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Tab order in dialog boxes

Posted on 2003-11-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
I set up a form and used it as a dialog box. I set up the tab order as needed. The dialog box has three text areas and an 'OK' botton at top.

When it runs the focus goes to the first text box tabbing from there  goes to the OK button, and back and forth. I have to put my mouse pointer on the second and third boxes to fill them out.

Each text bax has it's own tab order set, top one = 1, middle = 2 and thrid = 3

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Question by:hrogers
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by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 9735745
Probably this can be a bug !!! http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=899&uid=swg21097220

IF you placed the fields in table just put it on plain notes and try or

Try specifying tab order for all fields

~Hemanth
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by:qwaletee
ID: 9736567
Hi hrogers,

Try opening the form as a regular form, not a dialog.  If it works "equally badly," then you may have a corrupt tab order, or something similar.  If it works in the regular form mode but not the dialog, then you have hit a dialog box limitation.  There may be things you can do to avoid the limitation (such as Hemantha suggested).

Best regards,
qwaletee
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by:qwaletee
ID: 9736593
FYI, the link Hemantha provides is NOT relevant, it was a bug that only briefly appeared in 1999 or so.

Also FYI, tabbing CAN definitely work in dialog boxes, and in tables.  See your mail Preferences dialog for an example.  However, I don't think it the form uses a specific tab order; it just allows l2r-t2b scanning.
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by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 9736832
hrogers,

Well that was some prelimenary troubleshooting !

There can be numerous possibility why this might be going wrong in your case

If you can get through this checklist, probably we can nail it down

1. What is the Notes Version ?
2. Do you have some complex tabbed or normal tables or nested tables ? --- This is sure to cause some problems
3. How are you calling this dialog box ? --- Probably you are using fit to table method here (or some other special formattin ) which might also cause issues
4. Did you try removing the button from the form and check the tab order ?

This should be pretty enough
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Author Comment

by:hrogers
ID: 9739604
The dialog box is a form with a layout region on it. The layout region contains a graphic, one text line then three fields that are editable. Each field had a tab order sequence.

I put the dialog box up with this code:

Call workspace.dialogbox("RejDialogBox",True, True, True, False, False, False, "Reject").

the first true is for autoHorzFit
Next is for autoVertFit
next is for noCancel (True for OK button) False for both OK and cancel buttons appear.
next is noNewFields
next is noFieldUpdate
next is readOnly.

I'm using version 5.0
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by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 9739738
Well it is due to layout..

Transfer the field to a single table and try the option sizetotable option to fit it inside dialogbox

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by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 9739801
Sorry, even table is not an option nor on plain note. It is really a bug which happens for me on 5.0.10

I confirm it as bug.
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by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 9739970
There is one more finding I made, is that if you have the first field to other than tab order 1, then it is causing problem. If you set first field to tab order 1 and jumble rest of the order it quite works.
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Author Comment

by:hrogers
ID: 9740114
It works even when in proper order now, but once it's tabbed to the third  (bottom) textbox, all hitting the tab key does is toggle between The third text box and the OK button.

Even when the first field is set to have initial focus.
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by:qwaletee
ID: 9740857
hrogers,
> all hitting the tab key does is toggle between The third text box and the OK button.
Yep, limitation of DialogBox. The OK key does not fit in with the tab order of teh dialog box.  Essentially, you have "nested" tab order.  On the outside is the main dialog contriol, on the inside is your form.  When your form has focus on the last field, tab moves out of the form, and into the next outside tab order -- the OK button.  Tab on the OK button moves to the next outside element -- which is the form itself.  The form when it gains focus, places internal focus n wherever it already had internal focus -- the last field.  tab again cuases teh cycle to repeat,  Shift-Tab will still get you backwards.

You can easily see how this works as follows.  Put the cursor in teh middle dialog box.  Then, carefully place the mousepointer over OK, HOLD DOWN THE MOUSE BUTTON so the OK button is depressed, and WITHOUT releasing the button, drag the mouse pointer off the OK button.  You will see that the OK buttonnow has focus.  Press tab.  It will go back to themiddle field -- because it placed the focus back on the form (outside element), and the form had the cursor on the middle field.  This may be a little easier tos ee if you enable CANCEL.

Unfortunately, exiting/onblur don't fire when tabbing out of teh last field to teh OK button, and entering/onfocus don't fire when coming back.
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by:HemanthaKumar
ID: 9741014
Well it is working as  designed.. by default when it reached end of the field list (irresepective of tab order settings) it will not cycle to top rather it switches to OK/Cancel button
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by:qwaletee
ID: 9743352
HemanthaKumar,
> Well it is working as  designed.
One of my favorite lines is "working as coded."  Which is only one step away from "working as designed," when the design has a major omission.

This would work if each object that could accept focus was treated as part of a "flat" space, so the OK button was part of the form's tab order, buta ppended to the end.  It wasn't, and therefore, you can't tab back in to the top as you might expect.
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Accepted Solution

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HemanthaKumar earned 250 total points
ID: 9743386
That was design until R5 but R6 took care of it.
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