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Chapter 12 - Accessibility Features and Functionality

This chapter describes the different ways that Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6 supports enhanced accessibility and explains how you can use the browser to accommodate different accessibility needs. In particular, Internet Explorer has many features that enable users with disabilities to customize the appearance of Web pages to meet their own needs and preferences. If you are a user without disabilities, you might also be interested in this functionality, which enables you to customize colors and fonts to your own tastes and to use time-saving keyboard shortcuts.

Related Information in the Resource Kit

  • For more information about planning accessibility features for users with disabilities, see "Planning the Deployment." 

  • For more information about testing accessibility features before installing Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Tools, see "Setting Up and Administering a Pilot Program." 

  • For more information about deploying Internet Explorer to your user groups, see "Deploying Microsoft Internet Explorer 6." 

Overview: Browser Accessibility

Internet Explorer 6 makes the Web more accessible to computer users with disabilities. If you are blind or have low vision, are deaf or hard-of-hearing, or have physical impairments, seizure disorders, or cognitive or language impairments, you can customize Internet Explorer to meet your needs.

The sections in this chapter cover the following topics:

  • Accessibility benefits offered by Internet Explorer 

  • Upgrade considerations for transitioning from previous versions of Internet Explorer 

  • Suggested features that can accommodate different types of disabilities 

  • Keyboard navigation within the Internet Explorer browser, Internet Explorer Help, the Windows Desktop Update (if installed), and Web pages 

  • Customization of fonts, colors, and styles on Web pages, the Windows Desktop Update (if installed), and Internet Explorer Help 

  • Advanced Internet accessibility options, such as disabling or enabling sounds, images, and animations; the use of smooth scrolling; and the treatment of links 

  • Other accessibility resources, including telephone numbers, postal addresses, and Web sites 

Accessibility Benefits

Microsoft products are designed to make computers easier to use for everyone, including people with disabilities. In recent years, products have been further enhanced according to feedback from users who have disabilities, organizations representing those users, workers in the rehabilitation field, and software developers who create products for the accessibility market.

If you are a user with disabilities, Internet Explorer 6 offers many features that can enhance your browsing experience. These features enable you to perform the following tasks:

  • Control how Web pages are displayed. You can customize the colors of background, text, and links based on your preferences. By installing your own style sheets, you can control font styles and sizes for Web pages. You can create style sheets that make headings larger or highlight italicized text with a different color. These Web-page preferences also apply to content within the Microsoft® Windows® Explorer and Internet Explorer Help windows. 

  • Work better with screen readers and other accessibility aids. Internet Explorer 6 uses the HTML 4.0 standard, which enables Web-page designers to specify additional information on Web pages, such as the name of an image or control, for use by screen readers. You can also turn off smooth scrolling and other effects that can confuse screen readers. In addition, the Dynamic HTML Object Model in Internet Explorer enables developers to create other accessibility aids for users with disabilities. 

  • Reduce the amount of typing required. With the AutoComplete feature turned on, Internet Explorer resolves partially typed URLs based on a cached history of sites that you have visited. This feature makes it easier for you to type long or repetitive URLs. Explorer bars for Search, History, and Favorites also make it easier for you to find the items that you need. 

  • Perform tasks easily by customizing the desktop layout. If you have installed Windows Desktop Update, you can further customize your desktop, Start menu, and taskbar. You can choose from a range of desktop toolbars, or create your own. By clicking Favorites on the Start menu, you can quickly access preferred sites. Also, the Address bar enables you to enter URLs directly from the Microsoft Windows desktop, without having to open the browser first. 

  • Get better feedback. Two sound events in Control Panel, Start Navigation and Complete Navigation, signal when a Web page begins loading and when the page finishes loading. These sounds can be helpful if you are blind or have low vision. You can also set the appearance of links to show when they are activated or hovered over with a mouse. 

  • Use a mouse with greater ease. If you have installed Windows Desktop Update, you can choose to single-click rather than double-click the mouse to initiate common computer operations, such as opening folders. Also, you can put the most commonly used commands and shortcuts on desktop toolbars so that you can access them with a single mouse click. 

  • Navigate with the keyboard. Using your keyboard, you can navigate through Web pages, panes, links, toolbars, and other controls. Keyboard shortcuts also make it easy for you to work with Favorites, use the Address bar, and perform editing functions, such as cut and paste. 

  • Replace images with textual descriptions. You might want to turn off the display of pictures in Internet Explorer and read the textual description of the image instead. 

  • Turn off animation, pictures, videos, and sounds. If you are blind or have low vision, you might want to turn off animation, pictures, videos, and sounds to improve computer performance. Sounds can interfere with screen readers that read text aloud. You might also want to disable these functions if you have cognitive disabilities or are sensitive to motion or sound. 

  • Use the High Contrast option. High contrast enables you to choose a simple color scheme and omit images that might make text difficult to read. 

Upgrade Considerations

Changes in software architecture might affect the functionality of some accessibility aids that were written for previous versions of Internet Explorer. Test Internet Explorer 6 with your accessibility aids to determine if the behavior differs from previous versions. Also, you can contact vendors to find out how the different accessibility aids function with Internet Explorer 6.

Depending on your specific needs, you might encounter challenges in using the different features of Internet Explorer 6. You can easily customize those features by installing or uninstalling components based on the functionality that works best for you. You can also turn on or off many features, according to your preferences.

