Re: TAB in tables.

From: Tomas Frydrych <>
Date: Tue May 18 2004 - 11:02:56 CEST

Hi Martin,

I am entirely for having the TAB move to the next cell; I have never
used a word processor (apart from AW, that is) that does not behave
this way. I think it also makes excellent sense from usability point
of view. When working with tables, being able to move easily to the
next cell is essential and the TAB key allows me do that without
removing my hands from the normal typing position.

Furthermore, tab characters make only limited sense inside of tables -
- most tables are created precisely not to have to use tabs. In this
sense having the TAB key move from cell to cell in table context is
functionally equivalent to inserting a tab outside the table context.

In Word you still can insert a tab in a table; you use Ctrl+TAB to do
that. Also, hitting a tab at the end of last cell in table should
insert a new row as Word does; it just makes so much sense.


> Hi Folks,
> I think we need to have a debate TAB's in tables. The follow
> duplicated bug describes the argument for change the behaviour to make
> TAB's advance to next/previous cell instead on inserting a TAB
> character.
> The change require to implement this is quite easy. I could it in about
> an hour so we just have to decide if we want this....
> --------------------------------------
> bug 6842
> Standard behavior in most tables in most places would be that pressing
> Tab moves
> the insertion pointer into the next table cell, and Shift-tab moves the
> pointer
> into the previous cell. In AbiWord, it appears to treat it just like a
> regular
> tab, which doesn't work too well in tables, not to mention being
> unexpected.
> -------------------------------------------------
> The argument against this is that we should strive to make abiword as
> "modeless" as possible so that new users do not have to remember that
> abiword behaves differently in different contexts. This make it easy to
> use since you only have to learn one set of behaviour. (Which is why I
> hate outline mode.)
> Opinions?
> I personally now think that we have to go with the MS behaviour even
> though I personally think it's broken. The weight of the world is
> pushing us this way.
> Martin
Received on Tue May 18 10:52:50 2004

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