Focus outlines (ring) should look like Aqua focus outlines on Mac OS X (text fields, listboxes, links)




Layout: Form Controls
17 years ago
4 years ago


(Reporter: Matthew Paul Thomas, Unassigned)


(Blocks: 1 bug, 4 keywords)

Mac OS X
css-moz, css3, helpwanted, pp
Dependency tree / graph

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)



(14 attachments, 2 obsolete attachments)

2.80 KB, image/png
3.74 KB, image/png
3.99 KB, image/png
7.24 KB, image/png
6.65 KB, image/png
2.60 KB, image/png
3.38 KB, image/png
3.59 KB, image/png
917 bytes, image/png
4.00 KB, image/png
4.49 KB, image/png
14.61 KB, image/png
21.22 KB, image/png
3.41 KB, text/html


17 years ago
This is son-of-bug-50804.

On Windows, focus for widgets is shown with a 1px rectangular dotted black line. 
The same style is used to show focus for hypertext links, in both Mozilla and IE 
for Windows.

On Mac OS **ONLY**, focus for widgets is shown with a 2px rounded line in the 
Appearance Manager variation color (#6666CC by default). The same style should be 
used (and is used, in IE 5) on Mac OS **ONLY** to indicate focus for hypertext 
links and form controls.

This depends on bug 1004 (proper value for variation color) and bug 24676 
(rounded corners for outlines). However, a partial fix is available and should be 
checked in for Mac OS **ONLY**.

Comment 1

17 years ago
Graphical mockup of wanted behavior:

Partial patch for html.css for Mac OS:
Depends on: 1004, 24676
Keywords: patch

Comment 2

17 years ago
Wait, so this should be ALL/ALL, right?
Keywords: pp

Comment 3

17 years ago
I don't think the partial fix is ready to be checked in.
1. is "Ian Hickson's Mailbox". My mailbox doesn't fix bugs,
   so assigning bgus to it won't help us. :-)

2. Doing this requires build changes, since we do not have platform specific
   ua.css files at the moment.

3. The patch is not acceptable, since it hard-codes a colour. If there are no
   CSS system UI colours that map to the "alternative" colour on Mac, then
   we should either introduce a stop-gap Mozilla colour -moz-alternative or
   some such (bryner knows how to do this, cc'ed) or wait for CSS3 to become 
   stable and use that.

4. The outline as currently described by the patch is ugly, even on Mac. 
   We need to improve it.

Reassigning to Marc for now. Moving to Future since this is low priority and
we have no usable patch at the moment.
Assignee: ianh → attinasi
Keywords: patch → css-moz, css3, helpwanted
Target Milestone: --- → Future

Comment 6

17 years ago
Accepting, leaving milestone.

Comment 7

17 years ago
Actually, fixing 1004 won't help this bug. You need the fix to bug 46174 to get 
the right colour.
Depends on: 46174
No longer depends on: 1004
Reassigning QA Contact for all open and unverified bugs previously under Lorca's
care to Gerardo as per phone conversation this morning.
QA Contact: lorca → gerardok

Comment 9

17 years ago
qa contact updated.
QA Contact: gerardok → bsharma

Comment 10

17 years ago
Please see also accessibility bug 74225 - prefs needed for focus appearance.
I'm not sure how a fix for this bug would affect 74225, or vice-versa.


16 years ago
Depends on: 6647
SPAM. HTML Element component is deprecated, changing to Layout component. See
bug 88132 for details.
Come on Bugzilla, you can do it...
Component: HTML Element → Layout


16 years ago
QA Contact: bsharma → moied

Comment 13

15 years ago
I wonder if this would be able to work via nsITheme to use real focus widgets
(at least on OS X).
I suggest wontfixing this even though I originally filed bug 50804 or making it
so that clicking a focusable item doesn't show the focus outline *by default*.

Some designers find even the 1px dotted outline unacceptable and think it looks
bad on their design. Hence, they try to find ways to defeat it. If the focus
outline becomes more conspicuous, there will be more designers who'll
successfully defeat it (via CSS or via JS .blur()). Then the effective result
would be that keyboard navigation became harder.

