Tabbing To Links Problems in Browsers under Mac OS X

I am working on building some 508 Compliant/Accessible web sites and am testing out how well the navigation works using only the tab key.

Under Mac OS X with Firefox, Opera, and Safari, by default, the tab key does not cycle through all of the links on a web page.


  • Go to: System Preferences/Keyboard/Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Click on the ‘All controls’ radio button towards the bottom of the dialog under the text that says: ‘Full Keyboard Access: In windows and dialogs, press Tab to move keyboard focus between:’


  • Enabling the aforementioned setting does not do it for Safari
  • Go to: Safari/Preferences/Advanced
  • Under ‘Accessibility:’ click on the checkbox next to ‘Press Tab to highlight each item on a a wepage’


  • Go to: Opera/Preferences/Advanced
  • Click on ‘Shortcuts’ in the left-hand nav of the dialog
  • Select ‘Enable single-key shortcuts’
  • Opera does not implement keyboard navigation the way most other browsers do.  To step through the links on a page, press the ‘Q’ key to go forward, and ‘A’ key to step backwards through the links on the page.  ‘W’ and ‘S’ keys you to navigate between headings <hn> tags.


  • Go to: Chrome/Preferences
  • Scroll all of the way down to the bottom of the settings page and click on ‘Show Advanced Settings’
  • Scroll down to ‘Web Content’
  • Check the box next to ‘Pressing Tab on a webpage highlights links, as well as form fields’

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