The following list provides some general tips to consider when upgrading to Internet Explorer 6:

  • If you have installed Windows Desktop Update, it replaces the traditional Start menu with a scrolling Start menu that supports dragging so that you can rearrange menu items. However, this type of menu limits the number of menu commands that are visible at one time to those commands that fit in a single column. Although long menu lists do not display all of the commands at once, you can navigate to them all by using the keyboard. 

    If you need to keep as many options as possible available on the screen at one time and you currently have many commands on your Start menu, you might want to remove some commands from the Start menu. You might also want to use the desktop toolbar, the Quick Launch toolbar, or the custom toolbar feature to make the commands available from other places on the desktop. 

  • Internet Explorer 6 uses menus and check boxes that some screen readers might not interpret correctly. If you have installed Windows Desktop Update, Windows Explorer also uses these menus. To determine the level of support, test these features with your accessibility aids. Also, contact the vendors of your accessibility aids to find out about upgrades that might better support Internet Explorer 6. 

Suggested Features for Different Types of Disabilities

The following sections suggest features that can benefit users with certain types of disabilities. The list of features for each type of disability is not complete, because the needs and preferences of individuals vary, and some people have a combination of disabilities or varying abilities.

To learn more about these features or to find procedures that explain how to configure a specific setting, see "Using Keyboard Navigation," "Customizing Fonts, Colors, and Styles," and "Configuring Advanced Internet Accessibility Options" later in this chapter.

Features for Users Who Are Blind

If you are blind, you might depend on a screen reader, which provides spoken or Braille descriptions of windows, controls, menus, images, text, and other information that is typically displayed visually on a screen. Internet Explorer 6 provides improved functionality for screen readers and offers a range of other features that might be helpful to you.

You might benefit from the following features:

  • Use the keyboard to navigate Internet Explorer, Web pages, and Internet Explorer Help. 

  • Ignore colors specified on Web pages. 

  • Ignore font styles and sizes specified on Web pages. 

  • Format documents by using an individualized style sheet. 

  • Expand alternate text for images. 

  • Move the system caret with focus and selection changes. Some accessibility aids use the system caret to determine which area of the screen to read or magnify. 

  • Disable smooth scrolling. 

  • Choose not to show pictures, animations, and videos in Web pages. 

  • Disable smart image dithering. 

  • Assign a sound to the Start Navigation and Complete Navigation events. 

Features for Users Who Have Low Vision

Common forms of low vision are color blindness, difficulty in changing focus, and impaired contrast sensitivity. If you have color blindness, you might have difficulty reading colored text on a colored background. If you have difficulty changing focus or experience eye strain with normal use of a video display, you might have difficulty reading small text, discriminating between different font sizes, or using small on-screen items as targets for the cursor or pointer. If you have impaired contrast sensitivity, you might have difficulty reading black text on a gray background.

You might benefit from the following features:

  • Use the keyboard to navigate Internet Explorer, Web pages, and Internet Explorer Help. 

  • Ignore colors specified on Web pages. 

  • Ignore font styles and sizes specified on Web pages. 

  • Format documents by using an individualized sheet. 

  • Expand alternate text for images. 

  • Move the system caret with focus and selection changes. Some accessibility aids use the system caret to determine which area of the screen to read or magnify. 

  • Disable printing of background colors and images. 

  • Choose text and background colors for Web pages (or create custom colors). 

  • Choose the visited and unvisited colors for Web links (or create custom colors). 

  • Display Web pages in the Windows High Contrast color scheme, which offers a simple color palette and omits images that make text difficult to read. 

  • Assign a sound to the Start Navigation and Complete Navigation events. 

  • Add the Size button to the browser toolbar so font sizes can be changed easily. 

  • Display large icons. 

Features for Users Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Sound cues in programs are not useful when you work in a noisy environment or if you have hearing impairments. If you are deaf, you might use sign language as your primary language and English as your secondary language. As a result, you might have difficulty reading pages that use custom fonts, depart from the standardized use of uppercase and lowercase letters, or use animated text displays.

You might benefit from the following features:

  • Select SoundSentry, which generates visual warnings when the computer makes a sound. 

  • Select ShowSounds, which displays captions for the speech and sounds that the computer makes. 

  • Disable sounds in Web pages. 

Note If you are deaf, you might also be interested in the features recommended for users with cognitive and language impairments.

Features for Users with Physical Impairments

If you have physical impairments, you might find it difficult to perform certain manual tasks, such as manipulating a mouse or typing two keys at the same time. You might also hit multiple keys or "bounce" fingers off keys, making typing difficult. Therefore, you might want to adapt keyboard and mouse functions to meet your requirements.

You might benefit from the following features:

  • Use the keyboard to navigate Internet Explorer, Web pages, and Internet Explorer Help. 

  • Use Explorer bars. 

  • Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages. 

  • Format documents by using an individualized style sheet. 

  • Add hover colors to links. 

  • Expand alternate text for images. 

  • Move the system caret with focus and selection changes. Some accessibility aids use the system caret to determine which area of the screen to read or magnify. 

  • Use inline AutoComplete. 

  • Underline links when hovering. 

  • Add the Size button to the browser toolbar so font sizes can be changed easily. 

  • Display large icons. 

Features for Users with Seizure Disorders

If you have a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, you might be sensitive to screen refresh rates, blinking or flashing images, or specific sounds.

You might benefit from the following features:

  • Use the ESC key to turn off animations immediately. 

  • Disable animation. 

  • Disable video. 

  • Turn off sounds. 

