Assignment of Keyboard Shortcuts
The following keys have been defined for this page
and for any of our pages which have sent you directly to this section of
this page in response to 'Access - 0' (eventually all of them). Not
support this feature, and those that do may use a variety of key combinations.
For most users the access key is the alt-key. Others employ the ctrl-key
in combination with the characters presented below. The feature is case
page (home) of current sub-site, or Super Home if on such a page
Top navigation bar, text version if available (Two is for
3 Table of Contents of current page (Three's rhymes T o'C-- same as 'j')
4 Search for something, local or foreign (Four
is for '4eign' i.e. off site, off page)
Deprecated. Please use s for search.
starting place. (Five is for fine. 5kip to 5ummary)
6 Completely different points of view, page or section (Six is for Sickies! j/k)
7 List of local pages related to current one (Seven, up to page-list heaven)
8 Tell a friend about the current page (Eight, Hey this page is 'gr8!')
9 Contact author.
Feedback, complaints. (Think backwards 'e', as in e-mail)
0 Access Key assignments
(You are here)
a reserved for browser's favorites
b about. The 'About' page for current sub-site, or main 'About' page if on such page
c reserved for browser's communicator-menu
d Descriptions of images, focused appropriately
e - i reserved for browser's edit-, file-, go-, help-, and insert-menu
J jump. Move focus
to Table of Contents (same as '3')
k skip. Move focus to beginning of main body of content
L links page or links section on same page
m SiteMap, focused on the entry for the current page
n New. Moves focus to most recently added item on the current page
o Orientation. Where am I? Navigation help
q Quotes by insightful people (other sites could use q for FAQ)
r Rings -- webrings page or section
s Search locally or entire Web (preferred to the deprecated '4')
reserved for browser's tools-menu
u Updates, what's new? For just plain 'up' use ctrl-home instead
v reserved for browser's view-menu
w Webminder's personal information
x break frames
('X' them out)
y young pages. Birthings of new pages
z text only
verzion, if applicable, otherwise to list of
text only articles
Settling Upon a Standard
The assignments that are most commonly used are those for 0, 1, 9, s, and
4. If you're a webminder just considering including some access key functionality
those five are the most useful. There is some conflict for the other keys
between standards set by various governments: United Kingdom, Queensland,
U.S. Navy. We're choosing to use the ones that we think would make the
most sense for the majority of websites, not just our own.
For access keys to be useful they need to be uniformly employed from
site to site. To that end we've tried to choose keys that are more mnemonically
intuitive than the choices made by the rocket
scientists at NASA. Here's a site that makes an interesting attempt
at creating memorable key choices: Dee's Wonky Window.
Preference is given to choices which degrade gracefully. For example,
it's not so bad if someone accesses 'w' expecting to write e-mail
to the author if it takes them to webminder's home page, where there
is a prominent and early link for e-mail. Similarly, it's not so bad if
someone uses alt-m for mail, if they get the map, where they can easily see how to send mail.
Sometimes organizations recommend using different keys for the same
functions. Some browsers support only access letters. Others only
access numbers. Where possible, we try to provide both. It is hoped that
in the case of a conflict with pre-existing alt-key assignments, this redundancy
will allow continued access to our functions. Here are some uses made of
access keys by other webminders that seemed as though they might be useful
on many sites (but that we don't use): terms
and conditions, and forum (4). We may use alt-4 for forum if we can
succeed in getting people to switch 'search' to the letter 'S'.
Looking Wistfully at the Symbol Keys
If more browsers would allow symbol keys to serve for this purpose some
logical choices would be e-mail (@), comment (,), links ( _ ), statistics
(#), disclaimers (~), censorship policy (!), donations ($), related pages
on site (&), search (+), quotations ("), most popular pages (*), help,
navigation (?), up (^), up one directory level (/), previous (<), next
(>), jump ([), and end section(.). Perhaps you could think
up some good uses for %, =, minus, apostrophe, colon, semi-colon, parentheses,
brackets, and braces. Here are some sites that think these symbols already
Net Aotearoa, College
of Liberal Arts)
Who is Using This Schema?
If we learn of your page that is using five or more of the above character-function
combinations, we will probably list it here. Meanwhile, here are some that
use four of the assignments:
Quote About Access Keys
The ACCESSKEY attribute implementation typically
uses the same technique (Alt key) as the browser's built-in user interface.
This means that access key assignments in a document may mask out some
basic functionality which users might be familiar with or, less seriously,
the built-in assignments might mask out the page-specific assignments.
-- Jukka Korpela
Articles About Access Keys
.Accesskeys: Unlocking Hidden Navigation (Stuard Robertson).
Proposes a stylesheet method for introducing the underlining of the initial character of a word as a signal that that character is a hot key for non-mouse access. Too bad I can't yet understand how to implement that. It looks like it would be good, though, for those who are only slightly more technically savvy than I am.
useful are access keys at present?
Accessibility with accesskey (Jukka Korpela)
Online Resources on Access Keys
I Do Not Use Access Keys (Mezzoblue)
An extended discussion of access key conflicts with browser presets, and operating system level shortcuts. One participant proposes the idea (as I understand it) of having a system whereby web authors could provide hooks to significant locations upon their pages and sites, to which users might redefine their own shortcuts.
Some Little Known Standard Keyboard Shortcuts
Choosing Access Keys
la Carte Pages
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