Form Filling and Internet Explorer Don’t Mix

April 26, 2008

I’ve gotten a few e-mails in the past few weeks from users saying they couldn’t fill out forms on the or Web site. We certainly know there is an issue for some users and I’ll try to explain when the problem happens and several ways to work around the problem. We have tried to find a solution for the problem and would also be thrilled if anyone has a suggestion that would fix it.

First, the problem only occurs if you use Internet Explorer. If you use Firefox, Opera, Safari or pretty much any other browser you won’t have any problems at all. I’m certainly a huge fan of Firefox. In my opinion it is much faster and more secure than Internet Explorer. It is my primary browser and I use it well over 90% of the time. So if you have the ability to use Firefox, it would help make your browsing experience better and this issue wouldn’t be a problem.

I know that not everyone can or will switch browsers. Thus I have to suggest some workarounds. The problem is that users have trouble clicking on the form fields and inserting their cursor. We find that the form fields are indeed clickable, it is just that the clickable area is very small. Move your cursor to the top edge of the form field and it should change the cursor to indicate you can click. Once you’ve clicked in the first field, fill out the information and tab to the next field.

Another workaround is just to use the Tab key. It will Tab through all of the elements on the page. Don’t be surprised if it takes 15 or more clicks to get to the first form field.

Again, we realize this is a bit of a hassle. We have spent hours researching the problem and testing potential solutions. None of them have worked so far. Since the problem only occurs in Internet Explorer and not in other browsers, we can only guess that there is a non-standard behavior in Internet Explorer causing the problem. Internet Explorer is full of non-standard behaviors so this wouldn’t be a bit surprising. If that is the case, we hope Microsoft will get it fixed in the next release of Internet Explorer. If you have a solution that would fix the problem, please post a comment and let us know. We’ll get the site fixed as soon as possible.

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