To make your forms easier to navigate, you can assign a particular tabbing order and even assign keyboard shortcuts. These features enable users to select individual form elements by pressing Tab or a specific key combination. Not all browsers support form navigation control keys, but for those that do, it can be quite a time saver for your form users.

Tabbing Chains

You can define a tabbing chain for any set of form elements on the same page, as shown in Figure 39.22. The tabbing chain simply indicates in what order the form elements are selected when users press the Tab key repeatedly. Labels, text fields, password fields, text areas, submit buttons, reset buttons, check boxes, radio buttons, pop-up menus, and list boxes all support tab indexing.

Figure 39.22. You can set a tabbing chain to specify the order in which your fields will be selected when the user presses the Tab key. A small boxed number appears to indicate each element's order in the chain.

Here's how to create a tabbing chain automatically:


Choose Special, Forms, Start Tabulator Indexing. Alternatively, select the first element of your tabbing chain and then click the Start/Stop Indexing button in the Focus section of the Inspector. (It looks like a number sign to the right of the Tab field.) A small yellow box appears on top of each index element on your form.


Click each element in the desired tabbing order, exactly in the order you want it to be tabbed. Each is assigned a number inside the yellow box on the element and in the tab index in the Inspector.


When you have finished creating the tabbing chain, choose Special, Stop Tabulator Indexing from the main menu or click the Start/Stop Indexing button in the Inspector.

To create a tabbing chain manually, select each of the form elements in the desired tabbing order and enter a number in the Tab text field of the Inspector for each element (see Figure 39.23).

Figure 39.23. The First Name/Last Name field has been set to be the first in the tab order with a tab index value of 1.

To change an existing tabbing chain, follow these steps:


Select the element where you'd like to begin the tab order change.


From the main menu, choose Special, Start Tabulator Indexing, or click the Start/Stop Indexing button in the Inspector.


Click each element successively in the new tabbing order.


When you're finished, choose Special, Stop Tabulator Indexing from the main menu, or click the Start/Stop Indexing button in the Inspector.

Creating a Fieldset

The Fieldset icon creates a bounding box that visually groups form elements, making your forms more user friendly, as shown in Figure 39.24. A legend may be used to indicate a title for the group of elements or to give a reason why the elements are to be seen as a set.

Figure 39.24. Fieldsets help break up forms into logical groups of information.

To create a fieldset, follow these steps:


Select the Form tab of the Objects palette.


Click and drag the Fieldset icon into position on your page, or simply double-click its icon in the Objects palette.


Select the Fieldset element in your document window by clicking it.


In the Inspector shown in Figure 39.25, select Use Legend if you want a legend to appear in the fieldset bounding box. In Figure 39.24, the legend depicted is CONTACT INFORMATION.

Figure 39.25. Options available in the Form Fieldset Inspector.


Use the Alignment pop-up menu to align the legend within your fieldset.


Highlight the legend in the fieldset in the document window and enter the text for the legend.


Drag an HTML element or other form elements inside the fieldset as desired.

Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
ISBN: 0789733676
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 426
Authors: Michael Smick

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