Re: Thoughts on ACCESSKEY

Scott Matthewman (
Fri, 18 Jul 1997 14:15:10 +0100

From: (Scott Matthewman)
To: <>, "E. Stephen Mack" <>
Subject: Re: Thoughts on ACCESSKEY
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 14:15:10 +0100
Message-ID: <>

> I'm interested in the conflicts inherent in these last two
> paragraphs.  We're told that the user agent decides both
> on what the shortcut key will be (depending on the system
> used), and that the user agent will render the access key
> on screen.  How, then, should an author list the access
> key?  "To visit Yahoo, press ALT+Y on Windows or CMD+Y on
> Macintosh or simply follow the link if that doesn't work"
> is a little unwieldy.  (Maybe I don't know what is meant
> by "label text" here.)

ACCESSKEY is a shortcut to a task which can be accomplished in another way
(e.g. by mousing the mouse or the tab key, etc.). As with Windows and Mac
applications, why not display the link/button and let the user decide what
to do?

> What's the best way for authors to show which access key
> they've assigned?
> <A HREF="" ACCESSKEY="Z">Z: Yahoo!</A>
> <A HREF="" ACCESSKEY="Z">Yahoo! (Z)</A>
> <A HREF="" ACCESSKEY="Z">Yahoo! [Access=Z]</A>

Would you do that if you were designing a GUI application? No. So why do it
in HTML?

[Mind you, this is a personal opinion from someone who thinks the words
"Click here" should be banned within the <A> element... ;) ]
Scott A. Matthewman, Danielson Limited / SBN Level 1 Member
Tel: +44 (0)1296 424478. Fax: +44 (0)1296 392141
Email: or
"He's not as stupid as he looks."
"My dear, no-one could be as stupid as HE looks."