Checkpoint 2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts

If a keyboard shortcut is implemented using only letter, punctuation, number or symbol characters, then the shortcut can be turned off, remapped or activated only on focus. (Level A)

Rationale

Objective: Ensure custom shortcuts are not accidentally triggered

The key intended beneficiaries are users primarily operating content via speech or keyboard. Such users may inadvertently activate a shortcut key in the process of navigating or updating content on a page. This problem occurs when authors create custom shortcuts that do not include modifier keys, such as Ctrl.

The easiest and best solution is to ensure that all shortcut keys are a combination of character and modifier keys. However where this is not possible, any of the following are acceptable ways of meeting this checkpoint:

  • A mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off
  • A mechanism is available to remap the shortcut to use one or more non-printable keyboard characters (e.g., Ctrl, Alt)
  • The keyboard shortcut for a user interface component is only active when that component has focus

IBM has simplified the normative language of this checkpoint. Refer to Understanding 2.1.4 (external link to WCAG) for more information.

Development Techniques

This paragraph appears generically in all checkpoints. Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

There are no specific Web techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.<

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

There are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no specific Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.


Many links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

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