Luise Freese

How to navigate Power Apps studio formula bar keyboard-only

tl;dr

you can use Power Apps Studio way more efficient - and way more accessible in regards of different input devices than you might be aware of.

the annoyance

Recently, I had a chat with Yannick Reekmans who told me that he really wonders how anyone could be productive on Power Apps Studio. His example was:

If we select a property on the property-dropdown, then double-tab to the formula bar, make our changes and then want to select the next property, there is no obvious way on how to select the property-dropdown again - unless we use the mouse, which means losing time and also disturbing our flow of work.

And it was this kind of thing, that I always accepted as this is just how it is, and never really questioned this poor experience.

the solution

After some investigation and looking for accessibility content, I found a way of doing it.

Let’s say we want to insert a button and change some properties, going back and forth between property pane and formula bar:

  • Use the Tab key until you are on the Insert menu
  • Enter
  • User the Tab key until you are on the Button
  • Enter
  • 2 times CTRL + F6 to select the property dropdown (you can use Ctrl + F6 or CTRL + Shift + F6 to navigate to the next landmark )
  • Arrow down or Arrow up until the desired property is selected
  • Enter
  • 2 times Tab
  • change the value
  • ESC
  • 2 times Tab to have the property dropdown selected again

Power Apps Studio keyboard navigation

We could not be the only ones not knowing this :-)

some more resources

Feedback and What’s next?

Now why is all of this important? Because it gives people choice on how they want to interact with Power Apps studio, and choice is always improving accessibility. For me, personally, this has already been a game changer and I am only using it for 2 hours. I very much enjoy to not rely on my mouse when changing properties of controls, and I hope this tip will help you, too. I am curios, which hidden keyboard/shortcut/accessibility gems did you find in Power Apps studio and what makes you more efficient? Share your tips on twitter in this thread :-)

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