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Chapter 8. Navigation > Focus Navigation

Focus Navigation

When any object on the Stage is selected, it has focus. This section examines the process of arranging how each object comes to the user's focus. Some objects, especially buttons, come into focus because the user selects one by clicking it. Others come into focus when the user presses the Tab key, making the next object in the tab line come into focus. By arranging the ways in which different objects come into focus, the designer can optimize the navigation system and assist the user in navigating through a site.

Setting Tabs

Whenever the Tab key is pressed, the cursor jumps to the next object in the tab index. The tab index for objects on the Stage can be handled in various ways. The most basic settings occur by the order in which they're placed on the Stage, from left to right and top to bottom. The initial objects are given lower settings. Suppose you place eight input text fields on the Stage in two columns of four. The automatic tab index begins with the upper-left object, with tabs jumping first to the right column and then to the next row. However, if you place eight TextInput UI components on the Stage, their tab order follows the order in which they were placed on the Stage. Rather than trying to remember the tab order of different objects placed on the Stage, an easier solution is to establish the order of the objects once they're in their final design positions.


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