Safari: No keyboard selection in value lists

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 18th, 2003 • 12:58 am

The Kagi web store uses the following type of field for the purpose of entering your country in the “Shipping address” section:


Unfortunately, in Safari, if you go to this field and try to SELECT your country by typing its first letter, it won’t work. It won’t do anything. You need to use the Up and Down arrow keys or the scroll bar on the right, which is not exactly convenient in a list of over 150 values.

I checked, and selecting the country by typing the first letter works perfectly fine in Camino.

These little, yet important details in Safari really need to be fixed.

5 Responses to “Safari: No keyboard selection in value lists”

  1. Pierre Igot says:

    Not sure what you are referring to… This can be done in text areas with no problem. It can also be done in form lists if the form authorizes it (i.e. the selection of more than one list item at a time).

    It CANNOT be done when you are trying to select text in a web page itself (not in a form field), simply because there is no “insertion point” that would mark the beginning of the selection.

    So I am not sure what situation you are talking about.

  2. plop says:

    And what about the most missing feature that every mac program has but is missing in Safari: you can’t select long portions of text by clicking on the first line then scroll to the end and SHIFT-click on the last line!

    That’s not acceptable!

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    I see what you mean. However, I’d argue that we are faced with a bit of an unusual situation here. The behavior you describe normally applies to windows when clicking somewhere inserts the blinking I-beam where you clicked. Web pages are different. Clicking somewhere doesn’t insert an I-beam cursor. And shift-clicking somewhere else after that doesn’t create a selection, whether in Safari, Camino or IE.

    The behavior you describe only works if you actually click-and-drag initially to create a first selection, and then shift-click-and-drag elsewhere. In IE, Camino, etc. this does indeed “extend” the initial selection. In Safari it creates a new selection and forgets the old one.

    The problem is that the IE/Camino behavior is not really more intuitive. It’s just a hack, basically. I agree that there might be situations where it’s useful, but that doesn’t make it intuitive.

    Personally, if I want to select the whole page, I just press cmd-A :). (Another hack, to be sure, but a more convenient one.)

    This is an interesting issue. How to provide editing tools in a non-editable environment.

    By comparison, if you open a PDF file in Adobe Reader and if you want to select some text, you need to switch to “Select Text” mode, and then clicking somewhere insert the I-beam cursor, even though the text is not editable. Then you can use shift-clicking to create/extend a selection. Maybe web browsers should use a similar approach (browsing mode vs. selecting text mode).

  4. plop says:

    I’m talking about selecting text in a web page. I can do it inside Netscape or IE without problems: highlighting the first words or lines, jumping to the end of the text and SHIFT-highlighting the last words or lines. This selects the whole text between the first and last lines.

    In Safari I need to keep the mouse pressed and scroll to the end of the page, wich is prone to errors and slow.

  5. plop says:

    You are right! I didn’t noticed that the I-beam wasn’t appearing while doing this kind of selection until you answered my post. But I use it every single day since years to print infos for reading on paper at lunch!

    The Select All is not useful for me sinc I need to delete a lot of mess and then takes too much time :(

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