Tab direction in X?

Simple question…is there an equivalent in PanoramaX to the “Tab Direction” button in the data sheet tools in Pan 6?

I can’t find anything, and nothing comes up in Help or the Forum. It was very useful in 6 to switch to vertical tabbing when editing down a field of data.


Peter F.

Panorama X > Help > Form Properties
Perhaps you should select All instead of Basics in the Search field of the Panorama X Help.

You find Tab order in Graphics mode of your form in the properties panel.

With all due respect, I DO have “All” selected in the Panorama X Help Search field and when I enter “Tab direction” nothing returns at all.

And I’m not talking about in a form; I’m asking about in the basic Data Sheet window. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of Tab in the Field Properties of the Data Sheet. And I’m looking for a global switch, not field by field. In 6 there was a simple arrow button in the left tool column which you clicked to switch tab direction. Easy peasy, but no longer in sight in X.

I love Panorama and have been a user at a basic level since the 1990s. I appreciate that it is insanely powerful and that I won’t use 90% of that power. And I appreciate we’re still in beta so there’s more to be implemented and these releases are largely aimed at the power users. Still, I have to say that it feels increasingly like a piece of software designed by engineers for engineers. Things which should be intuitive are complicated and while this latest version is bringing some things more in-line with OSX interface standards, many things still just don’t work as anticipated.

A slightly frustrated user,

Peter F

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Panorama X does not currently have the tab direction feature in the data sheet. Personally, I love that feature myself, and use it fairly often, but it appears to be rarely used – you are the very first person to ever ask about it being available in Panorama X. I know that Kurt is a quite experienced Panorama user, but apparently he has never heard of that feature, and I think that is common. There simply aren’t the resources to implement every single Panorama 6 feature, so one’s that aren’t used by very many people have been left off, at least for now. The Tab Direction feature is one such little used feature. Of course that is frustrating for someone that has been using it, so I’m sorry about that.

Thanks for the quick reply! I appreciate that many features won’t be implemented at first or possibly ever, due to demand, technical issues, etc.

I am a little shocked that no one else has asked about Tab Direction or uses it. I use it all the time and I’m certainly no power user. I have found it invaluable when I’ve imported a bunch of data to a file and need to run down a column making minor changes. Or in the case of my checkbook database, I have a column for whether an item has cleared; when I’m doing the balance each month, I run straight down the column checking items that are cleared.

I’m not quite sure how I’m going to work around this one. I’m working on adapting my finance database for PanoramaX and I keep running into small or annoying details that I used all the time in 6 that work differently or don’t work. So far I’ve mostly found work-arounds but it’s been challenging.


Peter F

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Peter, I’m sure you are by no means the only person to used the Tab Down feature in Panorama 6. I use it all the time and look forward to its revival in Panorama X.

Have you tried the Down Arrow on the keyboard?

I’d seen a couple forum entries (search under Tabdown) on this last year. So I knew it wasn’t yet implemented. I agree it is very convenient for some tasks. I’d expect new users used to inputting spreadsheet data with tab and return keys would take to it. But apparently it isn’t trivial to add and Jim must prioritize his time. I hope he eventually gets to this, but of the still unimplemented but not yet deprecated Panorama 6 features, for me it ranks behind clairvoyance linked to another database. I suspect fixing any remaining bugs in the current feature set and getting Server out will precede adding either.

This was a feature that I found useful in Pano 6.

Playing with Pan X, I thought I’d try something real simple by just putting DownRecord in the Code tab of the field that I wanted to tab down in. What I found was that entering data and hitting return moved me down 2 records, same field. Why 2 records?

I use it often enough that I mess things up when I forget to set it! Maybe I should try to figure out if I could set up Karabiner Elements to map one of the other keys to enter + down.

Don’t put anything in this code that tries to reposition the current location. That will wind up fighting with Panorama itself as to what the position should be and won’t work properly.

I am very aware that it would be useful to be able to position the current location programmatically after data entry, but I haven’t come up with a good way to do that so far. So for now, it simply cannot be done reliably.

The arrow keys work for moving any direction in the data sheet. Wouldn’t that suffice?

Jeff Kozuch
President, Acacia Systems
Panorama Programming and Training
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator
Member, Apple Consultants Network

I used Tab down all the time in Panorama 6. I’d love to have it in Panorama X.

Jeff K,

Technically down arrow would work, yes, but it’s three keystrokes instead of one: Enter + Down Arrow + Enter. Repeat.

There’s an elegant simplicity to Tab Down that appeals.

Peter F.

True. I used tab down but only in the design sheet when setting up a new file. It was much faster for that.


I also used Tab Down all the time in Pan 6–for quick data entry in a datasheet or view-as-list form, it couldn’t be beat. Since I manually enter columns of data frequently (think quiz scores or lab grades for what I do, in a course with dozens of grade components), it was vital.
I have put together forms with data entry text editor objects and a list object for display that can be just as fast, and gets the data entry back to one keystroke. The ability to program a text editor object was important in getting this to work. There are still some rough edges due to the limited time I have had to develop, but there is an additional benefit–since the text editor objects and the list object both have content that can come from formulas, the data entry form can be much more versatile.
Still, Tab Down was useful, and would be nice to see back.

I sometimes see the selected record skip down two or more records when more than one non-datasheet record is open for the same file. I haven’t complained about it, because I haven’t been able to spend the time to figure out whether or not there is a pattern. However, often closing all but one window fixes it, which is pretty easy.
Does that ring a bell with you?

Actually, it’s two keystrokes: Enter and Down.
Then you start typing in the same field of the next record.
Not too much work IMHO.

I indeed had overlooked that you were talking about the Data sheet. I remember now, I sometimes have used the tabdown option there and and in the Design sheet, but I have almost forgotten it, because when I have to change many things in a field, I prefer not to loop manually through my database but try to do it with a formulafill.

Thanks, Kurt. You’re right, you can get it down to two strokes. Still a bit slower than the old method, but functional for now. I appreciate the help.

Peter F.

I also liked to use it but then would forget you had to hit the Tab key and I would hit the Return key as per habit. That didn’t work well…I like Kurt’s 2 stroke approach, as you stay with the habit of using the Return or Enter key.

I miss the data sheet tab arrow terribly. I am still doing most of my work in Pan 6, and dabble in Pan X to try and recreate in Pan 6. I like the look and feel of Pan X, but I just can’t do what I need yet. The Tab arrow in the data sheet is one of those things I use all the time. There are work arounds, but that is what they are. I would be terribly disappointed if it did not make it into Pan X. I’ll bet almost everyone who works in the Data Sheet uses it. Why would Jim hear about it. It works.