PSA: Mac OS X Keyboard Navigation

Open the Keyboard & Mouse pane of System Preferences and click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Select the “All controls” keyboard access option.

Keyboard and Mouse - Keyboard Shortcuts - Full Keyboard Access screenshot

Now you can use the tab key to select every last popup menu, button, and checkbox. The selected interface element is indicated by a halo, like the one surrounding the “Where” menu in the following screenshot.

Keyboard navigation halo

Invoke the active element by pressing the space bar or, in some cases, the arrows. (In this case, pressing space will display the menu. As with all menus, you can use the arrow keys to select items – or just begin typing to select matching item names.) The return and escape keys retain their usual function.

Posted on Wednesday, July 4th, 2007. Tags: .