FileMaker 7: Doesn’t support full keyboard access

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
April 15th, 2004 • 11:19 pm

I’ve only just installed FileMaker 7. I am using the Developer version, but I suspect the problems are the same throughout the family of applications.

I’ve just spent hours developing a database solution in FileMaker Developer 6, so I am more than acutely aware of the many problems with the FileMaker interface. There are far too many repetitive tasks in FileMaker 6 that require constant switching between the mouse and the keyboard and are likely to cause repetitive stress injuries in people who use FileMaker Developer on a daily basis.

To my great disappointment, one of the first things that I noticed in FileMaker Developer 7 is that the program still doesn’t support full keyboard access in Mac OS X. In other words, even if the “Turn on full keyboard access” option is checked in the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab in the “Keyboard & Mouse” control pane in Mac OS X’s System Preferences, pressing the tab key in a FileMaker dialog box will only take you to the next editable text field — not to buttons or other controls that are not text fields.

This is an application developed by a company fully owned by Apple. I realize that they had a number of priorities when developing FileMaker 7, and that they couldn’t fix everything. But still… Full keyboard access is pretty fundamental stuff. It’s a Mac OS X technology. Apple and its subsidiaries are supposed to lead by example and fully embrace such Mac OS X features in their products.

This kind of stuff makes me rather mad.

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