Thursday, May 25, 2006

Flash: Disabling Accessibility (disable tabbing)

By default, viewers can tab through a Flash movie. This is so that those with hearing disabilities, photo epilepsy, motor disabilities, cognitive disabilities, blindness or low vision can navigate a Flash site by using the tab key on their keyboard. For many applications this is good, especially Flash applications that include forms. Problems arise when one has scrolling clickable buttons off the screen.

Do we want users to able to click buttons that off the screen? This could break many Flash movies.

The way to stop users from tabbing a particular button is by setting the movieclips property, "tabEnabled" to false. Well, that's a pain to do for every movieclip in an entire application. To disable tabbing through all clickable buttons, add the following line of Actionscript to the main timeline of your movie.

MovieClip.prototype.tabEnabled = false;

This will cause all movieclips created by Flash to disable tabbing.

--Stephen M. James


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