using enter key instead of tab key for data entry 
Author Message
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

is there a quick and/or easy way to use the enter key to move to the next
field in a custom form when entering data.... the tab key is ok but is
not really the preffered method for an application i am working on

Thanks,

please respond to email as well as i don't get to check the newsgroups
frequently.




Mon, 23 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>is there a quick and/or easy way to use the enter key to move to the
next
>field in a custom form when entering data.... the tab key is ok but is
>not really the preffered method for an application i am working on

>Thanks,

>please respond to email as well as i don't get to check the newsgroups
>frequently.



Request Borland Tech Fax Doc # 2798 and you've got it all.
Caution:  You might have problems if you a notebook or multi-page form
from the gallery.  I'm still working with Borland Tech Support to solve
this.  It also wont work on the second or third page of a single page
form/tab set combination.  If anyone figures out a solution please let
me in on it.

Ben
Arrow



Mon, 30 Mar 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>is there a quick and/or easy way to use the enter key to move to the next
>field in a custom form when entering data.... the tab key is ok but is
>not really the preffered method for an application i am working on

>Thanks,

>please respond to email as well as i don't get to check the newsgroups
>frequently.



You might want to consult the MS-Windows Design Guidelines for info about
what you are trying to do.  (As well as other more recent User
Interface Design texts).  They won't tell you how to do it, but they
will probably give you many reasons why you might want to consider
not doing it.

If you give a product to people who are familiar with GUI's, and you
change the functionality of the tab and return keys, you might be pulling
the rug out from under them.  It can be like reversing the position of
the forward and reverse gears on a car.

What is determining the "preffered method" for your application?  I'm not
saying that it isn't appropriate for your specialized application, but you
need to make sure that it is for the right reasons.

The return key in Windows usually activates the default button on a form.
Often this is "OK", or "Save" for example.  Now if you created a button,
called it "Next Field", and designated that as the default button, and made
the action be that it moves focus from the current field to the next, then
you have, to some extent, made the functionally of hitting return a little more
clear.  Still you may be breaking some people's mental model that usually
the return key accepts the data that was just entered and takes some action
(such as closing the dialog box, or going to the next record, ie.)

-mark
--

3M Health Information Systems        



Thu, 02 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:


Keith

>>is there a quick and/or easy way to use the enter key to move to the
next
>>field in a custom form when entering data.... the tab key is ok but
is
>>not really the preffered method for an application i am working on

>>Thanks,

>>please respond to email as well as i don't get to check the
newsgroups
>>frequently.


>You might want to consult the MS-Windows Design Guidelines for info
about
>what you are trying to do.  (As well as other more recent User
>Interface Design texts).  They won't tell you how to do it, but they
>will probably give you many reasons why you might want to consider
>not doing it.

>If you give a product to people who are familiar with GUI's, and you
>change the functionality of the tab and return keys, you might be
pulling
>the rug out from under them.  It can be like reversing the position of
>the forward and reverse gears on a car.

>What is determining the "preffered method" for your application?  I'm
not
>saying that it isn't appropriate for your specialized application, but
you
>need to make sure that it is for the right reasons.

>The return key in Windows usually activates the default button on a
form.
>Often this is "OK", or "Save" for example.  Now if you created a
button,
>called it "Next Field", and designated that as the default button, and
made
>the action be that it moves focus from the current field to the next,
then
>you have, to some extent, made the functionally of hitting return a
little more
>clear.  Still you may be breaking some people's mental model that
usually
>the return key accepts the data that was just entered and takes some
action
>(such as closing the dialog box, or going to the next record, ie.)

>-mark
>--

>3M Health Information Systems        

I beg to differ with Mark.  In all commercial packages, in any platform
other than windows, all data entry screens use the return (enter) key
to move from field to field.  The makeup of the enter key is larger
than the tab key for that reason.  A typist would subconsciously hit
the enter key to move from to field; hence the need for such a change.
As far as pulling the rug from where-ever it's just fine from my
experience.  For all you run of the mill computer entry people you may
request Borland Tech Fax document # 2798 and there it is.  Please note
that there are problems using this routine with tabbed notebooks which
I'm still working on with Tech Support.
Ciao
Ben
Arrow Software


