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Altriva Team Blog

Changing the tab order for fields on a form

Posted by: Phil Edry on 6/19/2009
  • Categories:
  • CRM

Microsoft Dynamics CRM assumes a vertical tab order within a section. In other words, if you’ve selected a field on a form and press tab, focus will shift to the field below the previous field as opposed to the right of the previous field. This can be frustrating when designing field layout since it is often useful to tab horizontally when filling out a form. This entry will discuss a simple work around using sections without visible headers to allow for horizontal tabbing when appropriate.

Say for example that you have laid out the following fields on a custom entity named Property.

If you add all of the fields to a single section, the tab order will go top to bottom on the first column before starting on the second column. So starting from Name, the tab order would above would be Name > Street Address 1 > Street Address 2 > Zip > Status > City > State > Country > Owner. Given our fields, it would make more sense to keep the address fields in a more logical order, so the tab order should be the following: Name > Street Address 1 > Street Address 2 > City > State > Zip > Country > Status > Owner. To achieve this without changing the field layout, “split” the section into multiple sections, but have only the General section display its header.

Note that the two new sections, tabSectionAddress1 and tabSectionAddress2, have grayed out section names and no black line underneath the name. This means that these sections will not be seen as separate form sections by the user, so the final published form will appear the same way, with the only different being the tab order.

Ease of data entry can greatly improve user adoption, so remember to design your forms intelligently with a tab order that makes sense.

- Phil Edry

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1 Comment

    • Sep 08 2010, 12:55 AM Ann
    • Thanks for information!

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