The maximum value for tabIndex should not exceed 32767 per W3C section 17.11.1
If not specified default value is -1

The tabindex global attribute is an integer indicating if the element can take input focus (is focusable), if it should participate to sequential keyboard navigation, and if so, at what position. It can take several values:

  • a negative value means that the element should be focusable, but should not be reachable via sequential keyboard navigation;
  • 0 means that the element should be focusable and reachable via sequential keyboard navigation, but its relative order is defined by the platform convention;
  • a positive value means should be focusable and reachable via sequential keyboard navigation; its relative order is defined by the value of the attribute: the sequential follow the increasing number of the tabindex. If several elements share the same tabindex, their relative order follows their relative position in the document.

An element with a 0 value, an invalid value, or no tabindex value should be placed after elements with a positive tabindex in the sequential keyboard navigation order.

You can consult this article to see a comprehensive explanation of focus management.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'tabindex' in that specification.
Living Standard No change from latest snapshot, HTML5.1
HTML5.1
The definition of 'tabindex' in that specification.
Recommendation Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard, no change from HTML5
HTML5
The definition of 'tabindex' in that specification.
Recommendation Snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard. From HTML 4.01 Specification, the attribute is now supported on all elements (global attributes).
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of 'tabindex' in that specification.
Recommendation Only supported on <a>, <area>, <button>, <object>, <select>, and <textarea>.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: nickgibson-advanced,