moderated Auto-set the focus to the message subject or body textbox in newtopic/replies/private online #suggestion


Hi Mark,

When one clicks NewTopic or Reply online and the message composition window comes up, right now there is no specific control focus set so the browser handles any keystrokes.  Being a primarily email client user, this has caught me off guard sometimes, as I'll start typing a subject or body text forgetting that I have to first mouse-click (or touch in the app) on the subject or body textbox to set the focus so I can type or paste.  I'm sure others have experienced this as well.

In addition, if one is currently typing something on either the subject or body boxes, if they click on Private the current focus is lost and the user has to use the mouse again to go where they were to continue typing.

On email clients, a mailto: link (with no prefilled subject) brings up the composition window with the focus set on the Subject box.  If the mailto: contains a prefilled subject, the composition window sets the focus now on the message body box.  At least that's how Thunderbird and Gmail work but I suspect most others too.  My suggestion is to emulate this behavior online as it streamlines things.

a. Set the focus to the Subject box for NewTopic. (which should also take care of using SendMessage when contacting a member through the member list or wherever)

b. Set the focus to the body text box for Reply:
- If non-quoted replying, after adding any signature text to it, set the body textbox cursor at position 1 and then set the focus to it.
- If quoted-replying, after adding any signature text, set the cursor at the end of any quoted text but before the signature text, and then set the focus to the body textbox.

c. Set the focus to the body text box** for Private button:
- Private on/off toggle clicks do not alter the current cursor location of the body textbox (if there's some text in there already) so it only needs to set the focus back to the textbox, so clicking on Private and back may change the subject but it leaves you back where you were in the body textbox while typing.
- ** Optionally, if you wanted to get fancier, you could keep track if the user was in the subject box when they clicked Private so the focus could then be returned to the subject box (instead of the default body text) after setting the cursor location at the end of the subject text, to account for the automatic subject change.

I suspect heavy online-messaging users will come to appreciate this much more than the medium-to-light online-messaging users, as it saves the extra focus click and it streamlines message composition online.

The app also has this focus issue but there's the additional peculiarity in the app that, on a blank body textbox, one has to touch close to the upper left of the textbox, if one touches in other areas the textbox doesn't get the focus, although that could be a function of my iPaidtoomuchphone being an older model)

Thanks and Cheers,



I've made the following changes:

  • In the New Topic page, the Subject field gets focus.
  • In the /posttosub pages, the Subject field gets focus.
  • When replying to a message, the editor gets focus.
  • When toggling the Private button, focus should remain in the reply editor.
  • When quoting a message to reply, the cursor goes to the bottom of the editor.

For that last bullet, I had wanted to put the cursor between the quoted text and any signature the person has, but I was unable to get that to work properly right now. I will revisit at some point.