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Scroll the TabStrip with the Keyboard


Product Progress® Kendo UI® TabStrip for jQuery
Operating System Windows 10 64bit
Visual Studio Version Visual Studio 2017
Preferred Language JavaScript


How can I implement vertical scrolling with the keyboard in a Kendo UI for jQuery TabStrip?


To work properly, keyboard navigation requires a focused element. Non-form elements normally do not receive focus.

To overcome this, the TabStrip <div> wrapper provides a tabindex attribute. Logically, the Left Arrow and Right Arrow keys switch the active tab. The Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys do the same as this is what accessibility standards require.

When the TabStrip wrapper has the focus, and its active content container is scrollable, then the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys do not scroll the container even if the widget ignores these keystrokes. This behavior is applied because the focused element is a parent of the scrollable one and the browser has no idea that it is supposed to scroll the child element in this situation.

It is not possible to make the scrollable content container become focused. Even if you add a tabindex attribute to it and scrolling with the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys starts working, the TabStrip keyboard navigation is completely non-functional. This behavior is acquired because the Kendo UI TabStrip handles key events only if its wrapper is the focused element. The idea behind this behavior is that the widget is not supposed to interfere with the keyboard navigation of nested form elements, child widgets, and so on.

To vertically scroll the TabStrip content containers with the help of the keyboard, use the following approach:

  1. Drop the keyboard navigation of the TabStrip altogether by removing the wrapper tabindex after the widget is initialized. In this way, the TabStrip will not be able to receive focus and capture keyboard events.

    $("#tabstrip").kendoTabStrip(); $("#tabstrip").removeAttr("tabindex");

  2. Scroll the container by using JavaScript.

The following example demonstrates how to implement the suggested approach.


        #tabstrip > .k-content
            height: 200px;
            overflow: auto;


    <div id="tabstrip">
            <li class="k-active">
            1<br /><br /><br />2<br /><br /><br />3<br /><br /><br />4<br /><br /><br />
            5<br /><br /><br />6<br /><br /><br />7<br /><br /><br />8<br /><br /><br />
            1<br /><br /><br />2<br /><br /><br />3<br /><br /><br />4<br /><br /><br />
            5<br /><br /><br />6<br /><br /><br />7<br /><br /><br />8<br /><br /><br />

        $(document).ready(function () {
            // this handler should be attached before the TabStrip is initialized!
            $("#tabstrip").on("keydown", function (e) {
                // kendo.keys is documented at
                if (e.keyCode == kendo.keys.DOWN || e.keyCode == kendo.keys.UP) {
                    // prevent the built-in TabStrip keyboard navigation
                    // prevent page scroll
                    // get the visible TabStrip container
                    var visibleContainer = $("kendoTabStrip").wrapper.children(".k-content").filter(":visible");
                    if (e.keyCode == kendo.keys.DOWN) {
                        visibleContainer.scrollTop(visibleContainer.scrollTop() + 50);
                    } else {
                        visibleContainer.scrollTop(visibleContainer.scrollTop() - 50);

                animation: {
                    open: {
                        // the default expand animation should be replaced or disabled
                        // when the TabStrip containers have an explicit height
                        effects: "fadeIn"



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