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question about down arrow key in swing

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I am working on some old swing code.
I have a swing form composed of combo boxes (actually components that mimic JComboBox behavior) and text fields. Say, I have a textfield on the top, and two combo boxes at the bottom. If user clicks textfield first, and press down arrow key, it goes down to the editable text field of first combo box, if user press key again, it goes to second combo box.

My question is: can I prevent user from using down arrow key to go through the form fields? instead, they can use tab key to go through fields, once they are at one of combo boxes, then user can use down arrow key to surf through combo box list.

I am wondering what controls the behavior of down arrow key events? Just have spent tons of time, and have not been able to figure it out.

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