Keyboard Operability


Relevant WCAG Guideline(s): *WCAG 2.1.1, *WCAG 2.1.2

Technique: Use the keyboard exclusively to navigate through pages and applications.

Key Considerations: Are all areas of the screen accessible with the keyboard? Are there keystrokes available for all mouse actions (e.g., navigating menus, clicking buttons, etc.)? Are there a minimum number of keystrokes to get to the desired areas?

Keystrokes: Overall, keyboard access is using the Tab key, Arrow keys, Enter key and Spacebar. Use the Tab and Arrow keys to navigate up and down within menus. Use the Enter key and Spacebar to activate links and buttons, respectively.


Start by moving the cursor to the top of the page. This can be done by:

  • Ctrl +Home, or
  • Click the mouse so that the focus is at the top of the page.

Now, use one of the techniques listed below to test keyboard operability:

Option 1:

  • Use the mouse to hover over any menus to see if they change color/drop down, etc.

Option 2 (Using the keyboard alone):

  • If any buttons/links change color or drop down when you hover with the mouse, do the same effects take place when using just the Tab key?
  • If the Tab focus can be moved to an element, can it also be moved away from that element? (i.e., keyboard traps)

Option 3 (With a screen reader):

  • Do NVDA and/or VoiceOver read all links correctly when pressing the Tab key?


Keyboard Operability Example

Insert video here…


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