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SV: Use first letter as ACCESSKEY

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 21:23:34 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <PMEDKJMNFKKCPMNLCCFIOEGJCCAA.jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>

On Mon, Feb 24, 2003 at 16:36, David Dorward wrote:

David's quote from my original article:
1)The access key letter works together with the ALT key.

This isn't always true. That is how some browsers handle access keys,
especially on MS Windows systems. Other systems use different keys. A
list of implmentations on a number of systems can be found at

My comment:
Yes! For the sake of simplicity I used Windows as example.


David's quote from my original article:
2) You can have access keys to hundreds of links on the same web page
because many links can share the same letter.

David's answer:
What is a browser supposed to do when two access keys share the same
letter? Currently (In Mozilla at least) you hit Alt+AK and the browser
takes you to the page. How do you deal with conflicts between access

My comment:
Yes! And please read the original article carefully. First letter as
ACCESSKEY today only works in Internet Explorer for Windows. This is a very
great beginning since probably more than 90 pct. of the users world wide use
this browser. In Denmark it is more than 95. pct.

It is possible to use the same letter many times because you just press ALT
and the letter one more times and it takes you to the next link using that
access key, etc. It is all explained in the article.


David's quote from my original article:
3) It is a common misunderstanding that access keys to links conflicts
with access keys to the menu bar in the browser if they use the same
letters. The access key assigned to a link on the web page overrules
the same letter assigned to the menu bar in the browser. But you can
still use both! Pressing the ALT key in different ways in the two
situations can solve the problem.

David's answer:
This requires that users retrain themselves to stop holding down the
alt key when they press another letter to access the menu. It also
fails to address other uses of the key, for example in Internet
Explorer for Windows the key combination Alt+d gives the focus to the
address bar. This makes it easy to type a new address in OR to copy or
edit the existing URL.

My comment:
No David! Please read my article, "Use first letter as ACCESSKEY" carefully:

I have explained it already:

If you press the ALT key the focus is the browser. Then you can press the
access key letter you want for the browser. Keeping the ALT key down when
you press the accesskey letter does the same thing accept that the accesskey
letters used in the web page overrules the access keys in the browser's

Not many people know this, so test it in an IE-browser. This means that
access keys for the web page and for the browser can be the same without
conflicts, if we learn the two ways of pressing the ALT-key.

Please remember that no one is using the ACCESSKEY today except fanatics
like me. The ACCESSKEY attribute is one of the great failures of the
accessibility community: we need it so much and nobody is using it. "First
letter as ACCESSKEY" could revolutionize accessibility on the Internet.

Jesper Tverskov
Received on Monday, 24 February 2003 15:17:41 UTC

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