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Accessibility tips

Information on this page:

General Web Accessibility Information

There are many tools that people with a disability can use to assist to access the Internet. These tools are either hardware or software.

Hardware

These tools manipulate the keyboard or mouse, because the person with a disability cannot use them. Examples are:

Software

These tools change how a user interacts with the site. Examples are:

  • Screen readers - Programs such as JAWS and IBM Homepage reader (screen reader and browser) that convert a web site into a Braille display or read it in audio for people who are blind, visually impaired or have dyslexia.
  • Screen Magnifiers - Programs that magnify sections of the screen for people with vision impairments. See Windows Screen Magnifier.
  • Oversized cursors - Large cursors for people with vision impairments. See "Biggy" cursors.
  • Onscreen keyboards - Keyboards for people with motor disabilities used in combination with switching devices. See On-screen keyboard.
  • Programs that slow down applications for people with motor disabilities, for example CPU Killer (for Windows).
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General Browser Shortcuts


Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts apply to Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator running under Microsoft Windows. Most of the shortcuts work on Apple Macintosh systems by using the Command key instead of the Control (CTRL) key. Similarly, most shortcuts work on Unix systems by using the ALT key instead of the Control (CTRL) key.

The following keyboard shortcut forms are used throughout the lists below: CTRL=Control; ESC=Escape; ALT=Alternative; UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT ARROWS=Arrow keys.

The 25 items listed below indicate the keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Internet Explorer.

  • To move to the next link, click TAB.
  • To move to the previous link, click SHIFT TAB.
  • To activate a selected link, click ENTER.
  • To find text on the current page, click CTRL F.
  • To go to next page, click SHIFT BACKSPACE OR ALT RIGHT ARROW.
  • To go to previous page, click BACKSPACE OR ALT LEFT ARROW.
  • To move to next frame, click CTRL TAB.
  • To move to previous frame, click SHIFT CTRL TAB.
  • To scroll toward the beginning of a document, click UP ARROW.
  • To scroll toward the end of a document, click DOWN ARROW.
  • To scroll toward the beginning of a document in larger increments, click PAGE UP.
  • To scroll toward the end of a document in larger increments, click PAGE DOWN.
  • To move to the beginning of a document, click HOME.
  • To move to the end of a document, click END.
  • To refresh the current page, click F5 key or CTRL R.
  • To stop downloading a page, click ESC.
  • To go to a new location, click CTRL O.
  • To open a new window, click CTRL N.
  • To save the current page, click CTRL S.
  • To print the current page or active frame, click CTRL P.
  • To select all, click CTRL A.
  • To copy selection, click CTRL C.
  • To display a shortcut menu for a hyperlink, click SHIFT F10 key.
  • To close the Window, click CTRL W.
  • To quit Program, click ALT F4 key.

The 27 items listed below indicate the keyboard shortcuts for Netscape Navigator.

  • To move to the next link, click TAB.
  • To move to the previous link, click SHIFT TAB.
  • The activate a selected link, click ENTER.
  • To find text on the current page, click CTRL F.
  • To find again, click CTRL G or F3 key.
  • To go to next page, click ALT RIGHT ARROW.
  • To go to previous page, click ALT LEFT ARROW.
  • To scroll toward the beginning of a document, click UP ARROW.
  • To scroll toward the end of a document, click DOWN ARROW.
  • To scroll toward the beginning of a document in larger increments, click PAGE UP.
  • To scroll toward the end of a document in larger increments, click PAGE DOWN.
  • To move to the beginning of a document, click CTRL HOME.
  • To move to the end of a document, click CTRL END.
  • To refresh the current page, click CTRL R.
  • To stop downloading a page, click ESC.
  • To go to a new location, click CTRL O.
  • To open a new window, click CTRL N.
  • To save the current page, click CTRL S.
  • To add Bookmark, click CTRL D.
  • To print the current page or active frame, click CTRL P.
  • To select all, click CTRL A.
  • To copy selection, click CTRL C.
  • To display a shortcut menu for a hyperlink, click SHIFT F10 key.
  • To increase Font size, click CTRL (version 4 only).
  • To decrease Font size, click CTRL (version 4 only).
  • To close the Window, click CTRL W.
  • To quit Program, click CTRL Q or ALT F4 key.
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Stylesheet manipulation

This following information contains instructions on how to change the fonts, colours and sizes on the following four browsers:

Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.

