Navigate Web Forms Faster by Using the Tab Key
The other day I spotted something that made my eyes hurt. A woman was filling out a lengthy Web form. After she’d complete one field, she’d reach for her mouse, find the cursor, carefully click inside the next field, and type more data. Then she’d repeat the entire process.
Think about the last time you filled out a form in your Web browser. Usually this happens when you’re buying or registering for something; you need to type in your name, address, and all that. After you completed one field, did you reach for your mouse, find your cursor, drag it to the next field, click in that field, and then start typing again?
That’s four steps too many.
You need to get acquainted with my good friend, the Tab key. With it you can jump easily from one Web-form field to the next, no mouse required.
It works like this: When filling out an online form (or even one in, say, a PDF), use Tab to jump from your currently selected field to the one right below it (or, in some cases, alongside it). Type…hit Tab. Type…hit Tab. Repeat as needed until you’re done.
Make it habit and you’ll soon wonder why you wasted so much time reaching for the mouse.
By the way, pressing Tab moves you to the next field in any given form. If you need to move your cursor to the previous field, press Shift-Tab.
And here’s one final form-filling tip: when you’re done with a form, you can usually press Enter in lieu of clicking the OK or Submit button. Now you can keep your fingers on the keys where they belong!