Track the DOM element with tab focus using the console

When trying to improve keyboard behaviour in your application you’ll need to understand the tab order of of your UI. Sometimes its not possible to see the active element due to a lack of styling. This post shows how the Dev Tools console can help

I’ve recently been looking to improve the keyboard behaviour of Contensis but its not always obvious which element is getting focus when navigating around the UI, using the console and what I learned in my previous article I’ve been able to update the console with the activeElement as I navigate using the tab key.

  1. Open the DevTools console by pressing Cmd+Opt+J Mac or Ctrl+Shift+J Windows / Linux
  2. Typing the following snippet in to the console.
  3. As you navigate your webpage / application the current active element is displayed in the console window.
function track_tabfocus() {
  if (track_tabfocus.last !== document.activeElement) {
    track_tabfocus.last = document.activeElement;
    console.log(track_tabfocus.last);
  }
}
setInterval(track_tabfocus, 300);

Tagged: til, DevTools, JavaScript, Accessibility, and a11y