_SYSKEYDOWN message to a WM_COMMAND or WM_SYSCOMMAND message (if there is an entry for the key in the specified accelerator table) and then sends the WM_COMMAND or WM_SYSCOMMAND message directly to the appropriate window procedure. TranslateAccelerator does not return until the window procedure has processed the message.

int TranslateAccelerator(

HWND hWnd,
// handle of destination window
HACCEL hAccTable,
// handle of accelerator table
// address of structure with message



Identifies the window whose messages are to be translated.


Identifies an accelerator table. The accelerator table must have been loaded by a call to the LoadAccelerators function or created by a call to the CreateAcceleratorTable function.


Points to an MSG structure that contains message information retrieved from the calling thread's message queue by using the GetMessage or PeekMessage function.

Return Values

If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE.

If the function fails, the return value is FALSE. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


To differentiate the message that this function sends from messages sent by menus or controls, the high-order word of the wParam parameter of the WM_COMMAND or WM_SYSCOMMAND message contains the value 1.

Accelerator key combinations used to select items from the window menu are translated into WM_SYSCOMMAND messages; all other accelerator key combinations are translated into WM_COMMAND messages.

When TranslateAccelerator returns a nonzero value and the message is translated, the application should not use the TranslateMessage function to process the message again.

An accelerator need not correspond to a menu command.

If the accelerator command corresponds to a menu item, the application is sent WM_INITMENU and WM_INITMENUPOPUP messages, as if the user were trying to display the menu. However, these messages are not sent if any of the following conditions exist:

  • The window is disabled.

  • The menu item is disabled.

  • The accelerator key combination does not correspond to an item on the window menu and the window is minimized.

  • A mouse capture is in effect. For information about mouse capture, see the SetCapture function.

If the specified window is the active window and no window has the keyboard focus (which is generally the case if the window is minimized), TranslateAccelerator translates WM_SYSKEYUP and WM_SYSKEYDOWN messages instead of WM_KEYUP and WM_KEYDOWN messages.

If an accelerator keystroke occurs that corresponds to a menu item when the window that owns the menu is minimized, TranslateAccelerator does not send a WM_COMMAND message. However, if an accelerator keystroke occurs that does not match any of the items in the window's menu or in the window menu, the function sends a WM_COMMAND message, even if the window is minimized.

See Also

, GetMessage, LoadAccelerators, MSG, PeekMessage, SetCapture, TranslateMessage, WM_COMMAND, WM_INITMENU, WM_INITMENUPOPUP, WM_KEYDOWN, WM_SYSKEYDOWN, WM_SYSCOMMAND

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