Thu, 02 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>I beg to differ with Mark.  In all commercial packages, in any platform
>other than windows, all data entry screens use the return (enter) key
>to move from field to field.  The makeup of the enter key is larger
>than the tab key for that reason.  A typist would subconsciously hit
>the enter key to move from to field; hence the need for such a change.
>As far as pulling the rug from where-ever it's just fine from my
>experience.  For all you run of the mill computer entry people you may
>request Borland Tech Fax document # 2798 and there it is.  Please note
>that there are problems using this routine with tabbed notebooks which
>I'm still working on with Tech Support.
>Ciao
>Ben
>Arrow Software

Those are some widely sweeping generalizations that I won't even get
into.  There may be some places where "return" jumps you from field to
field, and perhaps that's what it's like in most of the "data entry
specific" software market.  If that's the case, then it could be worth
making modifications to try to accomodate.

I'm not trying to say what's right or wrong, but you need to understand
your users, and the other aspects of their computing environment that
they will interact with.  From what I've seen in Windows, the Mac, and Motif,
Tab seems to be the way to navigate from field to field, and Return tends
to activate the Default button.  If you want to change the function of a
key, all I'm saying is to do so with caution.  There may be a perfectly valid
reason to do so and your users are the best ones to validate it for you.

Cheers,

-mark
--

3M Health Information Systems        



Fri, 03 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>I beg to differ with Mark.  In all commercial packages, in any platform
>other than windows, all data entry screens use the return (enter) key
>to move from field to field.  

Bollox.

There is a little known platform called the AS400. Its from a small
company in the States called IBM. These machines are primarily
designed and used as databases.

Real databases. - Like the 911 services & government use.

Take a look in a magazine if you have never seen/used one before. You
may notice a little key marked "Field Exit" this performs field-level
validation and moves between fields. The Enter key is used to POST the
update (eg the record on the screen).

CUA is there for a reason. If you want to reply to tenders that
require you to be CUA compliant then dont change what the enter key
does. These standards exist for a reason.

If I see a defaulted button on the screen I expect the enter key to
activate that button, I do NOT expect it to do what I could have
achived in a Tab press.

Even in the latter end of DOS and UNIX character development over the
last 10 years, MORE software has been using CUA keys (TAB instead of
ENTER).

Our software (Character based) is being used in over half of the UK
FT-100 companies. Our windows versions are CUA compliant, because
that's what the software is - a Windows version.

Quote:
>                                                  The makeup of the enter key is larger
>than the tab key for that reason.

By that argument, we may as well use the {*filter*}y space bar - its
massive. Oh, but hold on... with you wanting to ignore the standards,
are you not going to ship a keyboard with your product that has ABCDEF
instead of QWERTY ? - simply because it suits your application.

Quote:
>                                                         A typist would subconsciously hit
>the enter key to move from to field; hence the need for such a change.

Get CUA to change their minds then. They thought about this for a
little longer than you have.

Quote:
>As far as pulling the rug from where-ever it's just fine from my
>experience.  For all you run of the mill computer entry people you may
>request Borland Tech Fax document # 2798 and there it is.  Please note
>that there are problems using this routine with tabbed notebooks which
>I'm still working on with Tech Support.

Yes, they obviously didn't think you should be doing this either.

Quote:
>Ciao
>Ben
>Arrow Software

--
I cant spell, I am a Software Engineer.





Sun, 05 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

writes:
Quote:


>>I beg to differ with Mark.  In all commercial packages, in any
platform
>>other than windows, all data entry screens use the return (enter) key
>>to move from field to field.  

>Bollox.

>There is a little known platform called the AS400. Its from a small
>company in the States called IBM. These machines are primarily
>designed and used as databases.

>Real databases. - Like the 911 services & government use.

>Take a look in a magazine if you have never seen/used one before. You
>may notice a little key marked "Field Exit" this performs field-level
>validation and moves between fields. The Enter key is used to POST the
>update (eg the record on the screen).

>CUA is there for a reason. If you want to reply to tenders that
>require you to be CUA compliant then dont change what the enter key
>does. These standards exist for a reason.

>If I see a defaulted button on the screen I expect the enter key to
>activate that button, I do NOT expect it to do what I could have
>achived in a Tab press.

>Even in the latter end of DOS and UNIX character development over the
>last 10 years, MORE software has been using CUA keys (TAB instead of
>ENTER).

