Tab sequence

A tab sequence is the order in which the focus moves through fields in a window when the tab key is pressed. You may want to change a tab sequence to change the order in which users enter information, ensuring they enter information you consider most important first.

Setting a tab sequence is typically one of the last tasks you need to complete when designing a window. After you’ve added all the fields to a window and arranged them in their proper order, you can use the following procedure to set a tab sequence.

  1. Choose Set Tab Sequence from the Layout menu.


  1. Select the field you want first in the sequence by double-clicking the field.

The focus will appear in this field when the window is opened initially. The field you double-click will appear shaded, meaning that it’s now the first field in the tab sequence.

  1. Press the TAB key.


  1. Double-click the field you want next in the sequence.

The field will appear shaded, indicating it’s the next field in the tab sequence.

  1. Press the TAB key again and double-click the field you want third in the tab sequence.

Continue to mark fields in the window in the order you want, using the mouse to double-click the field and the tab key to move the focus to the next object in the sequence.

  1. Test the tab sequence.

When the tab sequence for all the fields in the window has been set, press the TAB key several times to move through the tab sequence. When you’ve finished setting the tab sequence, choose Set Tab Sequence from the Layout menu.

You can use the TabStop property to exclude fields from the tab sequence.

You can stop the process of setting a tab sequence at any time by closing the layout window and choosing not to save the changes to the window.

Some fields, such as radio buttons, have special characteristics that must be considered when setting the tab sequence. This is described in Standard Controls.

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