Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Proper tabindex in OSX Firefox

Ever since I switched to my sweet baby-baby PowerBook, I’d been really disappointed by a rather crappy support for tabbing between form fields in Firefox, my favorite browser. There I’ll be, innocently filling out a text field in an order form, when I’ll hit the Tab key to focus on a radio button immediately after it. Suddenly (shock, horror, dismay), my cursor leaps out of the form entirely: it flies up to the location bar, a random link, over to your mom’s house, or some other utterly unhelpful spot on the page. The result? One severely peeved Ethan that has to (shock, horror, dismay) use his mouse to navigate.

Proper tabbing a trivial matter in your Windows browser, you say? Sheer simplicity in Safari, you sneer? Indeed it is — and until this afternoon, my only response would’ve likely involved words that rhymed with “duck” and “toff.”

Thankfully, Kevin Gerich notified me of a workaround to this craptastic and long-standing Mozilla bug:

  1. Type about:config in the URL bar.
  2. In the Filter field, type tabfocus.
  3. Double-click on the accessibility.tabfocus preference.
  4. Change the value to 7.
  5. Restart your browser, and say a silent prayer of thanks to The Kevin.

Alternately, you can add user_pref("accessibility.tabfocus", 7); directly to your user.js, located in your Firefox profile folder; this will ensure that you don’t have to follow the above steps each time you re-install Firefox.

And now, my browser’s tabbing normally yet again; I can not overstate how much this rocks. Seriously: because of this, I now consider Kevin Gerich to be cooler than Klondike Bars. I demand that you speak his name in hushed tones from this point onward. That is all.


Hooray, technical difficulties.

There’s a WordPress issue that’s currently preventing old comments from displaying correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully we’ll be back online soon.