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use of tabindex [was: Re: Proposal for Technique 13.6.1 Grouping links]

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 03:34:09 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
WCAG WG, I've included you on this thread since we are discussing issues 
with tabindex.  Particularly, using tabindex=1 to skip over a navigation bar.

>What you wrote was clear. The point I was trying to make is that after the
>tabindex=1 point, the next time the user tabs they will go back to the first
>thing on the page - tabindex brings the focus, but things with tabindex are
>treated outside the normal order, rather than reordering the tabindex. So if
>you have
>link 1
>link 2
>link 3
>name 1 tabindex=1
>link 4
>link 5
>name 2 tabindex=2
>and you keep pressing tab you go in the following order:
>name 1 tabindex=1
>name 2 tabindex=2
>link 1
>link 2
>link 3
>link 4
>link 5

yep, you're right.  forgot about that.  I modified Cynthia's test page to 
play with this more [http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/tests/divs.html].  I had not 
realized that Opera (4.0) does not seem to support tabindex at all (much 
less on DIVs).

Note that I also included the link at the top to bypass the navigation 
bar.  This works fine in MSIE, until one begins tabbing through the links 
that do not have tabindex defined for them.  This does not work in 
Opera.  Following the skipnav link, Opera will position the1st DIV at the 
top of the page, but then pressing tab takes me back to the 1st navigation 
bar link.  Therefore, I'm not sure what to do in Opera.  With MSIE it seems 
that if you define tabindex for one link (or more than one link) you better 
define them for all.  The thing is, you could define the 1st one as 
tabindex=1, but the rest could all be tabindex=2 if you want to go through 
them in order.

Note that on the test page, several of the items are tabindex=1.  This 
behavior is consistent with the HTML 4 spec re: tabindex 


wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2000 03:31:31 UTC

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