The key to becoming proficient at demonstrating Dynamics without using the mouse is to practice. You probably felt awkward the very first time you used a mouse, and you will initially feel awkward using only the keyboard in Dynamics. This feeling will occur not because Dynamics is difficult to use with the keyboard, but because you initially learned the program with a mouse. The only solution is to practice!
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The tab sequence in Dynamics is the order in which fields and controls will be selected as you navigate from field to field with the keyboard. On a windows machine, almost every field and control on a window is part of the tab sequence. The Dynamics tab sequence follows a defined format for every window:
1. Data entry fields and controls from left to right, top to bottom: These are all the text fields, financial fields, check boxes, radio buttons, list boxes, etc. where you can enter information.
2. Window Body Buttons from left to right, top to bottom: These are buttons in the main body of the window which open other windows or start processes, such as the Summary, History and Budget buttons on the General Ledger Account Maintenance Window.
3. Window Control Area Controls from left to right These are all of the controls (Browse buttons, Save, Cancel, etc.) which are located in the window control area. The Push Pin button is not included in the tab sequence.
4. Window Body Controls from left to right, top to bottom: These are all of the other visible controls on the window such as lookup window buttons, expansion window buttons, record note buttons, etc.).
5. Display only fields and hidden zoom buttons are not part of the tab sequence.
The TAB key selects the net field or control in the tab sequence. SHIFT + TAB selects the previous field or control in the tab sequence. ENTER will activate the default button. (These are standard Windows actions.) In Dynamics, we give the user the option of using ENTER (or RETURN), to select the next field in the tab sequence. When this selection is made (Setup, User Preferences), ENTER and TAB will select the next field or control in the tab sequence. SHIFT + TAB will select the previous field or control in the tab sequence. SHIFT + ENTER will activate the default button.
It is imperative to understand the concept of the default button to navigate effectively with the keyboard. As described in the previous section pressing ENTER (or SHIFT + ENTER), will cause the default button to respond as if it had been clicked with the mouse. The default button on a window is indicated by a black outline that is wider than other outlines. Which button is the default button changes in a predictable manner based on user actions. When a window is opened or restarted (a window restart occurs when the user finishes with the current records, usually with save, clear or delete), the standard default button is automatically set to the most common action the user is likely to take with the window (save, select OK, etc.). As long as the user is moving between data entry fields, the default button will not be changed and can be activated at any time by pressing ENTER. However, if the user navigates to a button by pressing TAB, that button becomes the default button and can be activated by pressing ENTER. As soon as the user navigates back to a data entry field, the default attribute is restored to the standard default button. Take a few minutes to use the TAB, SHIFT + TAB and ENTER keys to navigate around the General Ledger Account Maintenance window. After a little use, the concept of the “default” button becomes intuitive. (The concept and selection of the “default” button is a Windows standard action.)
Most mouse actions in Dynamics can also be done using a keyboard equivalent. The following items can be controlled from the keyboard:
1) MAKING A MENU SELECTION : Holding down the ALT key while pressing one of the underlined letters in a menu title will activate that menu, (e.g. ALT + F activates the File menu). Once a menu is activated, you can use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to highlight the desired menu option. Once the correct option is highlighted, press ENTER to select it. You can also use the LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys to activate the next menu to the left or right of the currently active menu. ALT + SPACEBAR activates the Dynamics control menu, (the little box in the upper left comer); ESCAPE deactivates the menu selection process and returns you to your previous Dynamics window. (These are all standard Windows actions.)
2) CLOSING A WINDOW : CTRL + F4 will close the currently active window and activate the next front most window. (This is a standard Windows action.) Switching Windows: CM + F6 will activate the next front most window in Dynamics. Repeatedly pressing CTRL + A will allow you to cycle through all of the currently open Dynamics windows and palettes. (This is a standard Windows action.)
3) EXITING DYNAMICS : ALT + F4 will exit the Dynamics program.
