How to: Keyboard navigation

Checking that a page can be navigated without a mouse is one of the easiest accessibility tests you can do. It ensures that people who need to – or prefer to – navigate the web with their keyboard can get to the functionalities they need. Here’s all you need to know:

  • tab – moves the cursor from one interactible element (links, controls) to the next
  • shift – when used in combination with tab moves the cursor backward one interactible element
  • enter or space bar – initiates an action, just like a click would on a mouse
  • arrow keys – scrolls you up and down the page to change what’s visible on your screen

These keys will typically work automatically on Windows computers, but if you’re using a Mac you may need to turn on “Keyboard Navigation” in your system settings. (Note: this sometimes needs to be reset after an update.)

Bonus: Expanded keyboard navigation for Windows users

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