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Tab Order Frustration - LiveCycle 8.2

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web_wolf

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web_wolf

web_wolf

11-11-2008

I work for an insurance company and you can imagine how many forms we deal with on a daily basis. I've been making all of our forms into fillable forms using LiveCycle. Most of the dynamic forms I create are pretty advanced with scripting. One in particular I'm having trouble with has 80-112 fields on a page and is 4 pages long. Creating this form has been a battle for a number of reasons, writing Adobe's version of JavaScript, the program crashing, and setting the tab order, being some.



I first experienced LiveCycle 8.0, and was really looking forward to some of the new features with 8.2 (with Acrobat's 9 release). I was also hoping that there would be less bugs in 8.2, but now I'm finding new bugs. Working with so many fields on a page, setting the tab order is very important. I have subforms that are hidden, and based on the answer in one subform makes another subform appear, needing to tab to that field and continue regular sequence. Well, in order for that field to even show up in the Tab Order hierarchy (panel), it has to be visible? Well, some are showing and some aren't, hence one of the bugs. So I've made all my hidden fields visible so I can set the tab order, now to move them around in the Tab Order hierarchy. So I start moving fields around (either using drag and drop, the move up & move down buttons, right-click and select move up or move down, or changing the number...I've tried many ways) to create my custom tab order, and things seem to be working well, except when I want to move the buttons that are at the top of the list, to the bottom. My whole tab order sequence got mixed up. So instead of moving that one field to the bottom, I decided to try to move ALL my fields to the top and it worked - a work around the bug. Weird work around, but it worked.



Move on to the next page. Started setting my tab order, and the first page got out of order. WHAT?! Why would changing the tab order on the 2nd page mess up the 1st page? Now I'm getting frustrated. I've been spending 2+ hours trying to set the tab order on this form which is RIDICULOUS. There should be an easier, non-buggy way to do this.



Also, now I CAN'T set a field to NOT be a part of the tab order. Why would Adobe take that away in 8.2? That was a nice feature that I used frequently and now a user HAS to tab to EVERY field within a form? That's absurd.



8.2 is no less frustrating than 8.0, and with the program crashing on me while I've been setting the tab order, even more frustrating and disappointing. How can I set my tab order on this form? Am I missing something? Or do I need to keep waiting for another release and hope that the bugs are fixed again? I can't believe that Adobe would brag about how cool their fillable forms are, and then have a quirky program to try to create them.



Now I have contacted Adobe web support (10/31/08) on this requesting examples and further explanation (11/3/08) and he determined this to be an internal bug and was going to see what he could do about making the hidden subforms visible in the tab panel. I have yet to hear anything more, although I do understand fixes, like this, can take time.

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Jono_Moore

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Jono_Moore

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Jono_Moore

13-11-2008

I've had some weirdness with 8.2 tab order as well. <br /><br />I found that setting the tab order to Automatic and then using the Hierarchy palette to order the fields worked. <br /><br />I don't remember there being a setting to remove a field from the tab order per se...there is a "protected" setting but it never worked for me. The only way I could get it to work was by adding "access=protected" to the field name line in the xml.<br /><br />ie:<br />><field name="ApplicantTotalGrossTotal" y="89.929mm" x="170.188mm" w="34.263mm" h="4.623mm" access="protected">
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web_wolf

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web_wolf

web_wolf

13-11-2008

Jono,



Thank you for your quick responses. I cannot have the Tab Order set to automatic since I need a custom tab order. Although I did try your method, and that did not work very well for me either. I believe it may have something to do with all the scripting and how complicated my form is. Not to mention it's over 1.5 MB. (Oh yeah, and the bugs I found too! lol)



There used to be a way in 8.0 to remove a field from the tab order sequence by doing a


Shift + Ctrl + Alt + Click  or  
Shift + Ctrl + Click (having trouble remembering which) on the field. I have resorted to setting the field access to protected. You'd think Adobe would have an easier way to set this (like they do for making it read only) other than messing with the XML or scripting.




]

Scripting Method to Protecting a field




]On the

b Initialize event

:


]

>this.access = "protected";
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Jono_Moore

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Jono_Moore

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Jono_Moore

13-11-2008

I just used the Automatic setting to clear out my tab order attempts - I then ordered the fields to how I wanted them in the Hierarchy palette and that worked - it didn't use to work, but they seemed to get it working ok in 8.2.



If you search the forum there is information on how to use the setFocus command which might do what you want - I've not tried it though.
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web_wolf

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web_wolf

web_wolf

13-11-2008

I stand corrected, <b>there is an easy way to make your field protected</b>. In the Object palette, click on the value tab and select <b>protected</b>. Then if you view your XML source code, you will see the changes like Jono mentioned:<br />><field name="ApplicantTotalGrossTotal" y="89.929mm" x="170.188mm" w="34.263mm" h="4.623mm" access="protected"><br /><br />Jono, trust me, no matter what method I try, I cannot get the correct tab order. It really is a bug in LiveCycle.<br /><br />I have used the setFocus command on many of my forms, this one included, in many areas, but this does not help with the tab order sequence.
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Jono_Moore

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Jono_Moore

13-11-2008

Ah sweet, they fixed it! The setting on the Object palette didn't use to work.
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_Ajay_Yada_

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_Ajay_Yada_

_Ajay_Yada_

24-11-2008

Hi, I know its very frustrating when tab order doesn't work properly.. once u click on view-->tab order all the objects gets assigned the tab order number and if you don't want any of the object not to be in the tab order sequence, press ctrl + shift and then left click on the object. Hope this works as this worked for me.
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web_wolf

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web_wolf

web_wolf

01-12-2008

THANKS AJAY. IT'S A VERY COMPLICATED FORM WITH A TON OF SCRIPTING. I HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING. IT IS A BUG WITHIN ADOBE'S PROGRAM. UNTIL THEY FIX THEIR BUG, I CAN'T HAVE MY TAB ORDER WORKING CORRECTLY.
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Geckoz100

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Geckoz100

Geckoz100

17-02-2016

Eight years later, the Tab Order screen continues to be buggy and difficult to work with.  Today I hit some key combination by accident that hides the list of fields on the left, so the whole Tab Order panel is blank (ES3).