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Focusing on Computer control in The Grid 2

One of the “tricky” concepts with Computer Control is understanding which program has the focus in Windows. This can sometimes make it seem like The Grid 2 is not working correctly.

When using the Computer Control grids, it is important to ensure that the program you want to control has the focus. There are a couple of visual clues that show which program has the focus:

  • The title bar is a different colour to other windows.
  • It is on top of other windows (except The Grid 2).
  • The window marker looks different in the start menu bar.
  • (advanced) if you have a workspace on a computer control grid, you can see which program has the focus.

You can also type on the keyboard – the text will appear in the program that has the focus.

Changing focus

When you click on a window with the mouse it will get the focus, and the window that has the focus will lose the focus.

If you are using switches to access The Grid 2, this is rarely a problem because the focus only changes when you want it to.
If you are using a mouse to access The Grid 2, you need to be a bit more careful because the focus can be changed very easily. You can also make it so that no program has the focus (i.e. if you click on the Start menu button twice so it opens and closes). If you are supporting a switch user, you need to take care when “interrupting” with the mouse and keyboard because you may be inadvertently changing which program has the focus.

If the wrong program has the focus then the cells in The Grid 2 will do nothing or the wrong thing.

A few notes

You cannot set the focus to The Grid 2 by clicking on it. This is intentional! The focus stays on the program that you are controlling. To set the focus to The Grid 2 you can right-click on it, or click on the title bar or menu bar (if visible).

There are some things in The Grid 2 that you cannot do with the mouse that you can do with switches. For example, if you try to use The Grid 2 to move around the Start menu (or a program menu), clicking on The Grid 2 will close the menu that was open.

Similarly, the mouse control functions (such as radar mouse) are intended for switch access.

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