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Re: form input field with Browse button type=file


From: Terence de Giere
Date: Jan 8, 2003 10:07PM

A few days ago I was playing with forms, not with any great concern
about accessibility as I was using JavaScript, but I was making the
script routines function with keyboard input, and I discovered that the
file upload browse button would not work with the keyboard in two of the
three browsers I was using. In Internet Explorer 6, I could select the
browse button by tabbing, but using the keyboard to try to activate it
submitted the form instead. Netscape 7 skipped over the browse button
entirely - I could only select it with a mouse. With the Opera 7 beta I
was able to select the browse button using the tab key and activate it
by pressing the enter key so I could select a file for upload from the
system's file system; then tabbing to the submit button I could submit
the form to upload the file..

It seems there is a problem with the browsers' keyboard support for this
function, which would automatically cause problems with a screen reader.
I too had never noticed this before. I have not had time to research
this further, but if this holds up under scrutiny, Netscape, IE and
possibly other browser developers need to fix it to make it accessible.
I just tried the Lynx text browser and it cannot access the computer's
file system, so the user needs to know the exact path name and syntax to
type in the file name for upload, as is apparently also the case for IE
and Netscape.

Terence de Giere

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