Note Even if you turn off sounds in Internet Explorer, sounds might still play if you have installed RealAudio or you are playing a movie.

Features for Users with Cognitive and Language Impairments

Cognitive impairments take many forms, including short-term and long-term memory loss, perceptual differences, and developmental disabilities. Common types of language impairment also include dyslexia and illiteracy. If you are learning the language used by your computer software as a second language, you might also be considered to have a form of language impairment.

You might benefit from the following features:

  • Use the keyboard to navigate Internet Explorer, Web pages, and Internet Explorer Help. 

  • Use Explorer bars. 

  • Ignore colors specified on Web pages. 

  • Ignore font styles and sizes specified on Web pages. 

  • Format documents by using an individualized style sheet. 

  • Choose text and background colors for Web pages (or create custom colors). 

  • Choose the visited and unvisited colors for Web links (or create custom colors). 

  • Display Web pages in the Windows High Contrast color scheme, which offers a simple color palette and omits images that make text difficult to read. 

  • Choose a hover color for links. 

  • Expand alternate text for images. 

  • Move the system caret with focus and selection changes. Some accessibility aids use the system caret to determine which area of the screen to read or magnify. 

  • Choose to open the browser in full-screen mode, which removes all toolbars and scrollbars from the screen. This capability enables you to have more information on the screen at one time or to remove distractions from peripheral controls. 

  • Choose to display friendly URLs. 

  • Use inline AutoComplete. 

  • Choose not to use smooth scrolling. 

  • Disable images. 

  • Disable animation. 

  • Disable video. 

  • Add the Size button to the browser toolbar so font sizes can be changed easily. 

  • Display large icons. 

Using Keyboard Navigation

One of the most important accessibility features is the ability to navigate by using the keyboard. Keyboard shortcuts are useful for people with a wide range of disabilities, as well as anyone who wants to save time by combining key commands with mouse control. This section describes the following keyboard navigation features:

  • Internet Explorer shortcut keys 

  • AutoComplete shortcut keys 

  • Keyboard navigation of Web pages 

  • Keyboard navigation of Windows Desktop Update (if it is installed) 

  • Keyboard navigation of Internet Explorer Help 

Internet Explorer Shortcut Keys

Shortcut keys can make it easier for you to move between screen elements, choose commands, and view documents. The following tables describe common tasks and their associated shortcut keys.

Shortcut Keys for Viewing and Exploring Web Pages

To

Press

View Internet Explorer Help

F1

Switch between the regular and full-screen views of the browser window

F11

Move forward through the Address bar, the Explorer bars, and the items, menus, and toolbars on a Web page

TAB

Move backward through the Address bar, the Explorer bars, and the items, menus, and toolbars on a Web page

SHIFT+TAB

Move forward between frames

CTRL+TAB

Move backward between frames

SHIFT+CTRL+TAB

Activate a selected link

ENTER

Display a shortcut menu for the page or link

SHIFT+F10

Go to the previous page

ALT+LEFT ARROW

Go to the next page

ALT+RIGHT ARROW

Scroll toward the beginning of a document

UP ARROW

Scroll toward the end of a document

DOWN ARROW

Scroll toward the beginning of a document in larger increments

PAGE UP or SHIFT+SPACEBAR

Scroll toward the end of a document in larger increments

PAGE DOWN or SPACEBAR

Move to the beginning of a document

HOME

Move to the end of a document

END

Stop downloading a page and stop animation

ESC

Refresh the current page only if the time stamps for the Web version and the locally stored version are different

F5 or CTRL+R

Refresh the current page even if the time stamps for the Web version and the locally stored version are the same

CTRL+ F5

In the History or Favorites bar, open multiple folders

CTRL+CLICK

Open the Search Explorer bar

CTRL+E

Find on this page

CTRL+F

Open the History Explorer bar

CTRL+H

Open the Favorites Explorer bar

CTRL+I

Go to a new location

CTRL+O or CTRL+L

Open a new window

CTRL+N

Print the current page or active frame

CTRL+P

Save the current page

CTRL+S

Close the current window

CRTL+W

Shortcut Keys for Using the Address Bar

To

Press

Move the mouse pointer to the Address bar

ALT+D

Display the Address bar history

F4

When in the Address bar, move the cursor left to the next logical break character (. or /)

CTRL+LEFT ARROW

When in the Address bar, move the cursor right to the next logical break character (. or /)

CTRL+RIGHT ARROW

Add www. to the beginning and .com to the end of the text typed in the Address bar

CTRL+ENTER

Move forward through the list of AutoComplete matches

UP ARROW

Move backward through the list of AutoComplete matches

DOWN ARROW

Shortcut Keys for Working with Favorites

To

Press

Add the current page to the Favorites menu

CTRL+D

Open the Organize Favorites dialog box

CTRL+B

Shortcut Keys for Editing

To

Press

Select all items on the current Web page

CTRL+A

Copy the selected items to the Clipboard

CTRL+C

Insert the contents of the Clipboard at the selected location

CTRL+V

Remove the selected items and copy them to the Clipboard

CTRL+X

For additional information about using the keyboard with Windows, visit the Microsoft Accessibility Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/enable/.

AutoComplete Shortcut Keys

With the AutoComplete feature turned on, Internet Explorer automatically completes Web page addresses and directory paths as you type them in the Address bar. Internet Explorer resolves this information based on the Web pages or local files that you have visited. AutoComplete also works with the Run command on the Start menu.

