Keyboard accessibility: changing tab order

Armin Krauss mackrauss at
Wed Jan 27 16:55:48 UTC 2010

Hi Boyan,

the best way to have a tab order and comply with WCAG easily is to have the
content in a order that needs no tab order. This means that the content is
structured and sorted in the way the tab order should flow. Then you don't
need to override the tab order. As a byproduct the content has a structure
that makes for an user with AT more sense.

See 1.3.2 and 2.1.1 among others on

Hope that helps a bit.



On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 07:12, Boyan Sheytanov <
boyan.sheytanov at> wrote:

> Hi all!
> I was trying to force the following tab order of the elements in Capture
> for Decapod: thumbnail item, take picture button, fix, compare, export.
> Since the buttons are <a> elements, they were easily ordered (having
> assigned them positive values for 'tabindex'). However, they do not seem to
> respond to pressing the Enter key. Additionally, the thumbnail item is a
> <li> element and the only valid values for the tabindex property are -1 or 0
> (correct me if I am wrong here). These make the element focusable or part of
> the default tab order but I cannot find a way to make it the first element
> of the tab order.
> My question is what is the 'proper' way to modify tab order and enable
> keyboard navigation in accessible web applications.
> Greetings,
> Boyan
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