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Pressing an access key assigned to an element gives focus to the element. The action that occurs when an element receives focus depends on the element. For example, when a user activates a link defined by the A element, the user agent generally follows the link. -- W3C
In Safari(Mac) pressing Ctrl+Accesskey causes the browser to follow the link. In MSIE5(Win) it only gives focus to the anchor. Can anyone tell me what happens in MSIE6 or other Win browsers?
FYI - here are the results for the major Mac browsers:
Camino(Mac) - no affect
Firefox(Mac) - follows link
MSIE(Mac) - follows link
Mozilla(Mac) - follows link
Netscape(Mac) - follows link
Opera(Mac) - not sure what it's doing
It looks like IE-Win gets it wrong with links. However, IE-Win does activate Buttons when you press the accesskey, so it's a little inconsistent.
I believe Mozilla, Amaya, Opera, iCab, Omniweb and Konq all follow the link as expected. That's the key: user expectation. I don't have to press Enter after I click a link with my mouse, because that's not what I expect to happen.
Anyway, isn't it about time this forum started with accesskeys? We talk about them every so often, but how about actually using them as a working example? Even mass-market ones like vbulletin have accesskeys (S to submit, 1 for home, 4 for search, etc, as is now the standard)
check out dive into mark's accessibility statement for good access key assignments: