in previous versions of Editor (versions 6 & 7), I have been accustomed to being able to use tabs in comments made with the Typewriter Tool as if composing in a word processor — in other words, to insert largish spaces and achieve precise vertical alignment of text on different rows.
Sometime after version 7 this appears to have changed, because now in version 9 (I haven't tried version 8 ), the behaviour is very different.
Specifically, in version 9 of Editor Plus, the tab key on its own transfers the focus sequentially between different annotations made using the Typewriter Tool.
I am a keen supporter of providing keyboard functionality to expedite operations, and so from that perspective it is nice to have a simple way to cycle between the comments.
HOWEVER, I am not keen for that small gain to be made with the loss of functionality when composing the text that constitutes the comment itself.
A possible solution could be to assign the functionality to a different button / hotkey. The trouble with that is finding a suitable button or hotkey combination that isn't already assigned.
- Tab = was assigned to typing a tabulation; then re-assigned to cycle 'forwards' between text fields.
- Shift+Tab = was assigned to typing a tabulation (same as Tab alone); then re-assigned to cycle 'backwards' between text fields.
- Ctrl+Tab = assigned to cycle 'forwards' between open PDF documents.
- Ctrl+Shift+Tab = assigned to cycle 'backwards' between open PDF documents.
- Alt+Tab = reserved in MS Windows to cycle 'forwards' between open applications.
- Alt+Shift+Tab = reserved in MS Windows to cycle 'backwards' between open applications.
Another way of doing this would be to separately define the functionality of the left-Shift versus right-Shift, or left-Ctrl versus right-Ctrl key. Although there's a precedent for this (e.g. PC games using the keyboard as the 'controller'; the Microsoft IME for Korean text), I don't expect that users would find it obvious at first.
My initial recommendation was to transfer the functionality to cycle between fields made with the Typewriter Tool to something involving Page Up and Page Down. This adds an advantage of having a natural directionality, and also the convention of these keys involving some sort of 'leap' within a document (in contrast to the arrow keys).
Currently, in version 9 I believe the following is set:
- Page Up/Page Down = large scroll up/down page.
- Ctrl + Page Up/Page Down = jump to top of previous/next page.
- Shift + Page Up/Page Down = identical to Page Up/Page Down.
- Alt + Page Up/Page Down = no obvious functionality
From this list it seems that either Shift + Page Up/Page Down or else Alt + Page Up/Page Down would make excellent candidates for cycling between objects created by the Typewriter Tool. Thereby leaving the Tab key free again to just type tabulations!
The software already distinguishes between the situation where the field is merely selected, and when the text it contains is being edited. This is most obvious from the display of the object's Properties — e.g. for the Typewriter object as a whole selected, the border style is shown, whilst for the text within it being edited the Text object shows styles set for the character(s) and paragraph(s).
Therefore perhaps the best solution would be:
- Tab key cycles between fields when the Typewriter object is merely selected.
- Tab key types a tab character when editing the text content of a Typewriter object.
P.S. Or maybe there is a clever setting to toggle this functionality on & off in the Preferences somewhere? I have to admit I haven't even looked....
...OK, now I've looked, and can't see it. A logical place to put such a setting might be under Commenting.