Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ category

SharePoint Keyboard Shortcuts

September 11, 2009

One of those things I often see people surprised by, or forgetting about is the usefulness of keyboard shortcuts when working with applications. It can save you time by removing the need to navigate menu’s, and scroll the mouse all around the page. Often the only way you can cause certain behavior is by using key combination’s on your keyboard. So it’s always good to know what keyboard shortcuts exist and how they can be used with the application you are using.

SharePoint has lots of GREAT key combination’s you can use to save you time and energy and Microsoft has done a great job of listing them all.

Keyboard Shortcuts for WSS: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/HA101756491033.aspx

Keyboard Shortcuts for MOSS: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointserver/HA101733621033.aspx

Be sure to review the Rich Text Editor and Rich Text Editor of the Content Editor Web Part as many people don’t realize the difference between hitting Enter and Shift + Enter.

It’s also a good idea to remember your browser has it’s own shortcuts that you can use for navigating pages, content, magnification, printing, and more.

Here are some simple examples:

  1. You can enlarge the text on any Web page by pressing Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts).
  2. You can also enlarge the entire Web page by pressing the Ctrl key as you turn the wheel on top of your mouse.
  3. You can tap the Space bar to scroll down on a Web page one screenful. Add the Shift key to scroll back up.
  4. If you hit the Ctrl and Home key on your keyboard you will immediately be taken to the top of the web page, document, or email.
  5. Hitting the Ctrl and End key on your keyboard at the same time will take you immediately to the bottom or end of a web page, document, or email.

Hope this helps someone save time,
Richard Harbridge

Accessibility In SharePoint

July 24, 2008

Accessibility is becoming a more and more important thing in the website world. If you think about the average age of people increasing, the baby boomer generation’s current age, and the overall push towards equality for everyone we know that many new websites and quite a few existing ones are being changed to become more accessible and usable by those with various impairments or disabilities.

A great review of web accessibility for older users can be found here: http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-age-literature/

Summary: Be as accessible as you can be, and at the very least be AWARE of accessibility. There is always a limit to how accessible determined by the funding, training, and functionality you are providing your web users, but try to identify that limit and document it.

Microsoft released their Delivering Accessible Solutions using MOSS 2007 white paper a short time ago. This paper can be found here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121797&clcid=0x409

This white paper covers most of the material you need to know to deliver an accessible SharePoint website.

A wonderful accessibility best practices white paper was also released by Imtech a short while ago and can be found here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=121877&clcid=0x409

This paper can give a fair amount of insight into some best practices to use when developing accessible web sites.

Don’t forget to look at the Accessibility Kit for SharePoint created by hisoftware which is also mentioned in both of the white papers.

If you read over both of these and keep accessibility standards in mind you will see how easy it can be to match the demand for accessible SharePoint websites. In fact I would recommend creating an accessibility matrix (use the W3C one as a starting point: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/full-checklist.html) for what your company, product, or level of ability sits at so that everyone can see exactly what kind of accessibility level you support.

Don’t forget that W3C offers lots of resources and assistance as well.

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Richard