A similar thing has already happened with the page background color and the font
size. The old grey background default in Netscape 1 thru 4 wasn't acceptable to
designers so they overrode it with something else--usually white. If the default
has been acceptable to designers (white), they wouldn't have overridden it and
changing it in the browsers pref would actually be effective for those who want
to change it. Also, many designers believe that 16px is too large for the body
text. So they override it and adjusting the font size is harder for the user
than it should be. (I want 18px on my home display.)

So I think the defaults should be chosen in such a way that the designers
doesn't want to defeat them. (I think the border around link images is a bad
default, for example.)


15 years ago
Blocks: 73812

Comment 15

15 years ago
This bug needs a new owner.

See also bug 151375.
QA Contact: moied → petersen

Comment 16

15 years ago
Why can't our focus outlines get this appearance on all platforms? Is there
something sacred about the hard-to-see way we do focus outlines right now?

I have pretty good vision, but I really have a hard time finding our keyboard
focus sometimes.
> Is there something sacred about the hard-to-see way we do focus 
> outlines right now?

Yes. I think the focus outlines should be hard to see by default but there
should be an easy way (yet another pref, yes) for the user to make them better
visible. If we make them easily seen by default, more Web authors will try to
defeat the focus oulines leading to worse overall accessibility. See comment #14.

Case point: Image links have borders by default in Mozilla in order to allow the
user to distinguish image links. Have you seen borders around image links lately
with the default settings?

Comment 18

15 years ago
I think one reason why we do it this way now is because we have issues if we
draw the focus outline outside of the bounds of the form control frame (it won't
get refreshed or erased correctly). But I agree that the current focus
indication is truly awful.

Comment 19

15 years ago
Simon, yes that's bug 151375.

Drawing outside the frame can be done, we just have to be clever.


15 years ago
Depends on: 151375
shifting platform to OS X, since we no longer support pre-OS X Mac.
OS: Mac System 8.5 → MacOS X


14 years ago
Assignee: attinasi → nobody
Summary: Focus outlines should look like Mac focus outlines on Mac OS [outline] → Focus outlines should look like Mac focus outlines on Mac OS

Comment 21

13 years ago
We're getting closer with -moz-outline (fixed in bug 151375) and
-moz-outline-radius (bug 24676). We also need outline-offset.

Would those be enough to write a css rule for this?

Does someone have time to post a screenshot of focus outlines on the mac?
I'd like to see what it looks like for text links, buttons, image links,
textfields and anything else with a unique focused look.

Comment 22

13 years ago
Created attachment 153250 [details]
Focused text link appearance

Still looking for images of other focused controls.


13 years ago
Depends on: 251498


13 years ago
Attachment #153250 - Attachment is patch: false
Attachment #153250 - Attachment mime type: text/plain → image/png

Comment 23

13 years ago
Created attachment 153275 [details]
Text field with focus ring

Comment 24

13 years ago
Created attachment 153279 [details]
Checkbox, unchecked

Comment 25

13 years ago
Created attachment 153280 [details]
Checkbox, checked (note that the focus ring follows the checkmark tail)

Comment 26

13 years ago
Created attachment 153281 [details]
Radio buttons

Comment 27

13 years ago
Created attachment 153283 [details]
Segmented control (The Control Formerly Known As Tabs)

Comment 28

13 years ago
Created attachment 153284 [details]

Comment 29

13 years ago
Created attachment 153285 [details]
Button, submission type (e.g. <input type="submit">), default

Comment 30

13 years ago
Created attachment 153286 [details]
Button, submission type (e.g. <input type="submit">), non-default

Comment 31

13 years ago
Created attachment 153287 [details]
Button, bevel type (e.g. <button>)

Comment 32

13 years ago
Created attachment 153288 [details]
Option menu (e.g. <select>)

Comment 33

13 years ago
Created attachment 153289 [details]
Option menu (e.g. <select>), demonstrating "Graphite" colors

Comment 34

13 years ago
Created attachment 153291 [details]
MSIE 5.2: Multi-line text link (demonstrating single contoured outline)
Attachment #153250 - Attachment is obsolete: true

Comment 35

13 years ago
Created attachment 153295 [details]
MSIE 5.2: Image map area (demonstrating non-orthogonal focus ring)

Comment 36

13 years ago
- Multi-line text links. Combining the outline into one blob instead of having
intersecting lines hasn't been filed as a bug yet.
Also, what do Safari's text link outlines look like? I noticed IE's don't have
the fade effect.
- image map area focus rings - Mozilla's are horrible, but I think that would be
fixed in a separate bug.

