In OSX one can use Ctrl-F7 to change what the Tab key can move the focus between. By default it is only text boxes and lists but after pressing ctrl-f7 one can move between all ui elements.

I was wondering if there is a way to toggle this functionality by using the defaults tool.

  • Are you aware that you can change this setting in Preferences/Keyboard as well?
    – nohillside
    Nov 13, 2011 at 19:48
  • Yes, but I would like to know if there is a way to modify this preference using the defaults tool. Nov 13, 2011 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


After some searching the equivalent command using the defaults tool is

defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleKeyboardUIMode -int 2

Anyone can verify this by toggling the values and then reading the key value. The default value has a value of 0 and switching it to all ui elements will turn it to a value of 2.

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