moderated Escape key: What does it do?


Mark
 

I've noticed a pattern with escape key that I find a bit puzzling.

It seems to have a memory of where the focus has been.

Here's an example that moves the keyboard focus and then pressing escape moves it back.
 

In Chrome, go to a website and put the focus on a link.
Tab to a second link.

Press alt to move the focus to the Chrome button menu.

Press space to open the menu.

Down key to the bookmark sub menu.

Open the sub menu and go to a menu item, such as bookmark manager.

 

The keyboard focus is now on the Bookmark manager item in a sub menu in the Chrome button menu.

Now press the escape key.

Notice how the focus moves back

Press the escape key again

Notice how the focus moves back.

If you keep pressing the escape key, it will move back to the second link and stop there.

 

My question is: Is there a principle, pattern, or reason for what is going on? There seems to be some trail or logic that allows the focus to move back to a previous spot it was just at.

But it stops at some point, in this case the second link. It does not keep going back to previous links or anything like that.

 


Udo Egner-Walter
 

Mark, as far as I know, what you observed only concerns menus. Other controls are not affected, at least as far as I know. With menus and submenus it is like this: You open a submenu and the menu item is still highlighted on the screen, because after all - when you close the submenu again - the focus has to go back to the menu item. If this were not the case, the focus would be somewhere else after closing the submenu and you would have to navigate there again manually. 

ESC therefore ends a menu/submenu that has been called up and we are where we were before. For other controls, such a procedure makes less sense. 

By the way, I wanted to reply to your email about activating links in Word, because I found another way to activate the link. However, I can't find that email right now, so I'll write it here: If you activate the TouchCursor while standing on the link, you only have to press the Enter key and the link opens. 

Kind regards
Udo 

Am 25.11.2022 um 12:47 schrieb Mark <mweiler@...>:

I've noticed a pattern with escape key that I find a bit puzzling.
It seems to have a memory of where the focus has been.

Here's an example that moves the keyboard focus and then pressing escape moves it back.
 
In Chrome, go to a website and put the focus on a link.
Tab to a second link.
Press alt to move the focus to the Chrome button menu.
Press space to open the menu.
Down key to the bookmark sub menu.
Open the sub menu and go to a menu item, such as bookmark manager.

 

The keyboard focus is now on the Bookmark manager item in a sub menu in the Chrome button menu.
Now press the escape key.
Notice how the focus moves back
Press the escape key again
Notice how the focus moves back.
If you keep pressing the escape key, it will move back to the second link and stop there.

 

My question is: Is there a principle, pattern, or reason for what is going on? There seems to be some trail or logic that allows the focus to move back to a previous spot it was just at.
But it stops at some point, in this case the second link. It does not keep going back to previous links or anything like that.

 



Mark
 

In Chrome, if you press alt and move to the menu, the menu is not open yet. Press escape there and it still returns.
It also happens in other parts of Chrome too, such as the address bar.

About the touch cursor technique. I'll give it a try. Thanks.


Udo Egner-Walter
 

Hello Mark, 

of course it is when you activate and close a menu that the focus returns to the call control. If you open a dialogue and close it again, the focus also returns. Or if you go into the ribbons and close them. After all, you need to keep editing your docuemnt, so it would be disastrous if the previous focus were to change. 

Your original question was about why the focus does not return to the first activated link of a web page view after you press ESC while standing on the second link. The focus in this example does not leave the web view control. To activate toolbars, the focus first switches to the toolbar and must later return to the calling control, otherwise you would have to find the previous focus again. While you are moving in the web view, and only there (i.e. not in toolbars or menus), it is not necessary to return to the previous control with ESC. You change the focus in the web view with the Tab key and can then return with Shift+Tab. Likewise in the virtual view of JAWS, where you for example move the focus to the next heading with the H key and with the same key in connection with the Shift key you come back to the previous heading. 

I hope I was able to explain this to you in a way that can be understood. If not, just ask. 

Kind regards
Udo 




Am 26.11.2022 um 01:07 schrieb Mark <mweiler@...>:

In Chrome, if you press alt and move to the menu, the menu is not open yet. Press escape there and it still returns.
It also happens in other parts of Chrome too, such as the address bar.

About the touch cursor technique. I'll give it a try. Thanks.


Mark
 

I can understand the situation with menus, sub-menus, or dialogs. In each of those situations, new content is added to interface content. If the focus moves into that new content and the user issues a command that removes that content, then something should remember where to return the focus. A user-friendly spot is the control that called the creation of the content.

However, when you press alt in Chrome, the focus just moves to the button menu. No new structural change has happened to the interface yet. Same with moving the focus to the address bar. The button menu and the address bar were not created. They were always part of the interface.  And yet, escape in those locations causes the focus to return to the last spot in the webpage that had focus.  

I recognize that escape on the web view doesn't go to the previous trail of items that had focus. The behavior is limited.  I'm more making the observation that there's seems to be an intentional UI behavior that is user-friendly.  Maybe the Chrome developers did it intentionally but beyond those enlightened few, the feature is not very common. 


Cohn, Jonathan
 

In browsers there is the concept of the web page and the "chrome". The crome consist of the browsers menuing system, the address bar, and usually a few buttons for browser extensions and to directly change settings or view security parameters of the web page.
All of this chrome stuff is not written in HTML/JavaScript/CSS and is recognized by Jaws as such. Though, , I am not sure if it's JAWS  or chrome (the application) that is causing the escape key to return back to the browser window where the virtual cursor and focused positions are still remembered. Also, different browsers have different ways to move from the address bar back into the web page itself, chrome might use the escape key here to cancel search terms and return you to where you were.  


Mark
 

It happens when JAWS is off, so it must be the developers on the application side that are responsible for it.  In the case of a browser, if JAWS is off, then the focus won't be on whatever was in the virtual PC cursor's focus, obviously; but it will go back to links that had the keyboard focus in the web view.   A similar behavior is in Word. If you go deep into the backstage view, for example, by alt + f, then o, r, e, and tab a bit, then press escape, you'll go back to the document view with just one press. In Outlook, it's there in too. If you start in the inbox, then f6 to the status bar, then tab a couple of times, then press escape, you go back to your last spot in the inbox.  When this feature is there, it's a bit like a secret door that gets you back to your spot in a major working area.