Focus

You are encouraged to run POS as much as possible from the keyboard and avoid using the mouse. Keeping your hands on the keyboard helps the program run more smoothly. However, one must have a strong understanding of  focus when using the keyboard.

With computers the term focus refers to what part of a window is active. Each time we click our mouse we are changing focus. Without a mouse changing focus becomes more challenging and sometimes we lose sight of where focus is causing the computer to do unexpected things.

The “Alt”, “Ctrl”, “Tab” and the arrow keys are workhorses when it comes to changing focus from the keyboard. Try pressing the Alt key by itself and see what happens. You may not notice at first but it places focus on the file menu at the top of the POS program. You can then use arrow keys on the keyboard to access menu commands across the top.

We will enter another order from Jane Doe and discuss focus as we go. This time Jane has two eggplants and one spinach. With a new order focus begins in the “CustID” field. You can tell this because there is a flashing curser inside the data entry box. When you type “doe” two things happen. First, you have scrolled through the list of existing clients and reached Jane Doe and secondly you have created a new order record. You know this because the field to the left of “CustID” now gives a new order number. Focus is still on “CustID” which still contains the flashing bar. But now I am ready to fill in order lines so I press Tab or Enter to move forward to the next field.

Focus switches to “Prod” in the first cell of the order lines. This has a list associated with it which can be accessed through F4 or by typing towards a plant name. Typing “eg” brings up “eggplant”. Press Tab again. Focus switches to “Quantity” which can be modified. You change it from one to two. Another Tab changes focus to “Price”.

The remaining fields in an order record never achieve focus because they are populated automatically. So the next tab moves focus back to “Prod” in a new record on the second line. Down Arrow would also move us down to a new record. We type in “let” to bring us to “Lettuce”. Down arrow finishes the record putting focus on “Prod” in the new record area.

Ctrl-Tab removes us from the order lines area and puts focus on the “PayMethod” list:

Since the transaction involves cash we leave it on the default “PayMethod” by pressing Tab. Because the “PayMethod” is “Cash” the focus goes to “CDN$in” ready to receive a cash payment.

Jane hands us $5.00 which is typed into “CDN$in” and she is handed back 46 cents in change.

If we had chosen one of the other methods like “Credit Card” Tab would have changed focus right to the “Ping” button and filled in “CDN$in” with the amount owing. Either way we press “Ping” with an Enter or an Alt-P and a new record appears bringing focus back to an empty “CustID” ready to start the process all over again.

It should be noted that not all items are in the Tab sequence. “Invoice” for example, can only be checked from the keyboard with an Alt-V.