If you’ve just gotten a new Mac, taken it out of the shiny box (or started off with Hackintoshes like me!), then installed Mozilla Firefox, you might wonder why the tab button does not move the cursor within forms as it should (or as you are used to anyway).
I’m the type who uses the tab button to switch between text fields, radio buttons, list boxes and submit buttons. But when I got the Mac, I was flabbergasted for a good day or two as the tab button behavior drove me nuts. Normally, when I fill in a form and hit tab, I expect the cursor to jump from text box to text box to check box to radio button to list box and finally to my submit button. BUT, in this instance, it just moved between text boxes and list boxes.
It drove me sooo insane – I kept checking Firefox settings and wondered if I had a different plugin installed before, but all that was to no avail. Finally, the explanation was so simple – all I had to do was to go to System Preferences -> Keyboard & Mouse -> Keyboard Shortcuts tab and from that Full keyboard access section, toggle the “In windows and dialogs, press Tab to move the keyboard focus between:” setting to All controls instead of Text boxes and lists only! What a pain! I believe Apple should have set the defauts in reverse, as that is the common user interface behavior.