Helix Tab Finder

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What is Helix Tab Finder?

Helix Tab Finder is a utility program that can examine the sequences in Helix collections for use of Tab Field and Home Field commands.

Note: References in this documentation to the Tab Field command refer to both the Tab Field and Home Field commands.

Why Helix Tab Finder Exists

Helix 6.1 changes the specification for tabbing on views. In prior versions of Helix, all fields — whether formatted as text, popup, checkbox, or radio button — could be tabbed into. In Helix 6.1, tabbing only works with text fields, not field formatted a controls. (A future release is expected to add tabbing into controls.)

This change has no serious effect on the use of keyboard tabbing — except that you have to retrain your brain to consider the new tabbing restrictions — but a Tab Field (or Home Field) command in a sequence could be problematic. If the sequence goes on after the Tab Field to manipulate fields via the Clear, Cut, Copy, Paste, or Time Stamp commands, the sequence may not work as it did before, as the cursor may not move to the expected location, leading to unexpected results.

Helix Tab Finder was created to give you an easy way to thoroughly check your collections for sequences containing Tab Field commands, flagging potential trouble in subsequent sequence steps.


To install Helix Tab Finder, just drag it onto your hard drive.

How to Use Helix Tab Finder

Just drag and drop one or more Helix collections onto it. (You can also double click Helix Tab Finder and select one or more collections from the Open dialog box.)

Once the collection status has been verified a Save dialog box appears. Name and save the text file according to your personal preferences. This file contains the detailed collection exam report.

After you have specified where to save the report, Helix Tab Finder starts examining the collection(s) for instances of the Tab Field (including Home Field) commands. Progress thermometers keep you apprised of what is happening. When the process is complete, an Exam Summary dialog lets you know if any issues were found. Details are found in the saved report. See below for a sample of the detailed report format.

If you open multiple collections at the same time, the process repeats for each collection. Note that you must be present to name each exam report and to dismiss the exam summary. Other than that, the program runs unattended, unless errors are encountered.


Helix Tab Finder is freeware. It is provided by Autograph Systems. If you find this program useful, think kindly of us and maybe buy something from the web store. Autograph Systems is an Authorized Apple Reseller.

Helix Tab Finder may be freely distributed, as long as the entire package, including this documentation, is included with it.


Helix Tab Finder only works with Helix collections from version 5.2 to 6.1. If you attempt to examine an earlier (or later) collection, a warning is displayed and the collection will not be checked.

Current information about the transition to OS X native Helix can be found at the QSA ToolWorks web site.

Helix Tab Finder relies on two embedded tools: Helix Scripting Demo and 24U Appearance OSAX. Helix Scripting Demo is part of the CallHelix 2.0 package, sold by Autograph Systems. 24U Appearance OSAX is a third party scripting addition (OSAX) licensed for distribution by Autograph Systems. If you are an AppleScript user, I highly recommend 24U Appearance OSAX.

Report Format

The exam report is formatted as a simple text file.

The first entries are purely informational, containing the collection name, the date and time, and finally the List of Sequences that contain at least one Tab Field/Home Field command.

Following that is the name of each sequence that contains a Tab Field command. The sequences are listed in the order they are found in the collection, not in alphabetical order. Only sequences that contain a Tab Field command are detailed.

Details include the entire list of sequence steps and a marker indicating where the command is found and where potential trouble may exist further along in the sequence. See the sample report.

Sample Report

** Helix Tab Finder 1.0 Report for Collection QSA db **

4 Sequences Found. Searching for a Tab Field command...

** Start Sequence List **

The sequence 'Add Document' contains a Tab Field command with subsequent commands that could potentially be a problem:
Step   Command
----   -------
  1    Home Field	<-- Tab Field Found
  2    Copy	<-- Potential Trouble
  3    Static Enter Override
  4    View: Add Document
  5    Clear Form
  6    Home Field	<-- Tab Field Found
  7    Paste	<-- Potential Trouble
  8    Tab Field	<-- Tab Field Found

** End Sequence List **

4 sequences were examined.

1 sequence was found containing the Time Stamp command.

** End of Report **

Version History

v1.0 — Initial Release: December 19, 2007