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Wikipedia:Keyboard shortcuts

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For the Wikipedia article, see access keys.

The MediaWiki software contains many keyboard shortcuts. You can use them to access certain features of Wikipedia more quickly.

Using access keys

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:

Browser Operating system Instructions
Google Chrome Windows hold Alt or Alt+⇧ Shift,[1] press access key
Linux hold Alt+⇧ Shift, press access key
Mac OS X hold control+⌥ Option, press access key
Firefox Windows, Linux hold Alt+⇧ Shift, press access key
Mac OS X hold control+⌥ Option, press access key
Internet Explorer Windows hold Alt, press access key (in some versions you may then need to press ↵ Enter)
Safari Mac OS X hold control+⌥ Option, press access key
Windows hold Alt, press access key
Opera All press and release ⇧ Shift+Esc, then press access key

List of access keys

Display access keys

By modifying your user CSS file access key shortcuts can be displayed before internal links on any Wikipedia page.

Adding this code displays the access keys with boxes around them on every Wikipedia page, as displayed in the picture. The skin used is Vector, but this will work for any skin.
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;
}
Similarly, this is identical to the above except the boxes around the access keys are removed.
a[accesskey]:before {
    content: " " attr(accesskey) " ";
    text-transform: uppercase;
    white-space: pre;
    font-family: sans-serif;
    margin-right: 0.5ex;
}

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

Accessibility of access keys

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.

The accessibility of keyboard shortcuts (access keys) is a complicated matter. This feature, in its current implementation, 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

Notes

  1. ^ For some keys (e.g. r), both Alt and Alt+⇧ Shift work; For other keys (e.g. f), only Alt+⇧ Shift works; For other keys (e.g. .), only Alt works.