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Is there a way I can have my arduino uno differentiate between pushbuttons that are wired through a shift register and detect when each are pressed or not? I found this tutorial for the 74HC165 but I'm not sure it's applicable to the 74HC595.

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The 74HC595 is a deserializer while the 74HC165 is a serializer. This means the former consumes a serial datastream and provides all data bits in parallel on dedicated data lines. While the latter consumes parallel data and converts it to a serial datastream.

To scan buttons you want to have parallel input data, where each switch is attached to a single data line. Then you serialize the data to reduce the amount of required Arduino inputs. This method is well explained in the mentioned tutorial.

As the 74HC595 is a deserializer it is not really applicable here. Instead you could use it to drive multiple outputs through a serial interface (see https://www.arduino.cc/en/tutorial/ShiftOut as an example).

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  • Well, it's not completely true about it's not applicable. It can be used as outputs for scanning buttons. However it has some pitfalls – KIIV Dec 30 '19 at 13:57

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