Implement setFocus() on Elements with MooTools

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Every DOM node provides a focus method but most nodes have a tabIndex of -1 which prevents the element from being focused on when clicked, tabbed, focused via JavaScript.  I've been tinkering around with ways to make focusing on any element effortless with varying results.  I tried monkey-patching the prototype which worked well in Safari and Chrome but nowhere else.  I tried doing a tabIndex check but IE complained.  In the end I came up with more of a shortcut method than anything else.

The MooTools JavaScript

This method can be used by any node but it could cause issues with resetting an explicitly set tabIndex.

	setFocus: function(index) {
		this.setAttribute('tabIndex',index || 0);

Using this method is simple:


There you have it.  Depending on the node, the element may have a dotted outline as you would expect.  Otherwise you can add onFocus and onBlur events to your DIVs, SPANs, and other nodes.

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  1. Eric C.

    Simple, yet effective, I like it!

  2. Very cool! I was just asking myself how elements are focused in JS while working on my ARAI Class.

    I think this should be part of more. It’s simple and can be very useful for many scenarios.

  3. What does this part means?

    ...abIndex',index || 0);

    What is the “index” there means?

  4. Erenss

    Hi every body, nice technic but in my case Firefox send back : ReferenceError: setFocus is not defined
    while in chrome work fine!

  5. Thanks worked for me..

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