4) CHECK BOXES : Pressing the SPACEBAR will alternately mark and unmark a check box control. Radio Buttons: Pressing the DOWN or RIGHT ARROW key will select the next radio button in a series. Pressing the UP or LEFT ARROW key will select the previous radio button in a series. You may also press the first letter of the radio button prompt to select a specific button in the series. Drop Down List: Pressing the DOWN or RIGHT ARROW key will display the list. Pressing the UP or DOWN ARROW key will move the highlight within the displayed list. To make a selection, highlight the desired item and TAB out of the field. Combo Boxes: Pressing the DOWN ARROW key will display the list. Pressing the UP or DOWN ARROW key will move the highlight within the displayed list. To make a selection, highlight the desired item and TAB out of the field. You may also type information directly into a combo box. The LEFT and RIGHT ARROW keys are used to position the insertion point for editing.
5) LIST BOXES : Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to highlight the desired item in the list and TAB out of the field to make your selection.
6) MULTI-SELECT LIST BOXES : Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to highlight the desired item in the fist and TAB out of the field to make your selection. You may also use SHIFT + UP and SHIFT + DOWN ARROW to select a fist of contiguous items.
7) ACCELERATOR KEYS : Button accelerator keys are the underlined letter in button names, (e.g. the “D” in Delete and the “t” in Post in the General Ledger Transaction Entry Window.) When a button accelerator key is used, the result is the same as if the mouse had been used to click a button. To use an accelerator key, hold down the ALT key and press the underlined letter, (e.g. ALT + A would activate the Save button in the General Ledger Transaction Entry Window).
8) MENU ACCELERATOR KEYS : Menu accelerator keys are the keys listed to the right of a menu selection, (e.g. CTRL + H for “About this Item” in the Help menu). The menu does not have to be activated to use the accelerator key.
9) LOOKUP BUTTONS: When you are in a field where a lookup window is available (indicated by the lookup icon), pressing CTRL + L will display the lookup window.
ACTIONS WITHOUT KEYBOARD EQUIVALENTS
1) MAKING A TOOLBAR MENU SELECTION : At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for using the mouse to select options from the Toolbar.
2) LEAVING A BIG TEXT AREA: A big text area is used for entering large amounts of unstructured text, (e.g. the Notes window). At the current time, you may TAB into a big text area, but you cannot TAB out of it to leave a big text area. You must use the mouse or enter one of the keyboard equivalents which activates a button.
3) LEAVING AN EDITABLE SCROLLING WINDOW: An editable scrolling window is one into which you can enter data (e.g. General Ledger Transaction Entry). A non-editable scrolling window does not allow any data entry (e.g. General Ledger Account Number Lookup). At the current time, you may TAB into an editable scrolling window, but you cannot TAB out of it to leave an editable scrolling window. You must use the mouse or enter one of the keyboard equivalents which activates a button. You may TAB out of a non-editable scrolling window.
4) ZOOMS : At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for zooms (the looking glass cursor).
5) MULIT-SELECT LIST BOX : At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for CTRL + CLICK (selecting discontinuous items), in the fist.
6) PUSH PINS (in lookup windows): At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for using the mouse to “stick” and “unstick” the push pin in a lookup window. You may TAB to the push pin button and then press ENTER to change the status.
7) BROWSE BUTTONS : At the current time, there is no direct keyboard equivalent for using the mouse to click on the browse buttons. You may TAB to these controls and then press ENTER to initiate the action.
8) PASSWORD BUTTONS : At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for opening a password window (padlock icon).
9) SHOW/HIDE LINE BUTTONS (scrolling windows): At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for changing the number of detail lines shown in a scrolling window.
10) OPENING AN EXPANSION WINDOW: At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for opening an expansion window. The “handcuff ” icon next to a prompt indicates the availability of an expansion window.
11) SCROLL BAR THUMB: At the current time, there is no keyboard equivalent for using the mouse to drag the “thumb” in a scrolling window to a new location. (You can use the PAGE UP, PAGE DOWN, etc. buttons as described above to move the display to different records. This capability is different from the thumb that allows access to any portion of the file at once rather than one page at a time.)
The following keys may be used to assist in editing the contents of fields:
LEFT ARROW: Moves the insertion point one character to the left.
RIGHT ARROW: Moves the insertion point one character to the right.
CTRL + LEFT ARROW: moves the insertion point to the beginning of the line.
CTRL+ RIGHT ARROW: moves the insertion point to the end of the line.