Re: OK? space bar, enter, who knows


On Tue, Feb 23, 2021 at 04:16 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:

I'm talking about controls that actually require the use of either spacebar or enter to activate them, not those that "activate by focus." Apples and oranges, really.

Yes I agree, but you said that "if what has focus isn't a control, it activates nothing". You can press Space on a combo-box, for example, and it will do nothing, but if you press Enter, it will activate the default button as assigned by whoever programmed in the default button. While dialogs in Windows Usually default to the OK button, other developers may opt to make the default button something else entirely which can be activated by the Enter key. Yes, most seasoned users will know that tab controls, combo-boxes, radio-buttons, etc will not do anything if one presses Space, but they will also know that Enter will activate the default button, e.g., a Next or OK button. I suppose there was enough confusion that the JAWS developers thought it necessary to create a keybind which reports what the default button is for a given dialog.

This default button behavior isn't that well documented as far as I know, so it may be useful for keyboard navigators to be aware of said behavior. Also every tab-stop will focus on elements that are interactable by the keyboard, e.g., arrow keys, pressing Enter/Space, etc. Other non-interactable elements, such as labels, explanation text, and descriptions, will not be focusable via the Tab key, and that's why all screen readers have at least one navigation mode that will allow users to traverse among non-interactable elements.


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