Wikipedia:Keyboard shortcuts

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The Vector skin, which is the default on Wikipedia, contains many keyboard shortcuts. You can use them to access certain features of Wikipedia more quickly.

Keyboard shortcuts, in the way they are implemented on Wikipedia, are useful for some users with disabilities and do not require JavaScript to work. At the same time, they are bothersome for some screen reader users because it interferes with the shortcuts of their screen reader. The best solution would be to have customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Using Access Keys With Your Web Browser[edit]

An Access Key allows a computer user to immediately jump to a specific part of a web page via the keyboard. In Wikipedia, Access Keys allow you to do a lot more - protect a page, show page history, save your changes, show preview text, and so on. See the next section for the full list.

Most web browsers require holding down one or two "modifier" keys to use an Access Key. Different web browsers invoke Access Keys in different ways. Please use the list below to determine the appropriate key combination for your browser and system:

  • Opera (all platforms): press Shift+ Esc, then press access key (Shift-Esc will display the list of choices)

Please see access keys for more information on this concept.

List of access keys[edit]

List of access keys available on Wikipedia
Access key Command Description
+ Start a new discussion Allows you to add a new section (talk pages only)
. (period) My user page Opens your user page (logged-in users only)
, (comma) Edit box Moves the cursor to the edit box (on edit pages)
= Protect Allows you to protect the current page (admins only)
Unprotect Allows you to unprotect the current page (admins only)
b Edit summary Allows you to enter a short edit summary (on edit pages)
c Content page Shows the content page associated with the current article
d Delete Allows you to delete the current page (admins only)
Undelete Allows you to undelete the current page (admins only)
e Edit this page Allows you to edit the current page (non-protected pages or admins)
View source Shows the source of the current page (protected pages)
f Search box Moves the cursor into the navigation/search box that is on that page.
g Data item Link to connected data repository item.
h History Shows the current page's history
i Minor edit Toggles the "This is a minor edit" checkbox (on edit pages)
j What links here Shows all of the pages that link to the current one
k Related changes Shows recent changes in pages linked to the current one
l My watchlist Opens your watchlist (logged-in users only)
m Move Allows you to move the current page and its talk page (non-move-protected pages only)
n My talk Opens your talk page (logged-in users only)
p Show preview Shows a preview of your changes (on edit pages)
Printable version Opens a printable version of the current page (on pages other than edit pages)
q Special pages Shows a list of all special pages
r Recent changes Shows a list of recent changes to Wikipedia
s Save page Saves the changes that you have made (on edit pages)
t Discussion Opens the current article's talk page
u Upload file Allows you to upload images or media files
v Show changes Shows what changes you made to the text (on edit pages)
w Watch Adds the current page to your watchlist (logged-in users only)
Watch this page Toggles the "Watch this page" checkbox (on edit pages)
x Random article Loads a random article
y My contributions Opens your contributions page (logged-in users only)
z Main Page Goes to the Main Page

Display access keys[edit]

The following entry in your user CSS file (e.g., User:Example/common.css) will display access keys before links that have them.

This does not work in Internet Explorer versions lower than 8.0, since they don't support the :before CSS selector.

a[accesskey]:before {
    content: " " attr(accesskey) " ";
    text-transform: uppercase;
    white-space: pre;
    border: thin solid;
    font-family: sans-serif;
    text-decoration: underline overline;
    margin-right: 0.5ex;

Changing and disabling access keys[edit]

See also the removeAccessKeys script talk page. It will explain yet another way.

A list of the shortcut keys can be found here: User:Matt B./monobook.js

To disable or modify these access keys, add the code near the bottom of your own skin file (e.g., User:Example/vector.js). Access keys are case-sensitive.

Some common problematic access keys include:

d (delete page):

 /* disable Wikipedia access keys/keyboard shortcuts */
ta['ca-delete'] = new Array(,'Delete this page'); /*delete*/

e (edit page):

 /* disable Wikipedia access keys/keyboard shortcuts */
 ta['ca-edit'] = new Array('','Edit this page');

f ("find"/go to search box):

 /* disable Wikipedia access keys/keyboard shortcuts */
 ta['search'] = new Array('','Search this wiki');

Accessibility review of these access keys (August 2010)[edit]

Keyboard shortcuts (access keys) are a complicated matter. This feature, in its current implementations was temporarily abandoned in WCAG 2.0, notably because it conflicts with the shortcuts of assistive technologies. Usage of access keys is currently discouraged in the online contents and applications.

But presence of access keys is also an Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) requirement—the ATAG approach is particularly relevant in Wikipedia's case—where this matter is looked into thoroughly. In particular, ATAG requires the possibility to customize shortcuts. This should be requested in bugzilla:477.

Currently, their presence in Wikipedia's interface can be problematic for some users and can be useful for others. But more importantly, it misleads developers into thinking that the interface is keyboard accessible. Requirements that need to be fulfilled for a website to be keyboard accessible are not related to keyboard shortcuts (G90, F42, SCR35, F58, F61).

See also[edit]