When filling out a form, many people use a keyboard instead of a mouse to move from field to field. Therefore, it is important that the controls on your form template have a logical tab order.

By default, the tab order in a Microsoft Office InfoPath form template is left to right, top to bottom, just as it is on a Web page. In some cases you may need to change the default tab order for your form template. For example, you can specify a custom tab order for a repeating table so that users can navigate column by column rather than row by row.

  1. Right-click the control for which you want to change the tab order, and then click Control Properties. For example, to open the properties of a text box control, right-click the control, and then click Text Box Properties.

  2. Click the Advanced tab.

  3. In the Tab index box, enter something other than 0. For example, to specify that users navigate to this control the first time that they press the TAB key, enter 1.

  4. To change the tab order for additional controls, repeat steps 1 through 3.

  5. To test your changes, click Preview on the Standard toolbar, or press CTRL+SHIFT+B.


  • The default tab index setting for all controls on a form template is 0, but the tab order starts with 1. That is, a control with 1 in the Tab index box is visited first when users press the TAB key, a control with 2 in the Tab index box is visited second, and so on. A control with 0 in the Tab index box will come last in the tab order. To skip any control in the tab order, enter -1 in the Tab index box.

  • Changing the tab index setting doesn't change the order in which you move through the controls in design mode.

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