For example, if you type http://www.micr and have recently visited http://www.microsoft.com/, AutoComplete suggests http://www.microsoft.com/. You can accept the match, view other potential matches, or override the suggestion by typing over it. AutoComplete also adds prefixes and suffixes to Internet addresses.

You can turn AutoComplete on or off in the Internet Options dialog box.

To turn AutoComplete on or off

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the   Advanced tab. 

  2. Select or clear the Use inline AutoComplete checkbox, which specifies whether you want Internet Explorer to complete Web addresses automatically as you type them in the Address bar.

    This feature also causes Internet Explorer to complete file names, paths, or folders automatically as you type them in the Address bar or the Open box in the Run command. 

    Dd361904.ierk1213(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 


AutoComplete includes the following shortcuts:

  • To add to the string that Internet Explorer has automatically completed, press the RIGHT ARROW key, and then type the additional characters. 

  • To skip to break characters or separator characters in URLs (such as the forward slash [/]), press and hold the CTRL key, and then use the LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW key. 

  • To search a history file, type the beginning of an address, and then press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key to complete it. 

  • To add http://www. before a partial URL and .com after it, press CTRL+ENTER. 

Keyboard Navigation of Web Pages

You can move forward and backward through the items in the browser window by using the TAB and SHIFT+TAB keys. A one-pixel-wide border (called the focus box) appears around links, so that you can identify the selected item.

When you press the TAB key, the selection rotates forward through the browser window in the following order:

  1. Address bar

    • To display the Address bar, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Address Bar

  2. Explorer bar

    • If an Explorer bar is open, you see an entry highlighted on the bar. 

    • To display an Explorer bar, on the View menu, point to Explorer Bar, and then click Search, Favorites, Media, History, or Folders. Or, on the Internet Explorer toolbar, click the Search, Favorites, Media, History, or Folders icon. 

    • To move between the items on the Explorer bar, use the LEFT ARROW, RIGHT ARROW, UP ARROW, and DOWN ARROW keys. To activate a link on the Explorer bar, press ENTER, or to open a shortcut menu for a link, press SHIFT+F10. 

  3. Links on the page, moving left to right, and then down

    • As a link is highlighted, its URL appears on the message bar. 

    • To activate the link, press ENTER, or to open a shortcut menu for the link, press SHIFT+F10. 

    Note Web-page designers might specify a different order for their links than the standard left-to-right and top-to-bottom order. 

To move between the same areas in reverse order, press SHIFT+TAB. Using reverse order, the focus stops on the page as a whole before reaching the links on the page. To quickly skip to the next frame, press CTRL+TAB, or to go to the previous frame, press CTRL+SHIFT+TAB.

Keyboard Navigation of Windows Desktop Update

If you have installed Windows Desktop Update, you can press TAB and SHIFT+TAB to move forward and backward through the desktop elements. A focus box appears around the selected item, so that you can identify it.

When you press the TAB key, the selection rotates forward through the desktop elements in the following order:

  1. Start button 

  2. Quick Launch toolbar

    • One of the Quick Launch icons appears selected. 

    • To move between the toolbar icons, press the LEFT ARROW, RIGHT ARROW, UP ARROW, and DOWN ARROW keys. After the focus is on an icon, to open the application, press ENTER, or to display the shortcut menu for the toolbar, press SHIFT+F10. (All the toolbars on the desktop share the same shortcut menu.) 

    • To bring the focus back to the leftmost icon, continuously press the RIGHT ARROW key. 

  3. Taskbar

    • A selection does not appear on the taskbar. To display the shortcut menu for the toolbar, press SHIFT+F10. (All the toolbars on the desktop share the same shortcut menu.) 

    • To select an application, press the RIGHT ARROW key. To open the selected application, press ENTER, or to display the shortcut menu for that application, press SHIFT+F10. 

    • To move between the applications, press the LEFT ARROW, RIGHT ARROW, UP ARROW, and DOWN ARROW keys. 

  4. Desktop icons

    • An icon on the desktop appears selected. 

    • To move between the icons on the desktop, press the LEFT ARROW, RIGHT ARROW, UP ARROW, and DOWN ARROW keys. To open the application or document, press ENTER, or to display the shortcut menu for that icon, press SHIFT+F10. 

    • To select or deselect the current icon, press CTRL+SPACEBAR. To display the shortcut menu for the entire desktop when no icon is selected, press SHIFT+F10. 

  5. Desktop items

    • A desktop item appears selected. 

    • To move forward through the links in that item and on to the other items on the desktop, press the TAB key. To activate a link, press ENTER. 

  6. Desktop Channel bar

    • The topmost button on the Channel bar appears selected. 

    • To move between the icons on the Channel bar, press the LEFT ARROW, RIGHT ARROW, UP ARROW, and DOWN ARROW keys. To display a channel by using Internet Explorer, press ENTER. 

    Note Internet Explorer 6 does not include the desktop Channel bar; this feature is a part of previous browser versions. 

  7. Start button 

To move between the same areas in reverse order, press SHIFT+TAB. If you add other bars, such as the Address bar, Quick Links toolbar, desktop toolbar, or a custom toolbar, you can also navigate to these bars by pressing TAB and SHIFT+TAB. Note that you can reach the Channel bar only by pressing TAB; the Channel bar is skipped when you navigate in reverse order by using SHIFT+TAB.