Setting the text and background colours - IE 5.0

Use the following procedure to change the colours of the text and the background in Microsoft Explorer V5:

  • Select Internet Options from the Tools menu. The system displays the Internet Options dialogue box.
  • Select the General tab.
  • Click the Colors button. The system displays the Colors dialogue box.
  • You can select the Use Windows Colors option to use the colours that you have defined for the screen windows in the Windows Control Panel. If you "turn off" the Use Windows Colors option, you can select your own colours for the text and the background. Note: If you change the colours significantly, such as to light coloured text on a dark background, you will also need to change the colours of the links, otherwise they may become invisible.
  • Click OK to close the Colors dialogue box.
  • Click the Accessibility button. The system displays the Accessibility dialogue box.
  • Select the relevant "ignore" options to force your preferences over the web page settings.
  • Click the OK button to close the Accessibility dialogue box.
  • Click OK to close the Internet Options dialogue box.

Note: Advanced users can create a style sheet to apply their preferences for colour and layout to the web pages in the browser. Internet Explorer V5 permits you to attach your own style sheet under the Accessibility options.

Setting the fonts - IE 5.0

Use the following procedure to change the fonts in Microsoft Internet Explorer V5:

  1. Select Internet Options from the Tools menu. The system displays the Internet Options dialogue box.
  2. Click the Fonts button. The system displays the Fonts dialogue box.
  3. Select the Web page font and the Plain text font as required.
  4. Click the OK button to close the Fonts dialogue box.
  5. Click the Accessibility button. The system displays the Accessibility dialogue box.
  6. Select the relevant "ignore" options to force your preferences over the web page settings.
  7. Click the OK button to close the Accessibility dialogue box.
  8. Click the OK button to close the Internet Options dialogue box.

Note: Advanced users can create a style sheet to apply their preferences for colour and layout to the web pages in the browser. Internet Explorer V5 permits you to attach your own style sheet under the Accessibility options.

Setting the font size - IE 5.0

When using a screenreader it is always best to make the font as small as possible. This stops the text from wrapping which allows the screenreader to read it more easily.

  • Under the View menu there is the option "Text sizes".
  • Select the size, from Largest to Smallest from the submenu.

Microsoft Internet Explorer V4.

Setting the text and background colours - IE 4.0

  1. Select Internet Options from the View menu. The system displays the Internet Options dialogue box.
  2. Select the General tab.
  3. Click the Colors button. The system displays the Colors dialogue box.
  4. You can select the Use Windows Colors option to use the colours that you have defined for the screen windows in the Windows Control Panel. If you "turn off" the Use Windows Colors option, you can select your own colours for the text and the background. Note: If you change the colours significantly, such as to light coloured text on a dark background, you will also need to change the colours of the links, otherwise they may become invisible.
  5. Click OK to close the Colors dialogue box.
  6. Click the Accessibility button. The system displays the Accessibility dialogue box.
  7. Select the relevant "ignore" options to force your preferences over the web page settings.
  8. Click the OK button to close the Accessibility dialogue box.
  9. Click OK to close the Internet Options dialogue box.

Note: Advanced users can create a style sheet to apply their preferences for colour and layout to the web pages in the browser. Internet Explorer V4 permits you to attach your own style sheet under the Accessibility options.

Setting the fonts - IE 4.0

When using a screenreader it is always best to make the font as small as possible. This stops the text from wrapping which allows the screenreader to read it more easily.

  1. Select Internet Options from the View menu. The system displays the Internet Options dialogue box.
  2. Click the Fonts button. The system displays the Fonts dialogue box.
  3. Select the family of the Proportional font and the Fixed Width font as required.
  4. Select the Font size.
  5. Click the Set as Default button.
  6. Click the OK button to close the Fonts dialogue box.
  7. Click the Accessibility button. The system displays the Accessibility dialogue box.
  8. Select the relevant "ignore" options to force your preferences over the web page settings.
  9. Click the OK button to close the Accessibility dialogue box.
  10. Click the OK button to close the Internet Options dialogue box.

