[thesite] what do you call this feature?

.jeff jeff at members.evolt.org
Wed Jan 2 11:57:50 CST 2002


> From: rudy
> i'm using internet explorer 5 on a windows machine
> on the evolt home page, there's a text input field in
> the sidebar that lets me search articles
> when i click twice -- not necessarily a doubleclick,
> just a second click -- the field expands to show my
> userid, and i can click on it to select it

ah, you're talking about auto-complete, a new feature in ie4+.  it can also
be activated by pressing the down arrow key when focus is on a particular
field.  pressing the down arrow key again will highlight the first item in
the list.  alternatively, pressing the up arrow key will highlight the last
item (or the first if there's only one) in the list.  once an entry is
highlighted, pressing the tab or enter key will place that value in the
field.  if you pressed the tab key then the cursor will be moved to the next
visible element in the form.

in this way, an entire form can still be navigated using only the keyboard
while still being able to utilize this handy, time-saving feature.

> it does not seem to remember other values i use in
> previous searches

it only remembers values on a per-fieldname basis.  the more searches you
do, the more you'll find will be saved for future use.

> what's this called, and where does it come from?  i
> assume this is internet explorer in all it's *cough*
> user-friendly *cough* glory?

use a bit before judging it so harshly.  i'd be sunk without auto-complete.
to me, it's infinitely usable and time-saving.

> i did not get the same behaviour on other web forms, so
> what triggers it?  the only difference i can see is that
> the field on the evolt page has an access key...

the more you use other web forms (with some exceptions) the more you'll see
it work other places as well.  probably the most common is registration
forms that ask for common things like first_name, last_name, address, city,
zip, phone, email, etc. -- so long as the fieldnames match.

more info here:

good luck,


jeff at members.evolt.org

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