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OS X: Use tab for all form elements including pull-down menus

By default, Mac OS X skips certain form fields when using the tab key. For example, when entering an address in a web form, the country field may be a pull-down menu. Heavy-duty tab users will have a rough time with this since tabbing through a form bypasses the use of pointing devices and makes life easier. However, if you know where to look in the system preferences, this is an easy setting to change.

To enable tab access to all form elements, open the System Preferences (Apple menu -> System Preferences…) and click once on the Keyboard & Mouse icon in the Hardware area.

Click on the Keyboard Shortcuts tab at the top of the resulting screen. At the bottom of the preferences window you should see the following:

Click the All controls setting as shown above and your system will let you tab to your heart’s content. You can close the system preferences and your new setting will be saved.

Quinn McHenry
Quinn McHenry
Quinn was one of the original co-founders of Tech-Recipes. He is currently crafting iOS applications as a senior developer at Small Planet Digital in Brooklyn, New York.


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