>Our software (Character based) is being used in over half of the UK
>FT-100 companies. Our windows versions are CUA compliant, because
>that's what the software is - a Windows version.

>>                                                  The makeup of the
enter key is larger
>>than the tab key for that reason.

>By that argument, we may as well use the {*filter*}y space bar - its
>massive. Oh, but hold on... with you wanting to ignore the standards,
>are you not going to ship a keyboard with your product that has ABCDEF
>instead of QWERTY ? - simply because it suits your application.

>>                                                         A typist

would subconsciously hit

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>>the enter key to move from to field; hence the need for such a
change.

>Get CUA to change their minds then. They thought about this for a
>little longer than you have.

>>As far as pulling the rug from where-ever it's just fine from my
>>experience.  For all you run of the mill computer entry people you
may
>>request Borland Tech Fax document # 2798 and there it is.  Please
note
>>that there are problems using this routine with tabbed notebooks
which
>>I'm still working on with Tech Support.

>Yes, they obviously didn't think you should be doing this either.

>>Ciao
>>Ben
>>Arrow Software

>--
>I cant spell, I am a Software Engineer.




You are getting to darn {*filter*}y mad in a simple discussion.  Perhaps in
the UK you use the tab key or some other dumb key.  In the US a word
processing typist uses the enter key to move from line to line.  If
this is too difficult to penetrate your brain that is  just too darn
bad.  Using your silly argument that the enter key is used to POST you
still have this functionality even if you move from field to field with
the enter key.  So ease up there big guy.  I've been in this business
for approx 20 years so don't try to tell me standards.
Sir:  Put your brain into motion before you put your mouth into action.
Ben
Arrow


Mon, 06 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>In the US a word processing typist uses the enter key to move from
>line to line. If this is too difficult to penetrate your brain that
>is just too darn bad.

Don't make generalizations about a nation based upon an individuals
beliefs, arsehole.

Later.
Lee

--
Lee Walton
C/S Software Solutions Ltd              <http://www.csss.com/>



Mon, 06 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

: You might want to consult the MS-Windows Design Guidelines for info about
: what you are trying to do.  (As well as other more recent User
: Interface Design texts).  They won't tell you how to do it, but they
: will probably give you many reasons why you might want to consider
: not doing it.

: If you give a product to people who are familiar with GUI's, and you
: change the functionality of the tab and return keys, you might be pulling
: the rug out from under them.  It can be like reversing the position of
: the forward and reverse gears on a car.

etc., etc.

The global sociological implications of using the enter key over the tab
key notwithstanding, I believe the basic information required of the
original request was:  "How do you use the enter key?" rather than "Please
present a lengthy, mind-numbing dissertation on why I should or should not
use the the enter key."

I'll probably get flamed, hehe

--
T.L.C.



Tue, 07 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

: >In the US a word processing typist uses the enter key to move from
: >line to line. If this is too difficult to penetrate your brain that
: >is just too darn bad.

: Don't make generalizations about a nation based upon an individuals
: beliefs, arsehole.

: Later.
: Lee

I think your both way off base.  This country's belief system was based
almost exclusively on the Num Lock key.
--
T.L.C.



Tue, 07 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

: I think your both way off base.  This country's belief system was based
          ^^^^
          you're (oops!)

--
T.L.C.



Tue, 07 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:


>: You might want to consult the MS-Windows Design Guidelines for info about
>: what you are trying to do.  (As well as other more recent User
>: Interface Design texts).  They won't tell you how to do it, but they
>: will probably give you many reasons why you might want to consider
>: not doing it.

>etc., etc.

>The global sociological implications of using the enter key over the tab
>key notwithstanding, I believe the basic information required of the
>original request was:  "How do you use the enter key?" rather than "Please
>present a lengthy, mind-numbing dissertation on why I should or should not
>use the the enter key."

>I'll probably get flamed, hehe

I understood what the question was, and new I was taking the discussion
off on another course, but felt I was not out of line.  As an engineer
I frequently see other engineers seeking ways to get around the normal
functioning of systems, in order to provide what they *think* are solutions
to problems, but in doing so, they introduce a new set of problems.  That
is, they make the systems less usable, break metaphors that violate the
users pre-existing models of how things should work, or make a system
more prone to being buggy with a workaround or hack.

Forgive me for boring you with this.  I was hoping that the programmers
here are a bit more open-minded about these types of considerations and
didn't mind my comments (a few paragraphs, ... I really didn't think it
was "lengthy, mind-numbing dissertation" as you call it).

