The TAB key and SHIFT+TAB keys have no effect when the controls in the dialog box do not have the WS_TABSTOP style. Windows looks for this style as it searches for the next control in the dialog box to receive the input focus.

When the user presses TAB or SHIFT+TAB, Windows first determines whether the control having the input focus processes these keys. It sends the control a WM_GETDLGCODE message, and if the control returns DLGC_WANTTAB, Windows passes the keys to the control. Otherwise, Windows uses the GetNextDlgTabItem function to locate the next control that is visible, not disabled, and that has the WS_TABSTOP style. The search starts with the control currently having the input focus and proceeds in the order in which the controls were created pics/WIN3200090001.gif that is, the order in which they are defined in the dialog box template. When the system locates a control having the required characteristics, Windows moves the input focus to it.

An application can also use GetNextDlgTabItem to locate controls having the WS_TABSTOP style. The function retrieves the window handle of the next or previous control having the WS_TABSTOP style without moving the input focus.

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