Keyboard Navigation in Internet Explorer Help

Internet Explorer Help displays Help information as Web pages. This tool offers several significant accessibility advantages, which this section explains in detail. However, if you navigate by using the keyboard, this tool also introduces the following changes:

  • When you display a topic in the right pane, it continues to be displayed until you replace it with another selection—that is, when you highlight another topic and then press ENTER. This display can be confusing during navigation, because the topic name currently selected in the left pane might not match the topic shown in the right pane. 

  • The Hide button on the Help toolbar hides the left pane (used for Contents, Index, Search, and Favorites). When the left pane is hidden, you cannot navigate through Help. To return to the Contents, Index, Search, or Favorites tab, press ALT+C, ALT+N, ALT+S, or ALT+I, respectively. 

The following procedures describe how to navigate through the Internet Explorer Help Contents, Index, Search, and Favorites tabs by using the keyboard.

To navigate through the Help Contents by using the keyboard

  1. To view the Contents tab in Internet Explorer Help, press ALT+C. 

    The following illustration shows the Contents tab for Internet Explorer Help. 

    Dd361904.ierk1201(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  2. To scroll through the list of Contents topics, press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key. 

  3. To display the expanded list of subtopics for a main topic, highlight the main topic and then press ENTER or the RIGHT ARROW key. An open main topic is represented by an open-book icon. A subtopic is represented by a page icon. To close the main topic, press ENTER or the LEFT ARROW key; the list of subtopics collapses, and a closed book icon appears. 

  4. To view topic information, highlight the subtopic, and then press ENTER. Internet Explorer Help displays the topic that you selected in the right pane. 

  5. To shift the keyboard focus to the topic, press F6. Within the topic, you can do the following:

    • To scroll up and down or left and right in the topic pane, press the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys or the LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW keys. 

    • To display information about a linked topic, highlight the link, and then press ENTER. 

    • To scroll to the beginning or end of the topic, press HOME or END. 

    • To display the shortcut menu for the topic, press CTRL+F10. 

  6. To return to the Contents tab, press ALT+C. 

  7. To exit Help, press ALT+F4. 

To navigate through the Help Index by using the keyboard

  1. To view the Index tab in Internet Explorer Help, press ALT+N. Initially, the keyboard focus is in the keyword box, and the box is empty. 

    The following illustration shows the Index tab for Internet Explorer Help. 

    Dd361904.ierk1202(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  2. To scroll through the list of index topics, press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key. As you scroll, each highlighted topic appears in the keyword box. 

    You can also type the name of the topic you want to view in the keyword box. As you type, the Index list scrolls to highlight matching topics. 

  3. To display information about a highlighted topic, press ENTER or ALT+D. Internet Explorer Help displays the topic that you select in the right pane. 

  4. To move the keyboard focus to the topic, press F6. Within the topic, you can do the following:

    • To scroll up and down or left and right in the topic pane, press the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys or the LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW keys. 

    • To display information about a linked topic, highlight the link, and then press ENTER. 

    • To scroll to the beginning or end of the topic, press HOME or END. 

    • To display the shortcut menu for the topic, press CTRL+F10. 

  5. To return to the Index tab, press ALT+N. 

  6. To exit Help, press ALT+F4. 

To navigate through the Help Search by using the keyboard

  1. To view the Search tab in Internet Explorer Help, press ALT+S. The keyboard focus moves to the keyword box. 

    The following illustration shows the Search tab for Internet Explorer Help. 

    Dd361904.ierk1203(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  2. Type the keyword you want, and then press ENTER or ALT+L. The Select Topic to display list shows topics that contain the keyword you typed. 

  3. To move the keyboard focus to the first item in the Select Topic to display list, press ALT+T and then the DOWN ARROW key. 

  4. To highlight a topic, press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key. 

  5. To display information about a highlighted topic, press ENTER or ALT+D. Internet Explorer Help displays the topic that you select in the right pane. 

  6. To move the keyboard focus to the topic, press F6. Within the topic, you can do the following:

    • To scroll up and down or left and right in the topic pane, press the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys or the LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW keys. 

    • To display information about a linked topic, highlight the link, and then press ENTER. 

    • To scroll to the beginning or end of the topic, press HOME or END. 

    • To display the shortcut menu for the topic, press CTRL+F10. 

  7. To return to the Search tab, press ALT+S. The keyboard focus returns to the keyword box. 

  8. To exit Help, press ALT+F4. 

To navigate through the Help Favorites by using the keyboard

  1. To view the Favorites tab in Internet Explorer Help, press ALT+I. The keyboard focus moves to the Topics list. 

    The following illustration shows the Favorites tab in Internet Explorer Help. 

    Dd361904.ierk1204(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  2. To highlight a topic, press the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key. 

  3. To display information about a highlighted topic, press ENTER or ALT+D. Internet Explorer Help displays the topic that you select in the right pane. 

  4. To move the keyboard focus to the topic, press F6. Within the topic, you can do the following:

    • To scroll up and down or left and right in the topic pane, press the UP ARROW and DOWN ARROW keys or the LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW keys. 

    • To display information about a linked topic, highlight the link, and then press ENTER. 

    • To scroll to the beginning or end of the topic, press HOME or END. 

    • To display the shortcut menu for the topic, press CTRL+F10. 

  5. The Current topic box displays the last topic that you viewed on the Content, Index, or Search tab. To add this topic to the favorites list so that you can access it quickly in the future, press ALT+A, or press the TAB key until the keyboard focus is on the Current topic box, and press ENTER. 

