I Just Can't Focus with This Section in My View - Greg Collins

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Greg Collins

I Just Can't Focus with This Section in My View

I uncovered the source of this problem on 2004-09-17 after a tester had a usability issue on some other work I was doing. I've reported this problem to Microsoft.


A common design scenario that you may want to use it to have a set of option buttons on your form that have associated sections. These sections use conditional visibility to only show the desired section associated with the selected value of the option button set.

The standard behavior for a option button set is to allow the user to use the arrow keys to move between the option buttons to make a selection. If, however you have a section in the view that is bound to the same data node as the option buttons are, that keyboard functionality fails: focus is lost after the first change in selection. The user must press Tab to regain focus on the control, and then press another arrow, only to lose focus again.

Here's the walkthrough to reproduce the problem:

Create the structure to reveal the issue:
  1. Create a new blank form.
  2. In the Controls task pane, click Option Button, and then press Enter to accept the default number of option buttons to insert.

Test the form with proper keyboard navigation:

  1. Click Preview Form.
  2. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to change the option button selection.

    This should work correctly at this point.
  3. Close the preview.

Add the control that prevents proper keyboard navigation:

  1. In the Data Source task pane, right-click on field1 choose More | Section, and then click OK.
  2. Preview the form.
  3. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to change the option button selection.

    At this point you will find that after making the first selection change focus is lost from your radio button control set and is set on the form body. If you had enough controls in your view to make it scrollable, the view would scroll when you press the Up Arrow or Down Arrow.

  4. Press Tab to reset the focus back onto the option button control.


Currently I do not know of a workaround other than to just press Tab to reset the focus, or to use the mouse to make a selection.

©2004 Greg Collins. All rights reserved. Licensed to Autonomy Systems, LLC for display on InfoPathDev.com.


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