A client has requested a data entry form in which the users enter data with a 10-key number pad. When we developed the screen we used the tab button to transition from field to field as is common in web applications. The client has requested we use the enter button on the 10-key so that they can use their left hand to flip though papers. Is there any references on this topic?

  • Can you provide some more information, such as the type of application and use cases? You final statement makes it sounds like users are referencing a document outside the data entry point, and that multiple entries may be possible. Your user's work flows are important, and if that includes "flipping through papers" that action is something to consider. A screenshot, or representative wireframe, might help too. Apr 6, 2015 at 21:40
  • Yes, this is an internal web application. The user will take a stack of papers that have counts written on them. They will enter the each count, manually, into their system.
    – Brian Pope
    Apr 6, 2015 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


At least one example is in spreadsheets. Both Excel and Google Docs have Enter move to the next row and Tab move to the next column. If your the end user is familiar with certain types of data entry, using Enter may be more familiar to them.

For example see: http://www.downloadsoftfree.com/download/4345-Budgeting-Spreadsheets-for-Excel_screenshot_url_01.jpg http://www.downloadsoftfree.com/download/4345-Budgeting-Spreadsheets-for-Excel_screenshot_url_01.jpg This is a fake example, but many financial documents are set up to be entered a single column at a time, moving down the rows until you are finished and then moving to another column. In this case, typing the number and hitting Enter is the fastest way of doing this.

The usage matters. You might have to trust your client on this since they know the end users best. Specifically the idea of typing in numbers and using the large button at the bottom to advance to the next value is very common. See how this calculator is set up: enter image description here The large button on the bottom right is not =. It is +. This is because when entering multiple values, the + accepts the current value and readies the calculator for the next value to be input. It is set up for entering multiple values. On your site, you can't physically move the Tab key, but you can change what the large button in the bottom right does.

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