How To Move the Cursor Around a Dialog Box - dummies

How To Move the Cursor Around a Dialog Box

By Stephanie Diamond

A dialog box may have any number of windows, textboxes, buttons, and so on, and you can speak Commands with NaturallySpeaking to move the cursor around. Before you can deal with any particular component, you usually have to get the cursor into its window. (Buttons are an exception. If the box has a Cancel button, for example, Click Cancel closes the box no matter where the cursor is.)

Say, “Press Tab” to move from one component of a dialog window to another. Repeat the command to cycle through all the components of the box. Say, “Press Shift Tab” to cycle in the opposite direction.


  • Buttons: Click a button by saying, “Click <button name>.” You can make the dialog box go away by saying, “Click Cancel.” You can also say, “Press Enter” as an alternative way to click the OK button or whatever button is currently selected (the one that has the darkest outline).

  • Radio buttons: Choose an option by saying its text label. Saying, “Docked To Bottom” changes the placement of the DragonBar to be at the bottom of the screen, for example.

  • Check boxes: Check boxes are on if they are checked and off if not. Change from On to Off or Off to On by saying the text label. In the figure, saying, “Anchor” anchors your Results box. Saying, “Show Extras” removes the check mark from the Show Extras check box.

  • Tabs: Switch to another tab by saying its name. You could say, “Click Corrections Tab,” to switch to the Corrections tab.

This Open dialog box has a more complex set of features: drop-down lists, a textbox, toolbar buttons, and a list of files and folders. It illustrates a standard problem: The Open dialog box first appears with the cursor in the File Name textbox. Any text you say other than “Click,” “Press,” or “MouseGrid” will be interpreted as the name of a file.


Deal as follows with the features exemplified in this box.

  • Drop-down lists: The Open dialog box has two drop-down lists: Look In and Files of Type. You can recognize them as drop-down lists because of the little down arrow at the right edge of the text. To bring the cursor into the list say, “Click <text label>.” For example, say, “Click Look In.”

  • Textboxes: The Open dialog box opens with the cursor in the File Name textbox. Enter text into this box by saying it.

    To get the cursor out of this box, use the Click command to click a button or a drop-down menu; use the MouseGrid command to click the mouse inside some other part of the dialog box; or say, “Press Tab” or “Press Shift Tab” to move the cursor into Files of Type or the file and folder list in the main window, respectively.

    Toolbar buttons: Unlike the big buttons (OK, Cancel, and so on), toolbar buttons in dialog boxes usually don’t respond to their names. If you want to use them, you must click them with the mouse.

  • Lists of files and folders: The tricky thing about using the list of files and folders is getting the cursor into its window. That’s because there is no Click command that puts it there unless you maneuver the mouse pointer into the window.

    Instead, say, “Press Shift Tab,” if the cursor is just below the window in the File Name textbox, or “Press Tab” if the cursor is just above the window in the Look In drop-down list. After the cursor is in the main window, select files and folders either by name or by using the Move Up/Down/Right/Left commands. Open a selected file or folder by saying, “Click Open” or “Press Enter.”

When you open a folder from a list of files and folders in a dialog box, either Click Open or Press Enter does the job. However, Click Open returns the cursor to the File Name textbox, and Press Enter leaves the cursor in the main window, which now displays the contents of the opened folder.