Keyboard usage on login screen?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by wiseguy27, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Ok, this isn't a showstopper, but I'd like to know to what extent a "mouseless" system could be used. I noticed this issue when I had this UPS software detecting, just around the time the login screen appears, that I hadn't connected the UPS through USB (so it wouldn't be able to report the current battery status as well as allow me to control the UPS from the Mac).

    Here's the brief problem statement:
    1. Login screen appears with the "user" and "password" text boxes with some buttons at the bottom (like sleep, restart, shutdown, login etc.)
    2. Due to some startup application (like my UPS app) reporting an error in a dialog box, the login window no longer has the focus

    The questions:
    1. How can I, using only the keyboard (and not the mouse), bring the focus back to the login window so that I can start typing the username/password?
    2. During normal operation, while entering the username/password, how can I, using only the keyboard (and not the mouse), move amongst the buttons below the password text box (like shutdown, login etc.)? The focus seems to move only between these two text boxes - in addition to these buttons, I also have a drop down above the username textbox that would allow me to choose the language (US English being the default) - I have no clue about selecting that using the keyboard either.

    I tried various combinations of tab, command+tab, option+tab, arrows, control+tab etc., but none of them are able to move the focus to the buttons or to the login window (as the case may be).

    Any suggestions or solutions?
     
  2. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    No answers? Seems really strange that OS X would not have an option to do this using just the keyboard. :)
     
  3. Apple macrumors 6502

    Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
  4. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    I'm beginning to think there's no solution for this. I just tried all key combinations (Cmd+Tab, Cmd+~ etc. were tried long ago) with tab, ~, arrow, function keys etc. - nothing helps. :eek: Maybe it'll work in a future version of Mac OS X. :p
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    Bare with me :)o):

    My login window consists of a list of icons, and to highlight a certain account I just type the first key in one of the account names (no cmd, ctrl or option), which highlights one of the buttons, then enter and focus goes to the password field.

    Note that I've never installed anything that would cause the login window to loose focus, but then again, with Macs the solution is often easier than you thought... ;)
     
  6. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    For security reasons, I have configured my preferences (in 'Login Options' under 'Accounts' in 'System Preferences') to show the login window as 'Name and password' instead of 'List of users'. So I just see a dialog with two text boxes - username and password. Below those text boxes are the buttons for Restart, Sleep, Shutdown and Login (this is also checked in the same pref pane mentioned above).

    Normally, the focus cannot be taken away from this dialog (even clicking the mouse outside doesn't change it). But there doesn't seem to be a way to "select" those buttons (Restart, Sleep and Shutdown) using tab or arrow or a combination of those and then "click" on those buttons. The Login button is always highlighted and hitting Enter activates it. There doesn't seem to be a standard way of moving the focus to other buttons using the keyboard.

    Of course, knowing the shortcut keys for Restart, Sleep and Shutdown would help accomplish those tasks. But I'm referring to the basic inability of the UI to provide keyboard based navigation in a dialog box that's supposed to be standard. :)
     
  7. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #7
    In Tiger, you don't use the buttons to do that (with the keyboard). Use the magic names >sleep >shutdown and >restart (including the > symbols) in the username field.
     
  8. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #8
    Another thought (if you still will bare with me): Have you enabled All Controls in Full keyboard access in System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard shortcuts?
     

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  9. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #9
    That didn't work here, but you pointed to a solution that did work. The pref doesn't stick because the login window doesn't belong to that user, but the Ctrl-F7 toggle does work there!
     
  10. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    That's really news to me! I HAVE to try that one! :)

    Thanks for the tip. :)

    [It would've been better if Apple included this info in the login window - what if someone's mouse died and they had to use the keyboard to get in and check things?]
     
  11. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #11
    Actually, I do have full keyboard access enabled for all users, but as iMeowbot pointed out, it doesn't work on the login window by default.

    iMeowbot, I haven't yet tried toggling full keyboard access on while in the login window - that's one more thing to try.

    Thanks for your suggestions and tips - if one looks long enough, I guess there are solutions that reveal themselves. :D
     
  12. wiseguy27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    wiseguy27

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    pretty cool

    Ok, I tried the Ctrl+F7 command to turn on full keyboard access on the login window and it works like a charm - the 'Sleep', 'Restart', 'Shutdown' and 'Login' buttons are accessible through the keyboard (using the tab key). It's funny that pressing tab actually moves the focus from right to left over all these buttons! :D

    I also tried the '>sleep' kind of commands in the username textbox - looks mystical, as if you're commanding a being from another world. :D

    The only issue that's not resolved is bringing the focus back to the login window once I've cleared my error dialog from the UPS not being connected. That's not a big deal since my mouse works. :p
     
  13. AppleAce macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #13
    Would you be able to have full keyboard access at the login window if you temporarily enabled the root account and turned on the full keyboard acces pref while logged in as root?
     

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