Tabs in Flash Textfield

I want to know if there is any way to use TAB key within a text
field, in Actionscript. I want four space characters to be inserted
inside a text field, whenever a user presses “TAB” button, instead of
selecting the object with next tab index. Can anyone tell me if and
how it is possible?

This question was asked on IndiaMMUG list. I found a quick & dirty solution for this. Yeah, it’s achieved using a button and on(keyPress “<TAB>”) { } handler…
Here is my answer:
1) Keep a button in offstage area
2) Put the following code on the button:

on(keyPress "<Tab>") {
if(Selection.getFocus() == targetPath(_txt)) {
var ci = Selection.getCaretIndex();
//assuming _txt is instance of textfield
var _str:String = _txt.text;
var arr:Array = _str.split("");	 arr.splice(ci, 0, "\t");
_txt.text = arr.join("");
Selection.setSelection(ci+1, ci+1);
delete arr;

This is just logic and there is whole big room for improvement and all best practices 🙂
It might have many bugs, I have not tested it…
Above code works on the cost of *NO* Tabbing in flash movie, which means pressing Tab won’t shift focus to different object(movieclip, button, components etc). But I am sure, that can be achieved with more code and better logic. Probably attaching/removing code when Textfield gets/looses focus…
You can:

Code beautifier never works because I have not fixed it yet 😉

  • Erik

    It also causes the textfield to loose all formatting applied to it (which kinda sucks if your doing syntax highlighting).
    Any changes to .text will discard older textformats that are set.