Tabbing through controls on the Mac...

Richard Schwerdtfeger schwer at
Fri Aug 17 18:45:44 UTC 2007

Hi Anastasia,

Actually, given the Mac history this is not surprising.

Note sure he is still involved but try this ...

Mark Malone
mmalone at
W:  (408) 974-9048

Rich Schwerdtfeger
Distinguished Engineer, SWG Accessibility Architect/Strategist
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board

             <a.cheetham at utoro                                          To 
   >                   Eli Cochran                         
             Sent by:                  <eli at>            
             fluid-work-bounce                                          cc 
             s at fluidproject.or         fluid-work at         
             g                                                     Subject 
                                       Re: Tabbing through controls on the 
             08/17/2007 09:19                                              

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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