Keyboard shorcut for toggling checkbox (firefox)
February 17, 2005 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Is there a keyboard shortcut in Firefox that checks or unchecks (toggles) a checkbox? If there's no built-in shortcut, can I easily program one? Is there a shortcut in IE for this? I have Googled in vain.
posted by acridrabbit to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure I follow you. If there are multiple checkboxes, you'd have to indicate which one. I generally just hit Tab until it highlights the one I want and hit the space bar to check/uncheck it.
posted by BradNelson at 6:45 AM on February 17, 2005

The spacebar does that.
posted by riffola at 6:56 AM on February 17, 2005

By that I mean tab to the checkbox, and then hit space to check or uncheck it.
posted by riffola at 6:58 AM on February 17, 2005

What Brad and riffola said: Tab cycles through user interface elements; spacebar performs modifying actions like toggling a checkbox.

Note that this is not specific to the browser. It's a pretty universal UI feature.

If you're looking to mass-toggle a whole bunch of checkboxes, you'd probably need a bookmarklet.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 7:11 AM on February 17, 2005

Response by poster: Space bar, got it. That's what I was looking for. I wonder why they don't list that in the keyboard shortcuts table? Is it really common knowledge?

A bookmarklet to toggle a bunch of boxes would be cool, so if anyone knows of one, feel free to post...
posted by acridrabbit at 7:23 AM on February 17, 2005

Related: If the coder was kind enough to use <label> with an accesskey attribute, you can use Al+accesskey to directly focus on that particular checkbox.

Most webmonkeys are not so advanced though.
posted by Fezboy! at 7:40 AM on February 17, 2005

Fezboy, you dont need a label tag to apply the accesskey. It can be an attribute of the checkbox itself. But you're right, most web monkeys aren't that advanced.
posted by Plutor at 8:02 AM on February 17, 2005

It's not that the webmonkeys aren't that advanced, it's that the pratice is still quiet controversial among usability and accessibility groups. There is not yet a standard for common accesskeys used across browsers. This often leads to certain combinations overriding the browsers built in behaviour, and making the site _less_ accessible and user friendly. I won't get evangelical here, but you can read more at Mezzoblue.
posted by tumble at 10:07 AM on February 17, 2005

I was bored so I opened a Firefox bug on the documentation for this.
posted by smackfu at 11:00 AM on February 17, 2005

Is it really common knowledge?

I don't know. I just learned it the hard way when my job required me to fill out a lot of web I didn't want to use my mouse. I'm already typing to fill in the fields, so I tab through them. Any option field (checkboxes, radios, drop-downs) can be controled with space bar or arrow keys.
posted by BradNelson at 11:43 AM on February 17, 2005

I wonder why they don't list that in the keyboard shortcuts table? Is it really common knowledge?

It's more of a universal keyboard shortcut, not specific to Firefox. That'd be my guess as to why they didn't include it.
posted by hootch at 11:47 AM on February 17, 2005

Yeah, but so is PageDown for "Go Up One Page." If they list that, I can see the case for Spacebar. But this is listed in the Windows dialog box keyboard shortcuts list: "SPACEBAR Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box."

To see all the shortcuts in Windows XP:

Start > Help and Support
keyboard shortcuts
...list of keys
posted by grouse at 12:10 PM on February 17, 2005

It's viewed more as an accessibility feature for mobility-impaired users. Mozilla accessibility is improving but is not very well documented. However, (a) now you know and (b) now Google will know, too.
posted by joeclark at 2:35 PM on February 17, 2005

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