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Obviously this is hacky, and really clunky, and doesn't really solve the problem. but a potential workaround, emphasis on workaround,would be to listen for keystrokes and manually do your own tab index. That also doesn't help with accessibility, but it is an idea at the least. One benefit is it would allow you to see if you can manually transfer the focus with Flash. Also, what happens when you don't set a tabIndex?
That is a good idea. If I can't get it working I might try that. When I don't set the tab index it does tab from field to field just in a random order. When I attempt to set the tabIndex it always returns the focus to the first box even when I click in a different box and then hit tab.
The Flex FocusManager is only going to assing focus to IFocusManagerComponents. You'll have to do a bit of work to get your Flash component to be an IFocusManagerComponent (I think it is already) and then teach it to handle multiple tab targets. There are examples of handling multiple tab targets in DataGrid.as and List.as. They override the keyFocusChange handler.
Another solution may be to make each TextField an IFocusManagerComponent and make the wrapping component a "container" by setting its tabChildren=true.
Flex SDK Developer
Adobe Systems Inc.