  6. To delete a highlighted topic from the favorites list, press ALT+R. 

  7. To return to the Favorites tab, press ALT+I. 

  8. To exit Help, press ALT+F4. 

Customizing Fonts, Colors, and Styles

When Web authors and designers create Web pages, they often specify particular fonts, colors, and styles. They might specify the settings for each coded item on the Web page, or they might define the settings in a style sheet. A style sheet provides a template for specifying how different styles should appear throughout a Web site.

Internet Explorer 6 enables you to override any or all of these settings. You can specify your own font and color preferences for all Web pages. You can also use your own style sheet or select the Windows High Contrast option. If you have installed the Windows Desktop Update, these font, color, and style options also affect the Windows desktop and file folders.

Because Internet Explorer Help information is also displayed as Web pages, most of the browser accessibility features are also available for viewing Help topics. You can override and customize formatting and color settings, display text instead of images, disable animation, and even apply your own style sheet to control how Help is presented. When you adjust these options in Internet Explorer and then restart Help, the settings automatically apply to all Help topics.

Overriding Web-Page Formatting

Because of the different methods Web authors and designers can use to format Web pages, some pages might not be affected by customizing the font, color, and style options within the browser. To change the appearance of these pages, you must override the page formatting.

To override page formatting

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options

  2. On the General tab, click Accessibility

  3. Select any of the following options:

    • Ignore colors specified on Web pages 

    • Ignore font styles specified on Web pages 

    • Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages 

    • Format documents using my style sheet 

    Dd361904.ierk1205(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

Changing Font Size

When you browse a Web page, you can immediately change the size of the displayed text to a larger or smaller font size.

To immediately display all text in a larger or smaller font size

  1. On the View menu, click Text Size, or click the Size button on the toolbar. 

  2. Choose the size you want. A check mark appears next to your choice, and the change takes effect immediately. 

    If the Size button is not displayed, you can add it to the toolbar. 

To add the Size button to the toolbar

  1. On the View menu, click Toolbars, and then click Customize

  2. In the Available toolbar buttons list, select Size, and then click Add

    Dd361904.ierk1210(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  3. Click Close

The changes created by the Text Size menu option and Size button are active for both current and future sessions.

Creating a High-Visibility Style Sheet

If you have low vision, you might want to create a high-visibility style sheet that adjusts the display of Web pages and Help topics so that you can read them more easily. In particular, this style sheet overrides normal formatting of all displayed pages in the following ways:

  • All items on the Web page appear in high contrast, with a black background and brightly colored text. Body text is white, highlighted text is yellow, and links are brighter versions of their normal blue and purple. 

  • All text is displayed in a large, sans serif font. Body text is 24 point, and headings are 32 point. 

  • All bold, italic, and underlining, which might be difficult to read, are replaced by normal text with a single highlight color. 

  • The keyboard focus is emphasized by showing the active link in a bright, light green, sometimes called "low-vision green." 

These settings affect all pages viewed in Internet Explorer, as well as pages displayed by other programs, such as HTML Help.

Note The style sheet in the following example is just one possible solution for increasing the readability of Web pages. By editing the style sheet, you can change the background color and the size, color, and style of the fonts according to your preferences.

To create a high-visibility style sheet

  1. Open Microsoft® Notepad. 

  2. Type the following text into a new file: 


    
    <STYLE TYPE="text/css">
    BODY, TABLE {
    font-size: 24pt;
    font-weight: normal;
    font-family: sans-serif;
    background: black;
    color: white;}
    
    B, I, U {color: yellow; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal;}
    H1 {font-size: 32pt;}
    H2 {font-size: 32pt;}
    H3 {font-size: 32pt;}
    H4 {font-size: 32pt;}
    H5 {font-size: 32pt;}
    
    a:visited {color: #FF00FF}
    a:link {color: #00FFFF}
    a:active {color: #B1FB17}
    -—>
    </STYLE>
    
    

  3. Save the file with a .css file name extension (for example, Mystyle.css) to the folder of your choice. 

  4. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options

  5. On the General tab, click Accessibility

  6. Click Format documents using my style sheet. 

    Dd361904.ierk1205(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  7. Type the path to the style sheet file you just created, or to locate the file, click Browse

Caution Use care when you experiment with the Format documents using my style sheet option. Errors in style sheets can cause serious problems with Internet Explorer. If possible, use style sheets that have been created by professional designers. When testing new style sheets, keep the style sheet files on a floppy disk that you can remove if a problem occurs.

Changing Colors of Text, Backgrounds, and Other Objects

You can select the colors you prefer for text, backgrounds, links, and objects that the mouse pointer hovers over on Web pages.

To change the color of text, backgrounds, links, and objects that the mouse pointer hovers over

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options

  2. On the General tab, click Colors

  3. Clear the Use Windows colors check box. 

  4. Click the Use hover color check box. The Hover button is enabled with the default color. 

    Dd361904.ierk1207(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  5. Click the Text, Background, Visited, Unvisited, or Hover button to display the Color dialog box, which includes the Basic colors and Custom colors palettes. 

  6. In the Color dialog box, click the color of your choice from the color palettes. 

Creating Custom Colors

You can create custom colors for fonts, text background, links, and objects that the mouse pointer hovers over.

To create custom colors

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the General tab. 

  2. Click the Colors button. 

  3. In the Colors dialog box, click the Text, Background, Visited, or Unvisited button to display the Color dialog box, which includes the Basic colors and Custom colors palettes. 

