WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: Access keys, ie6


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Jan 21, 2002 12:07PM

The accesskey attribute is supported in Netscape 6. On the Windows platform,
you use the ALT + (the accesskey character). One thing that I have noticed
is that the focus must first be on the web page itself before the accesskey
will work. In other words, if you just bring up Netscape and go to a page
with accesskeys specified, the accesskeys will not work until you either tab
into the web page or click on it with your mouse.

The WebAIM has a few accesskeys specified:

1 = home page
2 = skip navigation
3 = printer version
4 = index/search

You'll notice that we used numbers rather than letters. I would have
preferred to use letters, but, unfortunately, when you use letters, there is
a much greater likelihood that you will interfere with pre-existing keyboard
shortcuts in either the browser or the assistive technologies (e.g. JAWS,
Home Page Reader).

I have mixed feelings about accesskeys. The idea behind them is good, but
implementation is difficult because of conflicts with other software and the
great variability between different web sites. I admit that I almost never
use the accesskeys on my own site. I forget that they even exist. Even when
I remember that we have them, it's often just as easy to tab with a keyboard
or click with a mouse. Still, we put them there to showcase the technique,
if nothing else.

By the way, I actually prefer the way that Netscape handles accesskeys. You
don't need to do anything extra to make them work. In Internet Explorer in
Windows, you have to use the keyboard shortcut then you have to hit enter.
The extra step severely reduces the efficiency of the technique, in my

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Utah State University

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]On Behalf Of
sam urquhart
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 11:18 AM
To: WebAIM forum
Subject: Access keys, ie6

Hi All,

I am currently working for a company that is creating multi-platform
services for local
authorities, and have found the WebAIM site extremely useful as reference.

However, I have been trying to find the keyboard shortcut commands for
access keys for ie6
and have been unable to do so (I have searched your archives but haven't
found this

As I understand, ie 4 and 5 are as follows:

Microsoft IE4 press 'alt' and letter at the same time
Microsoft IE5 press 'alt' and letter then press enter

is that right?
I've also heard that this WAI initiative is now supported by Netscape 6. If
so, what are
the keyboard shortcuts for that?

Thank you in advance

-Sam Urquhartx

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/

To subscribe, unsubscribe, or view list archives,
visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/