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Motif and CDE 2.1 Style Guide

Keyboard-Based Selection Modes

Keyboard-based selection modes are specific to keyboard-based users. The three normal modes include standard normal mode, text normal mode, graphics normal mode, and add mode.

Standard Normal Mode

In standard normal mode, navigation affects the selection state. When the user selects an element, all the other elements are deselected. In standard normal mode, the browse technique always applies during navigation. The point technique achieves the same effect. However, because navigating to a point automatically selects it, it is usually unnecessary to use the point technique in this instance. There are exceptions, such as when after mouse-based focus-only navigation, the cursor lands on an unselected element.

Similarly, the range and area techniques are not available under standard normal mode. However, implementations can have range swipe, area swipe (or both), and adjust click and adjust swipe techniques available in standard normal mode.

You may use the standard normal mode in conjunction with both the element and text cursors. For an element cursor, a user can navigate in a list control and use the range swipe technique, which is a sequence of Shift > keys, to select an element.

For text cursors, it is more complicated because the cursor is between characters and not on them. In this case, navigation deselects all characters and there is no selection at the cursor position. The user then must use adjustment techniques to select characters. For example, to select text in standard normal mode, a user can navigate to the beginning of a word and then use the range swipe technique, which is a sequence of Shift Ctrl > keys, to select words.

Text Normal Mode

Text normal mode is used only with text cursors and is the recommended mode for text. It works like standard normal mode, except that it also supports the use of the range and area click techniques. For example, a user can navigate to the beginning of a word, press Ctrl Space, type a sequence of directional keys to navigate to the desired words, then press Ctrl Shift Space to select those words.

Graphics Normal Mode

In graphics normal mode, navigation does not affect the selection state. Implementations use this mode with graphics cursors. When this mode is used with the point technique, a user can select an element if the cursor is on it. When the user uses the range, area, and touch techniques with graphics normal mode, these techniques select elements as either ranges, areas, or touched elements. The user can also use the adjustment techniques adjust click and adjust swipe when in this mode.

Add Mode

In add mode, navigation does not affect selection. When a user toggles the elements in a specified region with any of a number of selection techniques, the elements beyond that region are unaffected. However, various selection policies can affect general add mode behavior, including how many elements can be selected at a time, whether the selected elements need to be contiguous, and so on.

Add mode also supports adjustment techniques. As with the mouse, the effect of keyboard adjustment depends on the mode that was last used in the scope. After selecting elements, the user can use adjustment techniques to adjust the region of elements selected; after toggling elements, the user can use adjustment techniques to adjust the region of toggled elements. The various add mode policies can affect the adjustment techniques. An example that illustrates add mode is a list with various selected elements.

When a selection scope is in add mode and the cursor is in the background (in other words, not on an element), if a user presses Select or Space (except in text) or Ctrl Space nothing is toggled. However, if the user subsequently uses an adjustment technique (such as adjust click), the technique uses toggling and adjusts the region to be toggled.

Switching Between Normal and Add Modes

If a selection scope supports only normal mode, the following limitations occur:

  1. In standard or text normal mode, the user cannot make a discontiguous selection.

  2. In graphics normal mode, the user cannot generally remove elements from a selection.

If the selection scope also supports discontiguous selection, but usually uses normal mode, the user can press Shift F8 to switch into add mode and enable discontiguous selections. (Pressing Shift F8 again returns the user to normal mode and vice versa.) An example of where this would be useful is in text that supports discontiguous selections. In this case, a user can press Select, then navigate; press Shift Select to select one paragraph; press Shift F8, then navigate to another paragraph; press Select, then navigate; then press Shift Select to add that discontiguous paragraph to the selection.

In a scope that can be edited, an operation on selected items (such as copying to a clipboard or deselecting) switches the mode back to normal.

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