  4. In the Color dialog box, click Define Custom Colors. The dialog box expands to include the Custom colors palette. 

    Dd361904.ierk1208(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  5. Select a custom color by using either of two methods:

    • Either type values for Hue, Sat (saturation), and Lum (luminescence), or type values for Red, Green, and Blue. The sample box changes color to reflect your choices. 

    • Click within the color box to select a color, and then move the slider (on the right) up or down to select the luminescence level. The sample box changes color to reflect your choices. 

  6. Click Add to Custom Colors. 

Selecting the Windows High Contrast Color Scheme

Instead of creating your own customized color scheme, you can choose to view Web pages by using the Windows High Contrast color scheme, which offers a simple color palette and omits images that make text difficult to read.

To view Web pages by using the Windows High Contrast color scheme

  1. On Microsoft® Windows® XP, click Start, and then click Control Panel

    -Or- 

    On other versions of Windows, click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel

  2. On Windows XP, click Accessibility Options, and then under or pick a Control Panel icon, click Accessibility Options. 

    -Or- 

    On other versions of Windows, click Accessibility Options

  3. In the Accessibility Options dialog box, click the Display tab. 

  4. Select the Use High Contrast check box. 

    Dd361904.ierk1209(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  5. To select a specific high-contrast color scheme, click Settings

Selecting a Full-Screen Browser Window

When you browse a Web page, you can choose to immediately change the size of the browser window to full screen.

To immediately change the size of the browser window to full screen

  • On the View menu, click Full Screen, click the Full Screen button on the toolbar, or click F11 (shortcut key). 

If the Full Screen button is not displayed, you can add it to the toolbar.

To add the Full Screen button to the toolbar

  1. On the View menu, click Toolbars, and then click Customize

  2. In the Available toolbar buttons list, select Full Screen, and then click Add. 

    Dd361904.ierk1210(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 


Note The changes created by the Full Screen menu option or the Full Screen button are active only for the current session.

Changing Button Size and Text Labels on the Toolbar

You might want to change the button size and text labels on the Internet Explorer toolbar. If you have low vision, you might want to view larger buttons on the toolbar rather than the smaller Microsoft® Office-style buttons. You can also choose whether to show text labels for the buttons.

To change button size and text labels on the toolbar

  1. On the View menu, click Toolbars, and then click Customize

  2. In the Icon options list, select the button size that you want to display on the toolbar. 

  3. In the Text options list, select whether to display text labels for the toolbar buttons. 

    The following illustration shows the Customize Toolbar dialog box with Show text labels and Large icons selected. 

    Dd361904.ierk1211(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

Understanding Font-Size Changes

The following list identifies the factors that affect font size and describes how these factors are applied in Internet Explorer. The factors are listed in the order they are applied when the browser displays a page.

  1. The Internet Explorer display defaults (for example, P is size 3 and H1 is size 6). 

  2. A user-specified style sheet (if one is provided) and whether Format documents using my style sheet is selected in the Accessibility dialog box. 

  3. Style-sheet information in the document, unless Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages is selected in the Accessibility dialog box. 

  4. FONT tags in the document, unless Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages is selected in the Accessibility dialog box. Selecting this option does not override relative sizes that are implied by structural tags. For example, a top-level heading (H1) will still be larger than body text, even when Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages is turned on. 

  5. A scaling factor determined by the Text Size options accessible from the View menu, except in those cases where the font is specified in an absolute size, such as 12 point. 

Font sizes can be specified in three ways:

  • As an index value (1–7) 

  • As a relative value (+1, +5) 

  • Using an absolute size unit, such as point or pixel (for example, 12pt, 32px) 

Font sizes that are set by using index or relative values are affected by the View menu font options, while fonts set in absolute size units are not.

To set the font-scaling factor for the current browser session

  • On the View menu, point to Text Size, and then click the option you want. 

Configuring Advanced Internet Accessibility Options

You can configure many accessibility features on the Advanced tab in the Internet Options dialog box.

To configure advanced Internet accessibility options

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Advanced tab. 

    Dd361904.ierk1212(en-us,TechNet.10).gif 

  2. Scroll through the checklist, and clear or select the options you want. 

For recommendations on selecting options for different types of disabilities, see "Suggested Features for Different Types of Disabilities" earlier in this chapter.

You might want to select the following options, depending on your disabilities:

  • Move system caret with focus/selection changes. Specifies whether to move the system caret whenever the focus or selection changes. Some accessibility aids, such as screen readers and screen magnifiers, use the system caret to determine which area of the screen to read or magnify. 

  • Always expand alt text for images. Specifies whether to expand the image size to fit all of the alternate text when the Show Pictures check box is cleared. 

  • Use inline AutoComplete. Specifies whether to automatically complete Web addresses as you type them in the Address bar. Also, this option specifies whether to automatically complete names of files, paths, or folders as you type them in the Address bar or the Open box in the Run command. The AutoComplete feature suggests a match based on the Web sites, names of files, paths, or folder that you have visited. 

    If you have cognitive disabilities, you might want to turn this option off to avoid distractions. If you have low vision and your accessibility aid reads the suggestions as they appear (making typing difficult), you also might want to turn this option off. 

  • Show friendly URLs. Specifies whether to show the full Internet address (URL) for a page on the status bar. 

  • Underline links. Specifies whether to underline links on Web pages. Older screen readers rely on underlining to recognize links. You can select one of the following settings:

    • Always, which underlines all links. 

    • Never, which does not underline links. 

    • Hover, which underlines links when the mouse pointer is placed over them. 