Do people feel that we need the fade effect for Mozilla's Mac focus outlines
right away? Or would something like IE Mac's focus outlines be good enough to start.
Is there any potential CSS for fading focus outlines anyway? Something like
outline: 3px fading blue

Comment 37

13 years ago
Win/GTK version of this is bug 251998.

Comment 38

13 years ago
Look closer. IE/Mac's focus rings do fade, but (1) the colors are wrong (IE's
"Aqua" theme differs slightly from OS X's), and (2) they aren't anti-aliased.

Safari's text link rings are the same as IE's, except the colors are accurate. 
(I had forgotten Safari had rings because I don't use Full Keyboard Access.)

Helpful CSS extensions would be -moz-outline-collapse (following CSS2's border-
collapse) and -moz-outline-*-colors (following Gecko's -moz-border-*-colors). 
The latter would perhaps be better than "fade", because then focus rings would 
remain visible on pages where the background color = one of the ring colors.

Comment 39

13 years ago
Now that we have -moz-outline, -moz-outline-radius and -moz-outline-offset we
have enough to start experimenting with a fix.

The main things we haven't done for outlines:
1. Make overlapping outlines on the same element glob together (bug 266122)
2. Outlines not being rendered for some elements (bug 250269)
3. Remove the -moz prefix from these property names (bug 6647, not really
blocking this)

Comment 40

13 years ago
How does Safari/IEMac handle it when the background of the web page is the same
color as the blue outline focus ring? Or do they do nothing, and the focus ring
is very difficult to see?
my guess is they just let it blend in with the background.

Comment 42

13 years ago
Created attachment 165562 [details]
Mac outline simulation v1 -- intended to start a discussion

This simulation requires a trunk build that contains the fix for bug 250269
(checked in on 11/11/2004 around 11 am -- cool).

Ignore the dotted outlines on selects and buttons -- those would go away. Also,
I notice that the outline for combo boxes goes too far to the right.
Comment on attachment 165562 [details]
Mac outline simulation v1 -- intended to start a discussion

Thanks for working on this Aaron.

1. The color is wrong.
2. We shouldn't draw the focus ring around buttons until we draw "native"
Component: Layout → Layout: Form Controls
Summary: Focus outlines should look like Mac focus outlines on Mac OS → Focus outlines (ring) should look like Mac focus outlines on Mac OS

Comment 44

13 years ago
> How does Safari/IEMac handle it when the background of the web page is the
> same color as the blue outline focus ring?
IE's remain visible, but Safari's do not. See comment 38, final sentence.

Comment 45

11 years ago
Created attachment 217878 [details]
Gets rid of dotted outlines in buttons. Not working on file input yet. Color still probably not the prettiest.
Attachment #165562 - Attachment is obsolete: true

Comment 46

11 years ago
> Color
> still probably not the prettiest.

Use "-moz-mac-focusring"?

Duplicate of this bug: 198097

Comment 48

10 years ago
The Accessibar extension provides this functionality. Not perfect, but pretty nice.
Summary: Focus outlines (ring) should look like Mac focus outlines on Mac OS → Focus outlines (ring) should look like Aqua focus outlines on Mac OS X (text fields, listboxes, links)
Duplicate of this bug: 409703


10 years ago
Depends on: 415466
Anecdotal evidence in support of comment #14:
QA Contact: chrispetersen → layout.form-controls


4 years ago
Duplicate of this bug: 871998

Comment 52

4 years ago
Kinda crazy that this issue has just stayed open since 2009 having been opened in 2000.  This bug is almost as old as my company.

Thanks Mats for closing the bug I filed, but surely there could be efforts to address this.  

None of these discussions took place after WCAG 2.0 was released (which was a long time ago now).
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.