Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Fix Tab to drop-down in Firefox on OS X

Firefox is a great browser as most of you probably already know. I recently switched to using it as my default browser on OS X because Safari is flakey with GMail. One of the annoying things about Firefox on OS X is you can't tab to drop-downs in a web page. No longer my friends - in this month's Macworld there's a solution!

In Firefox (or Mozilla), type about:config in the address bar. Then search for "accessiblity.tabfocus". Change the value to "3" in order to allow tabbing to all form elements, or "7" if you want form elements + links.

Now if I could only get my two favorite Safari features in Firefox: auto-fillin of forms and spell-checking as you type.

Posted in Mac OS X at Sep 03 2004, 03:47:08 PM MDT 10 Comments
Comments:

here is your autofill of forms extension: http://autofill.mozdev.org/

Posted by Dan Allen on September 04, 2004 at 12:08 AM MDT #

When I can GMail loaded it seems to work fine ... do you find GMail just hangs at the "Loading..." message most of the time with Safari?

Posted by Simon Brown on September 04, 2004 at 02:38 PM MDT #

Yeah, and I've found that simply hitting refresh usually fixes the problem. I forgot the one thing I hate about Safari - there's no undo when typing in a textbox. This can be <em>very</em> annoying when blogging with it.

Posted by Matt Raible on September 04, 2004 at 02:40 PM MDT #

Firefox has an awesome plugin I just discovered yesterday that allows you to specify external programs for performing actions such as viewing the source and editing a textarea. It is a feature I have been wanting for a LONG time. Imagine editing blog posts in (fill in your editor of choice here). Go check it out: http://mozex.mozdev.org/

Posted by Dan Allen on September 05, 2004 at 09:01 AM MDT #

I take it you've heard of SpellBound http://www.exchangecode.com/spellbound/ , it isn't on-the-fly checking, but v.good none the less.

Posted by Richard Osbaldeston on September 07, 2004 at 02:59 AM MDT #

The accessibility.tabfocus preference is not available on more recent builds of Firefox. I found the way to enable tabbing to drop down menus is to open up the Mac's System Preferences and navigate to Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts, and select "All Controls" under the "Full Keyboard Access" prompt.

Posted by David Tobey on June 14, 2006 at 09:22 AM MDT #

If accessibility.tabfocus is not available, another option is that you can add the preference to about:config by control clicking or right clicking and selecting New>Integer. Type in "accessibility.config" as the preference name (without the quotes) and use the desired value from the original post.

Posted by Erik Lawrence on July 15, 2006 at 03:52 PM MDT #

I had to add the "accessibility.tabfocus" option myself for Firefox 2.0.0.1. Setting is to 3 or 7 works as expected. Note that the original poster has a typo ("accessiblity.tabfocus" should be "accessibility.tabfocus") so be careful if you're copying and pasting.

Posted by Mike on December 20, 2006 at 06:19 PM MST #

Thanks for the tips! This bug has been driving me crazy. Glad I found this post! I'm using Firefox 2.0.0.1, and had to create the "accessibility.tabfocus" value, and it worked like a charm (didn't even have to restart firefox). Thanks again...

Posted by mike on January 24, 2007 at 11:38 AM MST #

ditto -- this was a big help -- thanks

Posted by G on February 09, 2007 at 09:07 AM MST #

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