Note: You can temporarily change the font size in the current browser session by selecting Fonts from the View menu. Select the size, from Largest to Smallest from the submenu. You can also add a Font button to the toolbar by selecting the Show Font Button option under the Advanced tab on the Internet Options dialogue box.

Note: Advanced users can create a style sheet to apply their preferences for colour and layout to the web pages in the browser. Internet Explorer V4 permits you to attach your own style sheet under the Accessibility options.

Netscape Navigator V4.7

Setting the text and background colours - NN 4.7

Use the following procedure to change the colours of the text and the background in Netscape Navigator V4.7:

  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu. The system displays the Preferences dialogue box.
  2. Select the Colors option in the Category field on the left-hand side.
  3. Select the Use Windows Colors option to use the colours that you have defined for the screen windows in the Windows Control Panel. If you "turn off" the Use Windows Colors option, you can select your own colours for the text and the background.
  4. To change the colour of an item, click the coloured buttons to display the Color dialog box.
  5. If you have changed the colour scheme significantly, such as light text on a dark background, it is wise to select the Always use my colors, overriding document option.
  6. Click the box "Always use my colours, overriding document".
  7. Click OK to close the Preferences dialogue box.

Setting the fonts - NN 4.7

When using a screenreader it is always best to make the font as small as possible. This stops the text from wrapping which allows the screenreader to read it more easily.

Use the following procedure to change the fonts in Netscape Navigator V4.7:

  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu. The system displays the Preferences dialogue box.
  2. Select the Fonts option in the field on the left-hand side.
  3. Select the family and size of the Variable Width Font and the Fixed Width Font as required.
  4. You can also choose the following options:
    • Use my default fonts, overriding document-specified fonts. (This option uses only the fonts that you have selected).
    • Use document specified fonts, but disable Dynamic Fonts. (This option uses the fonts specified by the web page, but only if they exist on your system).
    • Use document-specified fonts, including Dynamic Fonts. (This option uses the fonts specified by the web page and will download them if they are not available on your system).
  5. Click the OK button to close the dialogue box.

Note: In addition setting the font size preferences, you can temporarily increase or decrease the font size in the current session by pressing CTRL to decrease the font size, or CTRL to increase the font size. This feature enables you to "zoom" in or out to make it easier to read the page.

Netscape Navigator V4.

Setting the text and background colours - NN 4.0

Use the following procedure to change the colours of the text and the background in Netscape Navigator V4:

  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu. The system displays the Preferences dialogue box.
  2. Select the Colors option in the Category field on the left-hand side.
  3. Select the Use Windows Colors option to use the colours that you have defined for the screen windows in the Windows Control Panel. If you "turn off" the Use Windows Colors option, you can select your own colours for the text and the background.
  4. To change the colour of an item, click the coloured buttons to display the Color dialog box.
  5. If you have changed the colour scheme significantly, such as light text on a dark background, it is wise to select the Always use my colors, overriding document option.
  6. Click OK to close the Preferences dialogue box.

Setting the fonts - NN 4.0

When using a screenreader it is always best to make the font as small as possible. This stops the text from wrapping which allows the screenreader to read it more easily.

Use the following procedure to change the fonts in Netscape Navigator V4:

  1. Select Preferences from the Edit menu. The system displays the Preferences dialogue box.
  2. Select the Fonts option in the field on the left-hand side.
  3. Select the family and size of the Variable Width Font and the Fixed Width Font as required.
  4. You can also choose the following options:
    • Use my default fonts, overriding document-specified fonts. (This option uses only the fonts that you have selected).
    • Use document specified fonts, but disable Dynamic Fonts. (This option uses the fonts specified by the web page, but only if they exist on your system).
    • Use document-specified fonts, including Dynamic Fonts. (This option uses the fonts specified by the web page and will download them if they are not available on your system).
  5. Click the OK button to close the dialogue box.

Note: In addition setting the font size preferences, you can temporarily increase or decrease the font size in the current session by pressing CTRL to decrease the font size, or CTRL to increase the font size. This feature enables you to "zoom" in or out to make it easier to read the page.

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Acknowledgement

The information above has been sourced from: