#838 – Using a Label’s Access Key to Give Focus to Another Control

An access key is a character that the user can press, in combination with the Alt key, in order to activate or give a control focus.

Controls that the user can interact with and that have their own label typically can define their own access keys.  (E.g. A Button).  Controls that don’t have their own label can be activated or receive focus by using the access key of a nearby Label.

To pair a Label’s access key with another control, you:

  • Define the access key using an underscore in the Label’s Content property
  • Associate the related control using the Label’s Target property
    <StackPanel Orientation="Horizontal">
        <Label Content="Your _Name" VerticalAlignment="Center"
               Target="{Binding ElementName=txtName}"/>
        <TextBox Name="txtName" VerticalAlignment="Center"

When the user presses Alt+N, the TextBox gains focus (and the user can then begin typing to enter their name).