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Kexi/Handbook/Building Simple Databases/Designing Forms/Setting the tab order

Setting the tab order

A widget's focus determines that widget's activity available using keyboard. Focus is related to widgets displayed in the form's data view. Exactly one form widget can have focus at the same time. The most frequent use of focus is text entry (when a given text field is active, i.e. it is focused). An other example is a button widget - when focused, it is possible to “press” it using the Enter or Space key instead of a mouse button.

There are a few methods of making the widgets active (moving the focus to the widget): clicking with a mouse button, rotating the mouse wheel over the widget, or using the Tab key. The latter method is often used because of its speed and convenience for users. Availability of the focusing methods is controlled by Focus Policy property of a given widget.

There is a relationship between focusing (activating) widgets using Tab key and tab order setting of a form. After pressing the Tab key, the next widget should be focused, so the form should know about the tab order.

To alter tab order for a form's widget:

  1. Switch to design view of the form.
  2. Execute Edit->Edit Tab Order... menu command. The Edit Tab Order dialog will appear with settings for this form.
The window contains a list with two columns: the first column displays widget names, the second - types of the widgets. To make it easier to recognize meaning of the names and types for the user, icons related to the types are also displayed. The list contains only widgets having focus policy allowing to use the Tab key. The window allows you to change the tab order or set the automatic tab order.
  1. To change tab order, either:
  • Click a selected widget name in the widgets list and drag it to a desired position (up or down) using the mouse.
  • Click a selected widget name on the widgets list and use Move Up or Move Down buttons, to move the widgets to a desired position.
  • Click the Handle tab order automatically check box to set the automatic tab order for the form. If this option has been switched on, any changes made to the list of widgets by hand are not taken into account - Kexi will be handling the tab orders on its own. The automatic ordering means that the top-left widget will be focused first (or the top-right if your operating system uses right-to-left layout), and the order comes from the left to right (from the right to left, respectively) and from the top to bottom.
  1. Click the OK button to accept the changes or Cancel button to dismiss the changes.

This page was last edited on 15 June 2012, at 16:55. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.