Can I use keyboard to move focus to next cell without clicking it? (no, regular arrows don't work in this case)

I have a spreadsheet where I have to color cell backgrounds as I work through hem.
Because of this, I like to keep the ‘Background Color’ menu windowed and on top of the sheet so it’s constantly visible and available.

However, working is a bit clunky:

  1. I mouse-click to select the cell I want to edit.
  2. I type the text I want to type into that cell.
  3. I select a background color for the cell from the open background color window.
  4. NOW, it would be great to move focus to the next cell so I can proceed to do similar edits, but I can’t figure out how to do it smoothly: by now, the focus is in the background color window and not the cells, so arrow keys will just navigate the color palette swatches, not the spreadsheet cells like I’d want. Testing arrow keys with different modifier keys doesn’t seem to change this, the focus stays in the background color window.

I keep accidentally ending up with wrong colors, and it feels very clunky to have to go back to the mouse to click the next cell because I do this a lot.
Yes, I have to click the color swatch with a mouse, but it’s different because they are in a small area, and having to move the mouse all the way to a cell that’s far away makes for a very clunky workflow.

Is there a way to select the next cell even if background color window is open and it was the last thing that was clicked?
If such a thing even theoretically exists as a function of the software but isn’t accessible via keyboard shortcut, I might even explore the route of creating an Applescript that I then assign a keyboard shortcut for, which will do it… But the point is, can Calc even shift focus like that, at all?

I see from your last comment that you are on a Mac. Is there a keyboard shortcut that allows to navigate between open windows, like Alt-Tab for Windows? The issue is that the color palette may become invisible behind the spreadsheet, so you would need to press that keyboard shortcut again to bring it in front…

Hmm, alt+tab just navigates next interactive elements in the same window, and shift+tab goes backwards. Cmd+tab switches between applications, and I believe adding shift to that combo navigates them backwards.

But you gave the right hint: I went to System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Keyboard, and enabled a keyboard shortcut called “Move focus to next window”. There also seems to be shortcuts for focusing on things like “window toolbar”, “floating window”, and “window drawer”. But I got it to work now, and just like when I do it with a mouse click, this change of focus does not make the color palette disappear from view. The point for it is to stay in front if the user has detached it from its usual place by clicking its header when the dropdown menu is first open.

Glad that it works for you!
I just realized that on Windows, clicking on the detached palette does not make the Calc sheet to lose the focus, so it is possible to use the arrow keys without first clicking on sheet area. I don’t know if this difference is a bug or due to any MacOS constraint.

Have you tested with the Esc key?