How To Make ENTER Key Move Focus Like TAB Key for VB Controls

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Article ID: 142816 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

You can cause the ENTER key to move the focus to the control with the next higher TabIndex property value, as the TAB key does.

However, using the ENTER key to move the focus does not follow recommended Microsoft Windows-based application design guidelines. The ENTER key should be used to process the default command or to process entered information, not to move the focus.

MORE INFORMATION

You can detect when the user presses the ENTER key from the KeyPress event procedure by checking to see if the KeyAscii parameter is the character code for the ENTER key (13). Then you can move the focus to the next control in the TabIndex order with SendKeys "{tab}." You can move the focus to the previous control with SendKeys "+{tab}."

This technique works with most kinds of controls. It does not work with command button controls, because command buttons do not receive the KeyPress event when you press the ENTER key.

Step-by-Step Example

  1. Start a new project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. Add two text boxes (Text1 and Text2) to Form1.
  3. Add the following code to the Text1 KeyPress procedure:
          Private Sub Text1_KeyPress (KeyAscii As Integer)
             If KeyAscii = 13 Then  ' The ENTER key.
                SendKeys "{tab}"    ' Set the focus to the next control.
                KeyAscii = 0        ' Ignore this key.
             End If
          End Sub
    						
  4. Add the following code to the Text2 KeyPress procedure:
          Private Sub Text2_KeyPress (KeyAscii As Integer)
             If KeyAscii = 13 Then  ' The ENTER key.
                SendKeys "{tab}"    ' Set the focus to the next control.
                KeyAscii = 0        ' Ignore this key.
             End If
          End Sub
    						
  5. Press the F5 key to run the program. When you press the ENTER key, the focus moves between the two controls.

Properties

Article ID: 142816 - Last Review: July 1, 2004 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 5.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 16-bit Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 32-Bit Enterprise Edition
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