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Mac OS X - Enabling keyboard access in web browsers
Enabling keyboard navigation in Mac OS X Web browsers
An article picked up from: 456 Berea Street
I like using the keyboard to navigate websites. It is often more efficient and comfortable than having to reach for the mouse and position the cursor just right. Another reason I have for using the keyboard is that it lets me check that aspect of accessibility on the sites we build at work. One problem is that, for some strange reason, Mac OS X web browsers do not have full keyboard navigation enabled by default. They do support keyboard navigation, but you need to enable it. In some cases it’s very easy, in others it requires a bit more work. Since I am asked about this every now and then I have written this summary of how to enable full keyboard navigation in some web browsers for Mac OS X.
- Choose Safari > Preferences.
- Click Advanced.
- By default, the Tab key just focuses form controls – you need to use Option-Tab to focus links as well. To change this, check the checkbox labelled Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage.
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Click Keyboard & Mouse
- Click Keyboard Shortcuts.
- Below “Full keyboard access”, check the radio button labelled All controls.
- Close System Preferences and open Firefox.
- Type about:config in the Firefox location bar, press enter and click the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button.
- Look for a setting called accessibility.tabfocus. Most likely it isn’t there, but if it is, double-click it and change its value to 7. Skip the next steps.
- If there is no accessibility.tabfocus setting, right-click anywhere in the list and choose New > String.
- In the “New string value” dialog that opens, enter accessibility.tabfocus and click OK.
- Enter 7 in the “Enter string value” dialog and click OK.
- Choose Opera > Preferences.
- Click Advanced.
- Select Shortcuts in the list of settings.
- Check the “Enable single-key shortcuts” checkbox.
- Choose Camino > Preferences.
- Click Web Features.
- From the “Tab selects” menu, choose All form controls and links.
- Choose OmniWeb > Preferences.
- Click General.
- Next to “Keyboard Navigation”, check the radio button labelled Tab key selects links and form controls.
Start loving your keyboardNow that you know how to enable full keyboard navigation in most Mac OS X web browsers, try it out if you haven’t already – you may find yourself liking it. Even if you don’t, you’ll be able to check that you do not create accessibility problems for people who cannot use a mouse and rely on their keyboard to navigate the Web.
Original article: 456 BereaSreet
Latest page update: made by invisiblebloke
, Jun 10 2009, 10:01 AM EDT
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