How to navigate Power Apps studio formula bar keyboard-only
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.
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.
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
Tabkey until you are on the Insert menu
- User the
Tabkey until you are on the Button
- 2 times
CTRL + F6to select the property dropdown (you can use
Ctrl + F6or
CTRL + Shift + F6to navigate to the next landmark )
Arrow upuntil the desired property is selected
- 2 times
- change the value
- 2 times
Tabto have the property dropdown selected again
We could not be the only ones not knowing this :-)
some more resources
- If you want to know more on how to use Power Apps Studio with Screen Reader/keyboard, I can recommend to have a look at Kelly Ford’s session on Building a Microsoft Canvas Power App with a Screen Reader - thanks April Dunnam for the pointer.
- Keyboard shortcuts for canvas apps
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 :-) If you found this blog post useful, please also subscribe to my newsletter - news coming about every 2 months, I promise to not spam you!
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