macos - How to tab between buttons on an Mac OS X dialog box - Super User


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I know that there has been a similar question asked here very recently, but I was wondering if it was possible to tab between buttons on default Mac OS X dialog boxes?

I already have the All controls option enabled in System PreferencesKeyboard & MouseKeyboard Shortcuts, but no joy.


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    If you enable Full Keyboard Access by setting it to all controls, you should be able to tab between options and select by hitting spacebar, at least for OS X 10.5:

    Full Keyboard Access: All Controls (Control+F7)


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    While @ruddzw's (chosen) answer works, it can slow you down in other areas simply from the sheer number of controls there are to tab through.

    @NReilingh presents a different approach, and the semantics behind it:

    The right way to go about keyboard shortcuts for alternate dialog buttons is not tab, but command key combos. For example, Command-period is almost universally "cancel." [...]
    It's often not documented, but the command shortcut for different buttons that aren't the default button or cancel is usually the first letter of that button.

    So in the example:

    Save prompt

    • enter/return will Save,
    • +. or esc will Cancel, and
    • +D will map to Don't Save.
      As @Kevin Reid points out, +delete works here as well.

  • Gladys Lee
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    In Keyboard preferences under Keyboard Shortcuts

    Full Keyboard Access: Switch to All Controls instead of Text Boxes and Lists Only


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    Is there a specific dialog you're having trouble with? With "All controls" enabled I can tab around every control of every Mac OS X dialog I've tested just now.


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    To enable navigation using Tabs from the command line type:

    defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleKeyboardUIMode -int 3
    

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    When browsing with Safari, you can also tab between all HTML elements on the page using Option+Tab (otherwise Tab would only stop on the browser toolbar controls and quick bookmarks)