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Revision as of 08:37, 14 April 2009

CKEditor 3 is designed with people who have disabilities in mind. In addition to be usable with a mouse, a keyboard and a monitor; CKEditor is usable with a keyboard and a screenreader as well. JAWS with IE7 and JAWS with Firefox 3 are currently supported.

Basic Navigation

  • Tab and Shift+Tab
    To move into and out of the editor among other form elements, press tab and shift+tab. On supported browser and screenreader combinations, the editor should behave just like any other form elements in respect to tab and shift+tab key presses.
    One exception to this rule is when config.tabSpaces is set to a non-zero value. In this case, if the user presses tab from inside the editor, spaces will be added to the editing area, and the focus will not be moved out of the editing area. Shift-tab would still work as expected when config.tabSpaces is set to a non-zero value.
  • Alt+F10
    Pressing Alt+F10 when the editing area is focused will move the focus to the editor toolbar.
  • Shift+F10 or Ctrl+Shift+F10
    Pressing Shift+F10 or Ctrl+Shift+F10 (in cases where Shift+F10 does not work), will open the context menu inside the editing area.
  • Alt+F11
    Pressing Alt+F11 will put focus to the element path bar, usually at the bottom of the editor. While the element path bar is being focused, pressing tab and shift+tab will select HTML elements that are parents of the current element. Pressing Esc will move the focus back to the editing area without changing selection; while pressing Enter will select the element in the editing area.

Navigating Toolbar

  • Tab and Shift+Tab
    Once the toolbar is focused by Alt+F10 from the editing area, tab and shift+tab will move focus forward and backward among toolbar items. Toolbar item focus is cyclic so going backwards from the first item will put focus to the last item, and vice versa.
  • Enter and Esc
    Pressing Esc will put the focus back to the editing area without executing any commands. Pressing Enter will activiate the selected toolbar item.

Navigating Dialogs

  • Tab and Shift+Tab
    Pressing tab and shift+tab when dialog tabs are not focused will move the focus among input element in the dialog; when a dialog tab is focused, tab and shift+tab will cycle through tab pages in the dialog.
    Focus order in dialogs is cyclic so when the first tab or first input elements is focused and shift+tab is pressed, then the last tab or last input element will get the focus. Dialog buttons count as input elements as well.
  • Alt+F10
    Pressing Alt+F10 in a dialog will put focus to the currently active tab.
  • Enter and Esc
    Pressing Esc in a dialog is equivalent to pressing the Cancel button or the Close button.
    Pressing Enter in a dialog when a single-line text input is at focus is equivalent to pressing the OK button.
    Pressing Enter in a dialog when a dialog tab is focused puts focus back to the first input element inside that tab page.

Navigating Context Menus

  • Tab and Shift+Tab
    When a context menu is opened, press Tab to cycle through menu items forward, Shift+Tab to cycle backwards.
  • Enter and Esc
    Press Enter to activate a menu item or open a sub-menu.
    Press close a context menu without executing any command.

Navigating Style Combo Boxes

  • Tab and Shift+Tab
    Press Tab and Shift+Tab to cycle through items in a combo box forward and backwards, respectively.
  • Enter and Esc
    Press Enter to activate the selected item in a combo box and put the focus back to the editing area.
    Press Esc to close the combo box without executing any command, and put the focus back to the toolbar.

Editor Hotkeys

Here is a list of hotkeys that you can use inside the editing area in addition to the more common text editing keyboard commands (i.e. arrow keys to move the caret, end to move to the end of line, etc.).

  • Ctrl+Z
    Undo command.
  • Ctrl+Y and Ctrl+Shift+Z
    Redo command.
  • Ctrl+L
    Open link dialog.
  • Ctrl+B
    Bold command.
  • Ctrl+I
    Italics command.
  • Ctrl+U
    Underline command.
  • Ctrl+C or Ctrl+Insert
  • Ctrl+V or Shift+Insert
  • Ctrl+X or Shift+Delete
  • Ctrl+Left or Ctrl+Right
    Move to the previous or next word.
  • Ctrl+Backspace
    Remove the previous word.
  • Ctrl+Delete
    Remove the current word.
  • Shift+Enter
    Create a new line in the same paragraph or list item.


  • Editing Mode vs. Non-editing Mode
    JAWS has the distinction between editing mode and non-editing mode for text boxes and rich text areas. When JAWS is entering editing mode, a high pitched 'pop' sound is played to notify the user of the mode switch. Similarly, when JAWS is entering non-editing mode, a lower pitched 'pop' sound is played.
    It is up to JAWS to decide whether to put a text box or a rich text area to editing mode on the initial focus. When it happens that JAWS has put the initial focus to CKEditor in non-editing mode, the user will find that he/she cannot type into the editor, and no 'pop' sound is played when focus was put into the editing area. To fix that, simply press Enter to switch JAWS to editing mode, and a high pitched 'pop' sound should be played.
    Pressing Esc inside CKEditor will switch JAWS to non-editing mode, along with a lower pitched 'pop' sound to indicate the mode switch.
  • Refreshing the Virtual Cursor
    JAWS keeps an internal model of the browser's view, and along with it, a virtual cursor, to facilitate reading of the contents in a web browser. The internal model kept by JAWS, however, is not always in sync with the displayed contents in the browser window. This is especially true for dynamically generated web contents written in JavaScript, which CKEditor depends on.
    When JAWS's virtual cursor is out-of-sync with the browser's displayed contents, the user will be unable to move correctly among the web page's contents. The user will also find that JAWS's voice reading out unpredictable garbage from the web browser - e.g. it may be reading out the raw HTML code in the web page, or it may be reading out the same element over and over despite the user's actions to move the virtual cursor away from that element.
    To refresh JAWS's internal model and to keep the virtual cursor back in sync with the browser, the user will need to press Insert+Esc. In cases where even Insert+Esc fails to refresh JAWS's virtual cursor correctly, the user can press Insert+Z twice, slowly, to disable and re-enable the virtual cursor.
    There are a few points in CKEditor usage in which JAWS will get out-of-sync with the browser window contents:
  1. When an editor is newly created in the middle of a browsing session.
  2. When a dialog is opened.
  3. When a dialog is closed.

In all of the above three events, it is recommended that the user press Insert+Esc to keep JAWS's virtual cursor in sync with the browser display.