Issues using KeePass entries containing PICKCHARS


I’ve been a long time KeyPass user with hundreds of passwords. One of the unique features of KeyPass (compared to half a dozen other PW managers I’ve tried) is the ability to cope with two/three page sign in pages as typically financial sites (banks, brokers) use. These could typically contain:
Page1: Username & DOB
Page2: Account Code & (Items 1, 5 & 8 etc. from a Memorable Name)

By using a combination of ALT + K (the universal hot key) to enter the first page and repeating Alt + K again, matching another Target window for the same KeyPass entry, but this time holding PICKCHARS entries for the Memorable Name; I would be able to select whatever set of 3 characters from my Memorable Name field the site demanded. This works really well and I use most days.

Key Vault does not seem to offer this feature, my existing KeyPass entries for these sites do not work , The ALt + K hotkey seems not to work and neither does the PICKCHARS - or am I missing something?

Without these features I may decide to stick with KP which has been very good for me and cross platform I am having few issues.


“Do not work” as in the data is incorrect? Or is it just that you can’t get the automated behaviour to work?

There’s no system-wide hotkey support in Kee Vault - that’s not technically possible to implement now and I’ve yet to see any indication that web browsers will enable such a feature in future.

Instead, the Kee browser extension automates the filling and submitting of forms. While it does have its limitations, it is generally much easier to work with than key combinations, especially for less technical people.

Adding some sort of support to the browser extension for handling the “pick char x, y and z from a password” login fields is high up my wish list for future development work but it’s a very difficult problem to solve (I don’t know of anyone that has done so yet).

I’ve never used it myself but as far as I am aware, the PICKCHARS feature within KeePass is the best option available for this scenario at the moment (although Kee can fill in multiple pages, I think the number of pages is not really your concern here - it’s just that multi-page sign in processes often go hand in hand with the use of these sort of form fields).


Taking a closer look I see that my existing additional Auto-Type entries for these multipage sites which include the PICKCHARS commands have not been copied across in the import process from KeyPass. So it would be impossible for this (semi-automatic) process to work anyway (I appreciate you haven’t coded this in yet by the sound of it).

Just for background info on how I achieve this in KeyPass, in case it helps others:

If I have a simple page with Username / Password, KEE would normally capture it and auto enter as required.

If I have a two page entry where the first does not include a Password field but the second of third did (typical of my financial sites), I could never get KEE to record the first page fields. I would therefore ignore KEE instead creating additional Auto-Type entries matching the window title (e.g. Barclays sign-in*) within the single KeyPass entry for that site. Each entry would have a label such as ‘Barclays step1’ & ‘Barclays step2’.

I would load the site, and initiate the match using the Global KeyPass hotkey (ALT+A) which would bring up both entries (step 1 & step2), I would select Step1 which would enter the desired values and move me to the next page which typically might require another fixed item (e.g. account number) and a fixed number, but random set set of characters from another field (e.g. memorable name). To fill this page in, I use the Global Hot key again, but this time select Step2 from the two matches. This time nothing gets entered immediately, instead the PICKCHARS dialogue is displayed showing me a set of numbered buttons (as long as the required field) which I click based on which ones the site requests (e.g. 1,5,9). After the last one is entered, KeyPass auto fills the first fixed field, moves onto the individual characters for the second entry and fills them as directed.

All this took me a while to initially setup but works really well and quickly and is frankly quite slick in use and I don’t need to know the values for my stored answers.

Because I access these sites frequently this is likely to be deciding factor in whether I switch to Key Vault over KeyPass, unless its possible to keep the two databases in sync? I also have issues over accessing existing Groups from KeyPass which I shall raise as a separate topic.

1 Like

I’ll be looking into ways to improve password saving this summer so at least some of these many steps should become possible without Auto-Type. Whether that will get close enough to replicating your current system and whether it will happen quickly enough for you, I’m not sure.

My immediate concern is whether your Kee Vault database contains this necessary information that the PICKCHARS Auto-Type feature utilises. I would at least expect it to be possible for you to use the information in Kee Vault to manually select the requested characters. Is the data available in a field on the relevant entries in Kee Vault?

If it’s missing, it’s likely that it’s stored in Kee Vault but just hidden - I don’t know because all Auto-Type features are completely impossible to implement in Kee Vault so I’ve not even looked to see exactly what hidden Auto-Type data gets imported from an existing KeePass database.

It’s not possible to keep the two database platforms in sync. Maybe one day but it’s not a high priority and probably quite unlikely unless Kee Vault starts earning me enough money to hire a full team of developers.


I have checked and the fields that are referred to by the PICKCHARS command in KeyPass have been imported to Key Vault along with all other entries apart from the AUTO TYPE commands which might refer to multiple matching pages. I can understand that this is appropriate if you are unable to mimic the bespoke match and enter behavior of the AUTO TYPE feature.

1 Like


I also use the KeePass Global Auto-type Hot Key method, because KeeFox does not work with Pale Moon 28+. But you said a few things that confused me, so I would like some clarification.

You said you would “initiate the match using the Global KeyPass hotkey (ALT+A)”… Do you mean Ctrl+Alt+A? That is the default in KeePass for this feature.

You also said: “By using a combination of ALT + K (the universal hot key) to enter the first page and repeating Alt + K again, matching another Target window for the same KeyPass entry…”. I can’t get Alt+K, or Ctrl+Alt+K to work, or any other K combination that I tried. Exactly what keystroke combination are you using? I run Windows 7 Pro (64 bit) SP1.




Sorry to confuse you, I use muscle memory for Hot keys and forgot I also used CTRL, so yes the Global KeyPass hotkey is CTRL+ALT+A.

I use CTRL+ALT+ K to bring KeePass to the forground for either signing into or making some changes etc. (from the taskbar). The Global HotKey as you know doesn’t require KeePass to be in the foreground, just signed into.

I set up Keepass to load at startup but minimised to minimise load time when I do require it. When I want to look at it I press CTRL+ALT+K. If you look in Options / Intergration: You will see ‘Show KeyPass Window’ which I have set as CTRL+ALT+K. I can’t remember if that was the default or somethig I set.

So for matching entries (in my Barclays scenario) I meant to say, I would use the GLobal hotkey CTRL+ALT+A…