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Keyboard navigation between panes

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Joined: 28 March 2018
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    Posted: 28 March 2018 at 4:27pm

Looking for a suggestion – or point to existing functionality that I’ve missed. We are a couple version behind in Toolkit, so upgrading to be current is a possibility.

What we would like is a keyboard (accessible) way for the user to conveniently navigate from one pane to a desired pane.

The application has multiple docking panes – some pinned, some un-pinned – some with tabs to additional content, some with splitters into sub-panes, etc.

See example picture here with a green dot on each pane that a user might choose. Some of these panes are always visible; some come and go depending upon what “document” is open.

 



Obviously, the user can click the mouse into the panes and then use arrow or tab to move up and down, left and right, or whatever depending upon what that pane content does. That’s not the problem.

With many businesses and governments now, you have to meet certain requirements for a person with a possible disability to use the product. Such requirements usually include the need to navigate without using the mouse.

My first thought was simply to have a hot-key (F-Key or control) to iterate through them one by one, but that seems cumbersome when there can be so many.

My second thought was that a hotkey would pop up a menu of open panes and allow the user to select that way. Or even to have the list maintained on a ribbon submenu – like the Windows/ Window List dropdown. Either of those requires some either having the panes register and deregister themselves or to use discovery to know what panes are open. The problem with the latter is that we may not have good names underneath that we would have to correct. (I don’t know off the top of my head.)

Another thought is to make something more visually interactive like the pane/drag assist you get when moving docking panes. Something that would simply highlight the panes one at a time and allow the user to hit enter to drop into that one.

 

Of course, desired is the ability to add this functionality without having to rewrite all the code!

So who has an idea or something you may have implemented yourself that you might share?

Thanks.

 

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