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NSTextField responds to TAB to move to next field on the layout. How easy is it to make it respond to RETURN ? Or to respond to both Return OR tab ?

Database users often instinctively hit RETURN to leave a field. Others are used to TAB.

I�d like to be able to manage 2 responder chains: the normal one, accessed by hitting Tab or Shift-Tab and a custom one triggered by hitting Return or Shift-Return.

The Tab chain might be set up in IB. And I�m trying to handle navigation too when the user exits the textField by hitting Return. I added some code in the Action method of the field but I can never make first responder the textField I want�

So I tried to override - (BOOL)textView:(NSTextView *)aTextView doCommandBySelector:(SEL)aSelector. I can catch that the event is NSTabCharacter for example but then when attempting to do aTextView window] selectKeyViewFollowingView:aTextView]; nothing happens� Also [[NSLog(@”= NSTabCharacter nextKey = %@”, [aTextView nextValidKeyView]); returns null even if the responder chain and the initial first responder were set in IB.

So here is my question: Has anyone done this before and is able to submit a How-To?? What would be the better strategy: the action method or what else?

Also, if we use the action method, how (and when) do we check for Shift-Return instead of Return?

God alone knows why you might want to do this. Two responder chains is terribly non-standard, and no one – including the full keyboard access and speech recognition features – will know about it.

That said, I suggest you do the first responder like Apple does the first responder. Make a subclass of NSWindow and intercept the return and shift-return events at that level. NSWindow manages events dispatch and focus.

But in which method should I intercept those events?? And how??

[I actually have some textfields and I just want to be able to go through them tabbing or to cycle through only some of them if I decide to press Return.]

So, it works with the code below� (Shift-Return doesn�t work, though�)

I made 2 columns of 4 texFields and am now able to tab horizontally through them (normally using Tab: 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-0�) or vertically (using Return: 0-2-4-6-0� or 1-3-5-7-1�).

I created a custom object that stores every TF�s next and previous responder. An array of such objects is build in the controller�s awakeFromNib. You just cycle through that array to find the current view�s next “return-responder”, recursively if it turns up to be invisible�

The custom object .h:

#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

@interface ResponderObject : NSObject {

NSView * resp;
NSView * previousResp;
NSView * nextResp;


// Accessor Methods



#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

@interface Controller : NSObject {

IBOutlet NSTextField * tf0;
IBOutlet NSTextField * tf1;
IBOutlet NSTextField * tf2;
IBOutlet NSTextField * tf3;

IBOutlet NSTextField * tf4;
IBOutlet NSTextField * tf5;
IBOutlet NSTextField * tf6;
IBOutlet NSTextField * tf7;

NSArray * respChainArray; // Our own responder chain! }



#import “Controller.h” #import “ResponderObject.h”

@implementation Controller