How do you make a div "tabbable"?

I have buttons that are div elements and I want to make them so that it is possible for the user to press the tab key on their keyboard and move between them. I've tried wrapping their text in anchor tags but it doesn't seem to work.

Does anyone have a solution?


Add tabindex attributes to your div elements.


<div tabindex="1">First</div>
<div tabindex="2">Second</div>

Per steveax's comment, if you don't want the tab order to deviate from where the element is in the page, set the tabindex to 0:

<div tabindex="0">First</div>
<div tabindex="0">Second</div>

for those interested, in addition to the accepted answer, you can add the following jquery to make the div style change when you tab to it, and also handle Enter and Space to trigger a click (then your click handler will do the rest)

$(document).on('focus', '.button',function(){
    $(this).css('border','1px dotted black')
$(document).on('keyup', '.button',function(e){
    if(e.which==13 || e.which==32)

I'm sure someone has made this into a jq plugin $().makeTabStop

Add the tabindex="0"attribute to each div you want tabbable. Then use CSS pseudo classes :hover and :focus, for example to signify to the app user that the div is in focus and clickable, for example. Use JavaScript to handle the click.

var doc = document;
var providers = doc.getElementsByClassName("provider");

for (var i = 0; i < providers.length; i++) {
    providers[i].onclick = function() {
.provider {
    flex: 0 1 auto;
    align-self: auto;
    width: 256px;
    height: 48px;
    margin-top: 12px;
    margin-right: 12px;
    text-align: center;
    line-height: 48px;
    text-transform: uppercase;
    background-size: contain;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    background-position: 10%;
    background-color: gray;

  cursor: pointer;

    -webkit-box-shadow: 0px 2px 8px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.4);
    -moz-box-shadow: 0px 2px 8px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.4);
    box-shadow: 0px 2px 8px 2px rgba(0,0,0,0.4);
<h4>Click in this area first then press tab</h4>
<div id="email" class="provider" tabindex="0">email</div>
<div id="facebook" class="provider" tabindex="0">facebook</div>
<div id="github" class="provider" tabindex="0">github</div>
<div id="google" class="provider" tabindex="0">google</div>
<div id="twitter" class="provider" tabindex="0">twitter</div>

Make elements tabbable and clickable with key press using jquery


  • All elements that are of a non-tabbable, non-clickable type and should be clickable have an onclick attribute (this could be changed to a class or other attribute)
  • All elements are of the same type; I will use divs.
  • You're using jquery

Sample html:


<div onclick="clicked(this)">Button 1</div>
<div onclick="clicked(this)">Button 2</div>
<div onclick="clicked(this)">Button 3</div>


Jquery code: This is the code that will run when the page has loaded. It needs to run on your HTML page.

    // make divs with an onclick attribute tabbable/clickable
        .attr('tabindex', '0')                     // Add tab indexes
            var key = evt.key;
            evt.preventDefault();                  // Ensure all default keypress
                                                   // actions are not used
            if (key === ' ' || key === 'Enter') {  // Only send click events for Space
                                                   // or Enter keys
      ;         // Run the click event for element

You can find a working example here.

Need Your Help

Qt - How to associate data with QTableWidgetItem?

qt qt4 qtablewidget qtablewidgetitem

I want to associate additional data with each QTableWidgetItem inserted into the table, in order to use that data in future, when it is being clicked on a table item. But that data should not be vi...

POCO's, DTO's, DLL's and Anaemic Domain Models

dll poco data-access-layer dto bll

I was looking at the differences between POCO and DTO (It appears that POCO's are dto's with behaviour (methods?))and came across this article by Martin Fowler on the anaemic domain model.