The default tabbing order for objects
in a form is from left to right, top to bottom, starting from the
upper-left corner. Tabbing order respects the existence of subforms,
radio buttons, and content areas. For example, if two subforms exist side-by-side,
and each subform contains a number of field objects, the tabbing sequence
will go through the fields in the first subform before moving on
to the next.
Designer does not include circle, line, or rectangle
objects in the tabbing order.
Tabbing order is also determined by the vertical position of
objects on a page and its master page.
The tabbing order starts from the object with the smallest vertical
coordinate and ends with the object with the largest vertical coordinate,
regardless of whether the object is on the body or master page.
For objects that contain objects, such as content areas, all
child objects are tabbed through before tabbing to the next higher-level
The following list provides an example of the tabbing order for
objects on body and master pages:
Image object on the master page with a vertical coordinate
Content area object on the page with a vertical coordinate
of 4. All objects in the content area are tabbed through before
tabbing to the subform object on the master page.
Subform object on the master page with a vertical coordinate
of 10. All objects in the content area are tabbed through before
tabbing to the text object on the master page.
Text object on the master page with a vertical coordinate
Because the tabbing order is important, ensure that you position
objects precisely on the form, relative to each other. For example,
you can position and size an object using its coordinates and you
can snap objects to points on a grid.
You can change the default tabbing order if you require a different
sequence in your form. For example, you may want to change the tabbing
order to move through objects in a column, from top to bottom, and
then left to right.
In Acrobat 6.0.2, tabbing to a group of radio
buttons makes the upper-left radio button active. Use the Tab key
to move through the radio buttons. In Acrobat 7.0.5 and later, the
selected radio button becomes active. Use the arrow keys to move between
the radio buttons in a group and the Tab key to move out of the