Can we navigate from left to right by hitting the tab key instead of navigating from top to bottom on a form?


Details

This is a question that comes up from time to time.

It is an expected platform behavior.

Tab moves the cursor from field to field (generally down the left side columns, then right.)

Modifying it with DOM manipulation (on a client script or global UI script) or other non API scripts can put your script at risk of not working or causing bad effects for future upgrades.

Additional Information

The reason this behavior cannot be changed is that:

  1. Every field on the form has a sequence in which they are arranged.
  2. You can find the sequence in which the fields are arranged by navigating to the sys_ui_section table and opening the section for any table/view.
  3. You will see that there is a position column for every section element. You cannot create a section element without a position. This will break the form features if a position is not present.
  4. Now when you access a form from the browser, the HTML and DOM is first loaded on the browser, and then rendered to the end-user.
  5. The fields that I mentioned above will also be loaded in the DOM along with the position and sequence.
  6. So now, once the form is rendered completely, and if you hit the tab key, the tab key will only move as per the position/sequence as stored in the sys_ui_section table, i.e top to bottom.