I have prepared the following series of screenshots to show what I mean. I have highlighted the focused element to make it more obvious. The TAB key is expected to go to the logically “next” element; however on this page, it skips an element unexpectedly. The result is that pressing Space, intending to check the checkbox, posts the question instead.

Example screenshots showing initial situation, steps to reproduce, expected behaviour, actual behaviour

2 Answers 2


The CW checkbox is also skipped when tabbing from body to tags. Looks like title, body, tags, and submit button all have tabindex attribute specified, but not for CW or e-mail check boxes. I've never understood why any webdeveloper uses tabindex. In this case, like over 99% of cases, you get the correct tab order just by letting the browser figure it out.

  • 1
    we don't actually want CW to be part of the tab order because it's so rarely used. So that's why.. Aug 31, 2010 at 2:21

Intentional - that option (along with community wiki) is rarely used, so we skip it in the tab order. It is also not present in some cases.

  • 3
    Jeff, when you guess the user intentions WRONG it's MUCH WORSE than if you don't try to guess them AT ALL.
    – RomanSt
    Aug 22, 2010 at 13:22
  • Wouldn't it be better to move the notify ... of new answers line below the Post your questions button (when it exists, of course)? Then it can stay in the natural tab order (i.e. not bug people who don't need it), and still would not confuse people who expect the screen order to be the tab order. Jun 28, 2011 at 15:05
  • What happened to principle of least surprise?
    – Doorknob
    Mar 25, 2014 at 18:31

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