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November 6, 2007

An Accesskey Tip for Safari in Leopard //

Believe it or not, I’m in the midst of a not-insignificant design refresh of the blog (no, seriously!) and as part of that I’ve been looking at making some modest accessibility improvements under the hood. Part of that has been adding or improving accesskey support which I quickly discovered has changed in Leopard depending on if you are using the new Spaces feature.

Under normal circumstances accesskeys are triggered by pressing the Control key plus the specific alphanumeric key. If you’ve enabled Spaces, using Control and a numeric key will instead switch spaces, at least by default. Instead you need to use Control-Option plus the number key.

You can change the keyboard settings (use Control, Command, Option or none) from the System Preferences for Spaces to potentially avoid this issue entirely though using Command would conflict with Safari’s bookmark handling features.

On the other hand, using Control and some other alphabetic character should still work as expected and as they did in Tiger if Spaces is not enabled (which is the default in a clean, out of the box Leopard install).

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