Navigation in 3-pane-view

I really like the new Mail-like 3-pane-layout. But navigating it with the keyboard seems to be less easy (or impossible) that in the 2-pane-view of DT PE.

In the 2-pane-view you could use the arrow key to navigate deep into hierarchies of groups until the the content of the file is displayed in the right part of the layout. In the 3-pane-view I can’t find a way to really come down to the content without using the mouse or open it in an extra-window with APPLE+O. Am I missing something?

In the left column only groups show up. The documents are in the upper part of the right part. But you can’t tab to the documents list from the groups list. Why is that? Why don’t you use the standard (?) way of keyboard navigation for 3-pane-layouts that for example NetNewsWire uses: If you are in the let column arrow-right skips to the document list, APPLE+arrow-right expands the groups if there are sub-groups. That way you can navigate around by keyboard very quickly and you come down to the content.

This looks like a real (lightweight) bug. You can option-tab between the three panes ONCE the first document has been selected by a mouseclick. After that IF YOU STAY IN THE SAME GROUP, you can option-tab amongst the panes. IF you switch to a different group, you have to manually mouse-click again in the new documents list to get the option-tab functionality back.

Speaking of which, seems like the owner of the buglist would devote a dedicated space for bug reporting??? I certainly wouldn’t want to pick out the issues from all the posts in various forum sections…

PS: I hate option-tab. I wish there were another key combo. I like the way NetNewsWire does it. BUT I HATE the way NNW works on keydown rather than keyup in moving up/down a list. In that regard, DT is way better.

PS2: Many developers these days seem to have forgotten users who prefer keyboard-centric navigation.

Cyol, thanks for your idas. So I finally discovered a way to do full-navigation by keyboard - without that one mause-click you mentioned. When tabbing from group to document list and thinking “why the hell isn’t that working”, you only have to arrow-down and you’re in the list. The first document is marked and you see its content in the third pane.

So keyboard navigation goes like this:

  • When a group is selected, use the arrow keys to find the group you’re looking for (use arrow-left and arrow-right to browse hierarchies)
  • In your group of choice, press OPTION-TAB to jump to the document list. Arrow-down will mark the first document and display its content in the 3rd pane. Arrow up and down to find your documnet of choice.
  • Another OPTION+TAB will bring right into the content of the document
  • To go back to the group list, OPTION-TAB again.

That’s it. Great (well, yes. cyol is right. OPTION-TAB is not so great).

Sweet Fancy Moses. Whew. Most resourceful discovery, Crig, but that’s enough to make one love the mouse.

Thanks for the sleuthing. (I think! ) :open_mouth:


If you hold down the option key and click on your selected item it deselects it. I still think losing the selection in the 3 pane view is a bug and very annoying. (My personal opinion)

OPPS Posted the above in the wrong message…sorry.