Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Feb 2008 16:04 UTC
Thread beginning with comment 301467
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Member since:

Having trouble finding an Ok/Cancel button dialog, but when I did find one, I was perfectly able to move back and forth between the Ok and Cancel buttons using the left and right arrow keys. I did have to tab to one of the buttons first, but that is the same as on at least some Windows dialog boxes as well.

So how is this impossible on a Mac again?

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:

So how is this impossible on a Mac again?

Either my Mac and the Macs of all the people I talked to before making this comic are broken, or yours is broken. There is no way, in hell, that I can get the left/right keys to switch between ok/cancel/etc.

A few examples.

Open a new mail in, fill in some stuff, and try to close it without saving. Semi-modal dialog pops up, and if you have the option enabled under Keyboard prefs, you can switch button focus using tab - but not with the arrow keys - you'll get the no-can't-do sound. Disabling the option obviously allows for no keyboard navigation at all - and by default, this option is disabled on Mac OS X.

Open Safari, and find a website with an invalid certificate (one of my favourite websites has an invalid certificate, but it's a website I know very well so no problem at all). Confirmation dialog comes up, and nor the arrow keys, nor the tab key (the special option enabled or not) can switch button focus in the dialog - heck, you'll even get the no-can't-do sound.

In that same browser window, press Apple+p to invoke the print dialog. Tab will allow you to switch between elements and buttons (again, only with the special option enabled) but again, the arrow keys do not switch button focus. Again, you get the no-can't-do sound.

Now, go to a website with a form, fill in some stuff, and try to close the Safari window. Safari will warn you with a dialog that you have stuff filled in. Again, the arrow keys do not work (and the sound plays), and the tab key only works with the special option enabled.

In short, the arrow keys do not work, and the behaviour is even inconsistent as even with the special tab option set, some dialogs allow for tab navigation, and some don't.

Reply Parent Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:


The settings for this are hidden but here's how you get to them:

Open System Preferences
Open Keyboard and Mouse
Click "Keyboard Shortcuts"
Click "Open Keyboard Preferences"
Click All Controls

Have safari open with multiple tabs, command-q and tab between "cancel" and "quit". yeah arrows don't work but tab/shift tab does.

I tested it with your command-p in safari and I can tab between all UI elements.


Nevermind, I just realized you mentioned the special setting. Although with that turned on, I can use tab/shift-tab for every dialog box I can find...just not the arrow keys.

Found a quicker way to the setting. I guess if you're expecting arrows to work and they don't its annoying, but i never expected them to. I expected tab/shift-tab to work as it does.

Edited 2008-02-20 23:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2