  • Use smooth scrolling. Specifies whether to scroll through Web pages, so that information gradually slides up or down the screen when you click on the scroll bar or press navigation keys, such as the DOWN ARROW key. If you have low vision, you might want to turn this option off because it might cause timing problems. If you have cognitive disabilities, you might want to turn this option off because the scrolling motion might be distracting. 

  • Play animations in web pages. Specifies whether animations can play when pages are displayed. Internet Explorer displays alternate text in place of the animations if the text is supplied on the Web page. If you clear this check box, you can still play an individual animation by right-clicking the icon that represents the animation and then clicking Show Picture. If you are blind or have seizure disorders, you might want to turn off animations (especially blinking). If you have cognitive disabilities, you might want to turn off animations or selectively download them to prevent distractions. 

  • Play sounds in web pages. Specifies whether to play audio sounds. If you have installed RealAudio or you are playing a movie, sounds might play even if you clear this check box. If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing or you have seizure disorders, you might want to turn off sounds. If you have cognitive disabilities, you might want to turn off sounds or selectively download them to prevent distractions. If you are blind, you might want to turn off sounds or selectively download them so that they do not conflict with the screen reader when it is reading text aloud. 

  • Play videos in web pages. Specifies whether to play video clips. If you clear this check box, you can still play an individual video by right-clicking the icon that represents the video and then clicking Show Picture. If you are blind or have seizure disorders, you might want to turn off videos. If you have cognitive disabilities, you might want to turn off videos or selectively download them to prevent distractions. 

  • Show pictures. Specifies whether to include images when pages are displayed. When available, Internet Explorer displays alternate text in place of the image. If you clear this check box, you can still display an individual image by right-clicking the icon that represents the image and then clicking Show Picture. If images are turned on or the textual description is cut off by space limitations, you can view the full description by moving the mouse over the image. 

    Turning off images allows older screen readers to read the textual description for images aloud. However, newer screen readers can use Microsoft® Active Accessibility® to identify and read descriptions, even when the images are displayed on the screen. Turning off images speeds up browser performance, although it might interfere with the functionality and effectiveness of some Web sites. 

  • Print background colors and images. Specifies whether to print background colors and images when users print Web pages. If you have low vision or you want to speed up print time, you might want to turn this option off. If you are preparing text to be scanned—for example, to provide the text to a text reader—you might also want to turn this option off. 

Accessibility Resources

The Microsoft Accessibility Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/enable/ contains information about Microsoft products and accessibility. This site also discusses how to design accessible Web pages that take advantage of new features in Internet Explorer 6 and offers information about tools and utilities that make Internet Explorer even more accessible.

The following sections describe additional resources that are available for people with disabilities.

Microsoft Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, complete access to Microsoft product and customer services is available through a text telephone (TTY/TDD) service.

You can contact the Microsoft Sales Information Center on a text telephone by dialing (800) 892-5234 between 6:30 A.M. and 5:30 P.M. Pacific time.

For technical assistance in the United States, you can contact Microsoft Product Support Services on a text telephone at (425) 635-4948 between 6:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. Pacific time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. In Canada, dial (905) 568-9641 between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Microsoft support services are subject to the prices, terms, and conditions in place at the time the service is used.

Microsoft Documentation in Other Formats

In addition to the standard forms of documentation, many Microsoft products are available in other formats to make them more accessible. Many Internet Explorer documents are also available as online Help or online user's guides, or from the Microsoft Web site. You can also download many Microsoft Press® books from the Microsoft Accessibility Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/enable/.

If you have difficulty reading or handling printed documentation, you can obtain many Microsoft publications from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic distributes these documents to registered, eligible members of their distribution service, either on audiocassettes or on floppy disks. The Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic collection contains more than 80,000 titles, including Microsoft product documentation and books from Microsoft Press. For information about the availability of Microsoft product documentation and books from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc., contact:

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc.20 Roszel RoadPrinceton, NJ 08540

Telephone: (609) 452-0606Fax: (609) 987-8116

Microsoft Products and Services for People with Disabilities

Microsoft provides a catalog of accessibility aids that you can use with Windows XP, Microsoft® Windows® 2000, Microsoft® Windows® Millennium Edition, Microsoft® Windows® 98, Microsoft® Windows NT® 4.0, and Microsoft® Windows® 95. You can obtain this catalog from the Microsoft Accessibility Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/enable/ or by phone at the Microsoft Sales Information Center.

For more information about this catalog, contact:

Microsoft Sales Information CenterOne Microsoft WayRedmond, WA 98052-6393

Voice telephone: (800) 426-9400Text telephone: (800) 892-5234

Computer Products for People with Disabilities

The Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison publishes a database containing information about more than 18,000 products and other topics for people with disabilities. The database is available on the Trace Center Web site at http://www.trace.wisc.edu/. The database is also available on a compact disc, titled the Co-Net CD, which is issued twice a year. The Trace R&D Center also publishes a book, Trace Resourcebook, which provides descriptions and photographs of approximately 2,000 products.

To obtain these directories, contact:

Trace R&D Center University of WisconsinS-151 Waisman Center1500 Highland Avenue Madison, WI 53705-2280

Fax: (608) 262-8848

Information and Referrals for People with Disabilities

Computers and accessibility devices can help people with disabilities overcome a variety of barriers. For general information and recommendations about how computers can help you with your specific needs, consult a trained evaluator. For information about locating programs or services in your area that might be able to help you, contact:

National Information System University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208

Voice/text telephone: (803) 777-1782Fax: (803) 777-9557


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