I won't speak more on this topic, but I hope that anybody who's designing
GUI's will keep the human-factors issues in the back of their minds at least.

-mark
--

3M Health Information Systems        



Wed, 08 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:


> writes:
> >Take a look in a magazine if you have never seen/used one before. You
> >may notice a little key marked "Field Exit" this performs field-level
> >validation and moves between fields. The Enter key is used to POST the
> >update (eg the record on the screen).

> >CUA is there for a reason. If you want to reply to tenders that
> >require you to be CUA compliant then dont change what the enter key
> >does. These standards exist for a reason.
> You are getting to darn {*filter*}y mad in a simple discussion.  Perhaps in
> the UK you use the tab key or some other dumb key.  In the US a word
> processing typist uses the enter key to move from line to line.  If
> this is too difficult to penetrate your brain that is  just too darn
> bad.  Using your silly argument that the enter key is used to POST you
> still have this functionality even if you move from field to field with
> the enter key.  So ease up there big guy.  I've been in this business

1) you might make friend with the wp typists, but you're alienating your
Windows users. The Enter key in Word for Windows will normally (Insert mode)
move down the next line and put you on the line that was generated in between.
Toggling Insert to Overwrite mode in Word might make it possible to
just move down a line, but as a Windows user I have hardly ever done that!

2) When I move from field to field in my (small and humble) customer
database, no POST is generated. Only when I leave to another record or close
down the form does the post occur. This makes it easy to implement a Cancel
button that will cancel any changes that hasn't been posted yet.

So, tell your word processing typists that "you can't always get what you
want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need!".
If that doesn't convince them, IMHO burn them on the stake. :-)

--R.Moberg, not really helping today.



Wed, 08 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>You are getting to darn {*filter*}y mad in a simple discussion.  Perhaps in
>the UK you use the tab key or some other dumb key.  In the US a word
>processing typist uses the enter key to move from line to line.

Yes, I understand, typists here do use the enter key to move from one
line to another (Take a look at the little diagram they put on US
keyboards, whats that ? ooh, yes it points to the right and then DOWN
to the left)

The TAB key on the other hand has a little picture of an arrow moving
RIGHT - ie TO THE NEXT {*filter*}Y FIELD on the form.

Are you going to ask users of your product to stick little stickers on
the keyboard so the pictures match your intended actions ?

Are you also going to cater for the SHIFT-TAB (in your case
SHIFT-RETURN) that CUA uses to move back a field ?

Anyway, you never said that your application was a word processor -
(for typists). I was assuming it was some sort of Database program....
If this is the case, then you may have an argument to break away from
the standards that neary every other windows program uses.

Quote:
>  If
>this is too difficult to penetrate your brain that is  just too darn
>bad.  Using your silly argument that the enter key is used to POST you
>still have this functionality even if you move from field to field with
>the enter key.  

No you dont, you would be doing a post between every field. At the
moment, in Windows programs, the Enter key activates the "Default"
widget - which may be save or something. You are going to LOOSE that
functionality by making the enter key move between fields instead of
doing what the windows user expects it to do.

Quote:
>                     So ease up there big guy.  I've been in this business
>for approx 20 years so don't try to tell me standards.

I am not telling you standards, just that they exist. Okay, 20 years
is a long time - you must be getting quite old now, and getting ready
to retire and die soon. But let me tell you something... WINDOWS came
along - and with it came some standards.

Quote:
>Sir:  Put your brain into motion before you put your mouth into action.
>Ben
>Arrow

Fine, oh and Ben, Don't be a petty bastard and tell people about
spelling mistakes, it has {*filter*} all do do with the subject of the
thread.


Sat, 11 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 using enter key instead of tab key for data entry

Quote:

>is there a quick and/or easy way to use the enter key to move to the next
>field in a custom form when entering data.... the tab key is ok but is
>not really the preffered method for an application i am working on

As this appears to be becoming a religious war, I note with interest
that this month two Delphi magazines - Delphi Informant (Oct) and PC
Techniques (Oct/Nov) - both are carrying articles about using the
Enter key to "tab" between fields.

FWIW, I'm used to CICS MVS where the enter key acts as a "vertical
tab".
==
Bob Small



Sat, 11 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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