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Keyboard Control FAIL: Using TAB key on websites directs cursor to nowhere!!! Why?

  • 9 ŋuɖoɖowo
  • 12 masɔmasɔ sia le wosi
  • 1372 views
  • Nuɖoɖo mlɔetɔ cor-el

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(using 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 MAC MINI, OS X Lion 10.7.5) I have always felt safer using the keyboard rather than mouse-clicking on search fields etc. (Open Firefox, hit command+L to the URL I want to go to, then hop to next field with TAB key).

Most notably frustrating example is with using Google, this has not worked right for some time. Say that you to start to search for something on google "main page" and then it goes to the search results page... You go to edit your search or type your next search and the cursor is flashing inside (but off center) of the search field and inputting text is not an option. Also you may instictively hit ESC (while in search field) when you are being given suggestions you don't want, and then the cursor moves again to this no-man's land in between fields.

The other KEYBOARD control issue that I have found is this: Sometimes you cannot Close Window or even Quit Firefox with the usual keyboard shortcut. Usually when a few windows or tabs are open, or when there is some pop-up survey etc. on page. You can usually ALT+TAB to another open program and then back, and then you can close window or application. But that seems really sketchy to me! This happens all the time on major websites. You can go File-> Close Window or File->Quit, but when you use the same keyboard command the file menu just flashes with an "error tone."

(using 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 MAC MINI, OS X Lion 10.7.5) I have always felt safer using the keyboard rather than mouse-clicking on search fields etc. (Open Firefox, hit command+L to the URL I want to go to, then hop to next field with TAB key). Most notably frustrating example is with using Google, this has not worked right for some time. Say that you to start to search for something on google "main page" and then it goes to the search results page... You go to edit your search or type your next search and the cursor is flashing inside (but off center) of the search field and inputting text is not an option. Also you may instictively hit ESC (while in search field) when you are being given suggestions you don't want, and then the cursor moves again to this no-man's land in between fields. The other KEYBOARD control issue that I have found is this: Sometimes you cannot Close Window or even Quit Firefox with the usual keyboard shortcut. Usually when a few windows or tabs are open, or when there is some pop-up survey etc. on page. You can usually ALT+TAB to another open program and then back, and then you can close window or application. But that seems really sketchy to me! This happens all the time on major websites. You can go File-> Close Window or File->Quit, but when you use the same keyboard command the file menu just flashes with an "error tone."

All Replies (9)

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You may have switched on caret browsing.

You can press F7 (Mac: fn + F7) to toggle caret browsing on/off.

  • Tools > Options > Advanced > General > Accessibility: [ ] "Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages"
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Nope not that. I can't imagine this is a settings issue. If not firefox issue, then apple issue - or how they communicate together. I don't know, I just don't think it's a setting - any other ideas? Thanks in advance.

Ocean-Man trɔe

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Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions (Firefox/Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance).

  • Do NOT click the Reset button on the Safe Mode start window.
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The TAB key thing was the same in safe mode. Actually I should add/correct, regarding that google search example: when the cursor is in "inbetween fields" positions, actually it lets you type at the END of the text that you had typed in the field (even though the cursor is blinking before the text). and if you "Command A" to replace the text in the search field while cursor in this position, it instead selects all the rest of the text OUTSIDE the field. Just doesn't make any sense. I think this happens with fields on Facebook as well.

That first issue is just very annoying because it comes up every day and I never get used to it. I would be actually be curious to hear from someone whom this DOES NOT happen to.

The 2nd issue I mentioned occurs more randomly, and seems more definately a Firefox issue. (When you can only close a window or quit from the drop down menu with the mouse, Command W and Command Q just give an error beep)

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Interesting links/settings, a lot to play around with. I would definately want to leave it on "text boxes only", where it is now. Still after your initial search it lands on the inbetween area where the text that you input lands at the end of the field (which is not where the cursor is displayed), and you cannot select the text in this box while the cursor is in this very same position.

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I can see where the first thing could be a compatibility issue. Maybe Google wants me to get Google Chrome and they made it hard to run smoothly in Firefox or something. I don't really know. It's just very annoying and I've put off asking about it because it's difficult to articulate, but I feel it should be addressed.

I'm curious about the 2nd issue in my initial post. Thanks.

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You can press the Tab key a few times more if the focus ends up in the wrong place as it is possible that another (possibly hidden) element gets focus.

Maybe a bookmarklet like this can reviel which element gets focus.

javascript:void(alert('Active Element'+((D=document.activeElement)?'\n\nnode: "'+D.nodeName.toLowerCase()+'"\n'+(D.id?'id: "'+D.id+'"\n':'')+(D.name?'name: "'+D.name+'"':''):': <none>')));