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Re: browser support for heading navigation

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 17:48:18 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi Michael,

At 16:33 31-8-2011, Michael Gower wrote:
>Hi Christopher,
>The Firefox Accessibility Extensions 
>(<http://firefox.cita.uiuc.edu/>http://firefox.cita.uiuc.edu/) offer 
>the same W and S navigation that you mentioned for Opera. From the 
>Accessibility toolbar that is added to Firefox, you choose Keyboard 
>and select Enable Keyboard Enhancements.

Thanks for pointing that out. I was not aware of this feature in FAE. 
It also gets focus right, i.e. tabbing after a heading gets you to 
the first link below the heading, instead of the first link on the 
page. (Now I just need to configure it in a way that doesn't cause 
conflicts with Firefox' Find-as-you-type feature.)

Best regards,


>Michael Gower
>IT Advisory Specialist
>IBM Global Business Services, Canada
>1803 Douglas Street
>Victoria, BC  V8T 5C3
>voice: (250) 220-1146
>cel:     (250) 661-0098
>sms:    2506610098@txt.bellmobility.ca
>fax:     (250) 220-8034
>From:        Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
>To:        w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
>Date:        08/31/2011 06:52 AM
>Subject:        browser support for heading navigation
>Sent by:        w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org
>WCAG 2.0 technique H69: "Providing heading elements at the beginning
>of each section of content" is a technique for SC 2.4.1 (Bypass
>blocks). It is listed as a sufficient technique for that success
>criterion. Several screen readers provide keyboard support for
>heading navigation. But how do sighted keyboard users navigate headings?
>The section "User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes"
>states: "Most screen readers provide navigation via headings and
>provide information about the level of the heading. The Opera browser
>provides a mechanism to navigate by headings. Additional plugins
>support navigation by headings in other user agents."
>The list of keyboard shortcuts for Opera 11.10 does not list
>shortcuts for navigating headings :
>The tutorial
>"Use Opera without a mouse" states that you can use the keys W and S
>to navigate to the previous and next header [sic!] on the page:
>this tutorial is not referenced by the page with keyboard shortcut
>and the keys don't work if you don't enable them in the preferences
>(the tutorial does not tell you that; see
>for the instructions).
>Other browsers, with larger "market shares" than Opera, don't support
>heading navigation.
>There are a few extensions for Firefox, but they are either aimed at
>mouse users or outdated.
>For example, the HeadingsMap extension creates a nice hierarchical
>list, but after hightlighting a heading in the list pane and tabbing
>to the browser's content pane, the focus will be at the top of the
>page instead of the heading that you highlighted. The add-on does not
>add keyboard shortcuts for navigation to Firefox.
>The TitleQ extension adds shortcuts for heading navigation (Crtl+Up
>and Ctrl+Down) but when you start tabbing after selecting a heading,
>you start at the top of the page again, instead of starting at the
>chosen heading. (Unlike HeadingsMap, TitleQ does not highlight the
>headings while you navigate them.)
>My last hope for Firefox was Gez Lemon's GreaseMonkey script from
>but I can't install it in the current version of GreaseMonkey (in
>Firefox 3.6.x, for example).
>Internet Explorer does not provide shortcuts for heading navigation.
>RNIB's Surf Right toolbar does not provide such shortcuts either:
>(I don't know if the JISC Techdis Toolbar provided shortcuts for
>headings; development of this toolbar has been stopped.)
>Google Chrome does not support heading navigation either:
>The extension Chome Keyconfig (a developer tool) does not enable
>heading navigation (it is not in the list of available actions for
>which you can configure keyboard shortcuts).
>The extension Keyboardnavigation does not seem to support this
>So which "additional plugins support navigation by headings in other
>user agents"?
>Best regards,
>Christophe Strobbe

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
Open source for accessibility: results from the AEGIS project 
Please don't invite me to Facebook, Quechup or other "social 
networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but I haven't.
Received on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 15:49:06 UTC

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