Re: Beleagered By Button Behavior Blues

On Thu, 2004-01-08 at 07:42, Don Dudley wrote:
I have two areas that I display text entries and a couple of buttons,
one of which I want to be the default.

One area is a dialog, with three text entries and two buttons, 'Save'
and 'Cancel'.

The other is basically the same, but not in a dialog box - the text
entries and buttons are packed in a table.

In either case, the problem is that if I get the first text entry to
grab focus, the dotted-line visual cue on the default button goes away,
so the user doesn't know what will happen if they press 'Enter'.  Even

There are 2 visual cues:  The dotted line is the keyboard input focus
cue.  There is another cue that indicates the default widget.  Depending
on your theme, it may be rendered as an extra depression around the "OK"
button or, in case of ThinAndMild, it's a bluish triangle in the top
left corner.

You should explain to your users that it is not the dotted line they
should be looking for, but this other cue.

Besides, calling gtk_entry_set_activates_default on an entry will modify
the entry's behaviour such that when it receives the keyboard focus
(perhaps somebody clicks on it) it causes the default button to receive
this second cue if it does not have it.  Thus, in the dialog box, if the
default button does not have this cue, and you do call
gtk_entry_set_activates_default, then your user will see a jump in the
dialog box when they click on the entry, because this second cue will

Moral of the story:  The visual cue indicating what will happen upon
"Enter" is not the dotted line.  The dotted line merely indicates which
widget has the keyboard input focus.  The cue indicating what will
happen upon "Enter" is, in fact, the second cue I described above.

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