is there a method or class that lets you assign events to the keys of your keyboard (spacebar to fire gun)? and is there a way to measure how long the key was held down? thanks!!! any help is greatly appreciated.. ive tried google-ing it but i had no luck in looking for a class/method that does those things =) tnx

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Using keyListener
You need to implement it, and then add a listener with addKeyListener(this) and you need to use all of the methods provided because it is a interface (they are listed in the link I gave you.) The second link should help you learn how to use it. Using Google you could find the key codes for each of the keys on the keyboard.

hmm.. ive tried using them but can they measure how long you held a button down?

I'm not sure how to do that. Timing how long between a keyPressed and a keyReleased might work. Maybe someone else will know.

Why not store the current time in a data type (like a long) when the key is pressed and when the key is released subtract the new time from the old time?

Why not store the current time in a data type (like a long) when the key is pressed and when the key is released subtract the new time from the old time?

Here's an example--

public class ImprovedClock{

	private volatile long first = 0, second = 0;
	private volatile boolean startPressed = false, stopPressed = false;

	public void start(){
				first = System.currentTimeMillis();
				startPressed = true;
				stopPressed = false;

	public boolean hasStarted(){
		return startPressed;

	public void stop(){
				second = System.currentTimeMillis();
				startPressed = false;
				stopPressed = true;

	public boolean hasStopped(){
		return stopPressed;

	public long getElapsedTime(){
		long time = 0;
			time = second - first;
			first = 0;
			second = 0;
		return time;

	public double getSeconds(){
		return ((double)getElapsedTime()/1000);
import javax.swing.JFrame;
import java.awt.event.KeyEvent;
import java.awt.event.KeyAdapter;

public class TimeMonitorTest extends JFrame{

	public TimeMonitorTest(){
		final ImprovedClock ic = new ImprovedClock();
			new KeyAdapter(){
				@Override public void keyPressed(KeyEvent ke){
						System.out.println("Clock started!");

				@Override public void keyReleased(KeyEvent ke){
					System.out.println("Time elapsed: " + ic.getSeconds() + " seconds!");
		setSize(300, 300);
                setLocation(500, 500);

	public static void main(String... args){
		TimeMonitorTest tmt = new TimeMonitorTest();

To make this work simply focus the pane (by clicking it) and key events will be listened for. Hold down a key then when you release it the seconds the key was held down will be displayed.

cool!!! thanks edwards!! =)

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