Tab order is used to determine which control gets focus and can accept keyboard input. It’s called tab order because you can change focus from control to control using the TAB key in a Windows form or the soft input panel in a mobile application. Tab order is an important aspect in making sure that you application is usable. By default, Tab order for individual controls is usually set using the TabIndex and specifying the TabStop property. Visual Studio 2005 introduces a new layout feature to change the tab order during the design process.

Figure 1: The Layout Toolbar

Within Visual Studio 2005 select the Tab Order button on the layout toolbar as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 2: Setting the Tab order

Once selected as shown in Figure 2 you can simply click each control that has the ability to receive input focus to visually change its tab order.