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  1. #1
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?

    Member Since
    Apr 01, 2010
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    MacBook Pro on OS X Mavericks
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?
    Is there a way to tab from one option to the next while a dialogue box is open? I noticed that sometimes the button that Mac predicts you want to press is blue and the rest are a grayish-white color. If I don't want to select the button that is blue, is there a way for me to tab over to other buttons in the dialogue box without having to use a mouse or TrackPad? I tried just pressing the Tab button, but that doesn't work.
    - Currently using a MacBook Pro running OS X Mavericks
    - syncs with iPhone 5S, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini

  2. #2
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?
    toMACsh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2009
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    I guess it depends on what dialog box you're in. I just tried that in a Save box for Word. Tab moves the selected button. Try other keys: arrows, cmd-tab, cmd-arrow, option-tab, option-arrow, ctrl-tab, ctrl-arrow, etc.?

  3. #3
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?

    Member Since
    Apr 01, 2010
    Posts
    102
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro on OS X Mavericks
    I've tried a combination of all of these. I just opened Word for Mac, typed something on the screen and then tried to close the program. It gave me the options to Save, Don't Save, or Cancel, and every combination of buttons you suggested did not get it to change the defaulted menu option.

    I'm not sure how you're able to do it. I am so jealous! How are you able to do this and not me?
    - Currently using a MacBook Pro running OS X Mavericks
    - syncs with iPhone 5S, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini

  4. #4
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?

    Member Since
    Jul 09, 2008
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    Maybe certain dialogue boxes (such as a Word Save box) only? Wish I could give you further guidance; I've actually wanted to figure this out myself for a while too.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?
    MYmacROX's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
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    2008 15" MBP Yosemite, 2012 21.5" iMac Yosemite
    YES! It's one of those simple "check boxes" in some preferences somewhere but for the life of me I can't recall where it is. The sad part is, I just read the answer to this a day or two ago on these very forums... SOMEWHERE! It's driving me crazy....

  6. #6
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?

    Member Since
    Apr 01, 2010
    Posts
    102
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro on OS X Mavericks
    OMG!! YAY!!!!!!!! I searched through the Keyboard section of System Preferences and it had the option right there under the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Where it says "Full Keyboard Access: In windows and dialogs, press Tab to move keyboard focus between:" I just changed it from "Text boxes and lists only" to "All controls."

    Only thing is that when you tab over to the other options, pressing Enter or Return doesn't activate the button. You have to press the space bar in order for you to get the button you tabbed over to working.

    Thanks for giving me that hint! You rock!!!
    - Currently using a MacBook Pro running OS X Mavericks
    - syncs with iPhone 5S, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini

  7. #7
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?
    Rottie's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 23, 2009
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by fdcampbell16 View Post
    OMG!! YAY!!!!!!!! I searched through the Keyboard section of System Preferences and it had the option right there under the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Where it says "Full Keyboard Access: In windows and dialogs, press Tab to move keyboard focus between:" I just changed it from "Text boxes and lists only" to "All controls."

    Only thing is that when you tab over to the other options, pressing Enter or Return doesn't activate the button. You have to press the space bar in order for you to get the button you tabbed over to working.

    Thanks for giving me that hint! You rock!!!
    Another way to select non-highlighted dialog box options, would be ctrl+ the first letter of the option you wish to select. IE let's say you have a dialog box which has the options of "Save" (highlighted) "Quit" and cancel, like in the attached screenshot - If you want to select "Quit", then the key combo would be ctrl+Q; "Cancel" would be either the esc key, or ctrl+C.

    Hope this info helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Mid 2011 i5 2.5 GHz iMac 21.5"

  8. #8
    Can I tab through options in a dialogue box?

    Member Since
    Apr 01, 2010
    Posts
    102
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro on OS X Mavericks
    Yes, very! After trying it out myself, I realized that Ctrl was not working for me, however Command was. Thanks.
    - Currently using a MacBook Pro running OS X Mavericks
    - syncs with iPhone 5S, iPod Touch, and iPad Mini

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