Lookup fields need to be clicked on

I have noticed that when entering data into a lookup/reference field, the user has to click on the suggestion which pops up under the field. Here is a quote from one of our users:

“Also when entering in information you must always clicking on things and if you do not and try to tab or hit enter so it will move to the next field…it automatically again defaults to blank and thus you have to go back and reenter the information. There should be ‘ease’ when moving from field to field. This inability again is wasting time.”.

Just wondering if there is an easy way around this behavior, and/or is this something that will eventually be changed to include “Tabbing” ability without having to click the dropdown.

Thanks for raising the question Moshe.  We’ve all experienced the frustration you describe.  However, there doesn’t seem to be a universal best practice for affordances on type ahead fields.   We’ve kicked around the idea of keystroke shortcuts - we’ll add this use case to the list that would be solved by that work. 

This actually came up today for us as well.  Currently, if the user is keyboard bound (e.g. straight data entry), even if they type the full text value in the lookup field, as soon as they tab off of it the value reverts to the previous value of that field.  For heads-down data entry, having to click the mouse or arrow keys to pick from a list when they have already typed-in a valid value (or copy/pasted) shouldn’t be needed.  if they are typing only partial value, picking from the list is completely appropriate.

Possibly the “lostfocus” even could be captured to check if the text value is valid and if so, leave it as it rather than reverting?

Some improvement in this area would be a significant difference maker for us!

I’ve also received feedback from our users along the same lines.  Before they offer that feedback, there seems to a minor bit of confusion that they need to actually click the item in the dropdown in the first place, which isn’t a big deal once I explain it to them, but would be nice if I didn’t have to.

In a few places where there aren’t too many items, they have requested picklists instead.

Not to be condescending to the users, but to point out they have bigger fish to fry, I showed the users who did complain how to override the URL to get back to the old native Salesforce interface, which helped put things into perspective and quell the discussion altogether (at least thus far).  

I just saw this. One suggestion to give to users is that they can press the down arrow and then enter to select the item. What we don’t want to happen is a case where the user half types (or fully types) an item, and then changes their mind and clicks away. I don’t think the item should be selected and the relationship formed in this case.

Ben your making a great point, and this may be one of those things where Users will complain either way. I just think that users entering the correct text, and not having it get selected, happens 75% of the time, so I would be willing to sacrifice the 25% of the time when they don’t want to select anything. It’s possible we can come up with a safe compromise (e.g. have it select when the field is required, but not when it isn’t, etc.).