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Additional keyboard inputs for "Dialog Conditional" in workflows.


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Hello,

As I've started using some Alfred 5 specific workflows, I've noticed that the Dialog Conditional could use some more keyboard inputs. For example, it would be great to be able to use the arrow keys to move up and down the selected options. Additionally, I would love to be able to hit escape or command+backspace to close the dialogue. Currently enter is the only key that does anything and only on the first option (the one selected by default).

 

Thanks for considering!

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Since you and I discussed this on Github I wondered if it might be something to do with Enable Full Keyboard Access in System Preferences under Accessibility > Keyboard > Navigation. Indeed, if you enable that (which I don’t really wish to do for other reasons) the Tab key will move through the various options in the conditional dialog. But it’s a little strange because although each option is indicated with a blue rectangle around it as you tab, the first, default option remains fully highlighted.

 

It would be very good if we were able to use something like the up and down arrow keys to move through options in the conditional dialog. I appreciate this may be a macOS "thing" it's not possible to circumvent, however.

 

Stephen

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Quite right, @Stephen_C. The dialog conditional is a standard macOS dialog and is thus governed by its rules. Even the default option remaining blue is expected; when you tab through them and see the highlight change, you have to press the spacebar to activate it.


Having it work this way has a number of advantages, including consistency. It looks and behaves as expected of a standard macOS dialog and is less likely to cause wonky behaviours. The tabbing through fields is one example, but here’s another: the selection isn’t blue, it is whatever colour you set in System Preferences → General → Accent colour (which defaults to Multicolour which itself defaults to blue).

 

Via the Feedback Assistant app you can suggest behaviour improvements to macOS dialogs.

 

Though worth noting: esc should close the dialog regardless of Full Keyboard Access. If it isn’t, you may not have it in focus. If you do, what version of macOS are you on?

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On 9/8/2022 at 12:19 PM, vitor said:

Though worth noting: esc should close the dialog regardless of Full Keyboard Access. If it isn’t, you may not have it in focus. If you do, what version of macOS are you on?

Hmmmm. Alfred dialogues never have the focus for me. Is that a configuration setting or something? I'm on the latest, 12.5.1 and Alfred 5.0.3.

 

Escape never works for me on any workflow boxes or confirmations. I did play with enabling full keyboard access, which did enable tab, but only tab and nothing else—escape still didn't work. I turned it back off again.

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1 hour ago, Sticky said:

Alfred dialogues never have the focus for me.

That is very strange because they do for me (on exactly the same versions as you). Is it the same for you whether you run the relevant workflow with, or without, Alfred Preferences open?

 

Stephen

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Yes, no change with or without Alfred Preferences open.

 

It's odd to me that enter works but escape doesn't.  I thought maybe one of my other apps was interfering, so I tried quitting all of those (Rectangle Pro, Maccy, etc.) but no change.  It's probably some OS customization that I did in the past. Over the years I have tweaked lots of settings, often times by changing plists via Terminal. So without knowing exactly what I changed, it might be hard to track down. Glad to know escape works on your systems. 🙂

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4 hours ago, Sticky said:

So without knowing exactly what I changed, it might be hard to track down.

 

It may be worth creating a new user account on your Mac temporarily, with none of your other apps running, just so that you can see what behaviour you get there. If keys work there, it's confirmation that the issue on your primary profile will be down to some custom configuration - which will require some more digging to work out who's stealing focus or interfering with your keys.

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