Tabbing through controls on the Mac...

Anastasia Cheetham a.cheetham at
Fri Aug 17 14:19:22 UTC 2007

On 17-Aug-07, at 1:07 AM, Eli Cochran wrote:

> ...Finally, I found a blog article pointing me to an obscure little  
> setting in Keyboard Shortcuts under the Keyboard & Mouse system  
> preferences called Full keyboard access. The default setting is  
> Text boxes and lists only but needs to be set to All controls to  
> support full tabbing.
> My hope is that most users who really need full keyboard control  
> have learned about this setting long ago. But I'm distressed that,  
> at least on the Mac, keyboard behavior could be quite different for  
> different users depending on something over which we have little  
> control.

This *is* distressing - not so much that behaviour is different, but  
that 'full keyboard access' is not the default! Especially when it is  
usually the default on other systems.

I had a look at the System Preferences. Even in the Universal Access  
pane, you can't enable full keyboard access directly. At the bottom  
of the pane, in very small text, it say "To enable full keyboard  
access: Open Keyboard Preferences" (with a button)

Do we know anyone at Apple that we can talk to about making 'full  
keyboard access' the default? Should we start an email campaign?

Anastasia Cheetham                  a.cheetham at
Software Designer, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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