Indicates keyboard shortcuts that an author has implemented to activate or give focus to an element.

New in ARIA 1.1

Indicates keyboard shortcuts that an author has implemented to activate or give focus to an element.

The value of the aria-keyshortcuts attribute is a space-delimited list of keyboard shortcuts that can be pressed to activate a command or textbox widget. The keys defined in the shortcuts represent the physical keys pressed and not the actual characters generated. Each keyboard shortcut consists of one or more tokens delimited by the plus sign ("+") representing zero or more modifier keys and exactly one non-modifier key that must be pressed simultaneously to activate the given shortcut.

Authors MUST specify modifier keys exactly according to the UI Events KeyboardEvent key Values spec [uievents-key] - for example, "Alt", "Control", "Shift", "Meta", or "AltGraph". Note that Meta corresponds to the Command key, and Alt to the Option key, on Apple computers.

The valid names for non-modifier keys are any printable character such as "A", "B", "1", "2", "$", "Plus" for a plus sign, "Space" for the spacebar, or the names of any other non-modifier key specified in the UI Events KeyboardEvent key Values spec [uievents-key] - for example, "Enter", "Tab", "ArrowRight", "PageDown", "Escape", or "F1". The use of "Space" for the spacebar is an exception to the UI Events KeyboardEvent key Values spec [uievents-key] as the space or spacebar key is encoded as ' ' and would be treated as a whitespace character.

Authors MUST ensure modifier keys come first when they are part of a keyboard shortcut. Authors MUST ensure that required non-modifier keys come last when they are part of a shortcut. The order of the modifier keys is not otherwise significant, so "Alt+Shift+T" and "Shift+Alt+T" are equivalent, but "T+Shift+Alt" is not valid because all of the modifier keys don't come first, and "Alt" is not valid because it doesn't include at least one non-modifier key.

When specifying an alphabetic key, both the uppercase and lowercase variants are considered equivalent: "a" and "A" are the same.

When implementing keyboard shortcuts authors should consider the keyboards they intend to support to avoid unintended results. Keyboard designs vary significantly based on the device used and the languages supported. For example, many modifier keys are used in conjunction with other keys to create common punctuation symbols, create number characters, swap keyboard sides on bilingual keyboards to switch languages, and perform a number of other functions.

For many supported keyboards, authors can prevent conflicts by avoiding keys other than ASCII letters, as number characters and common punctuation often require modifiers. Here, the keyboard shortcut entered does not equate to the key generated. For example, in French keyboard layouts, the number characters are not available until you press the Control key, so a keyboard shortcut defined as "Control+2" would be ambiguous as this is how one would type the "2" character on a French keyboard.

If the character used is determined by a modifier key, the author MUST specify the actual key used to generate the character, that is generated by the key, and not the resulting character. This convention enables the assistive technology to accurately convey what keys must be used to generate the shortcut. For example, on most U.S. English keyboards, the percent sign "%" can be input by pressing Shift+5. The correct way to specify this shortcut is "Shift+5". It is incorrect to specify "%" or "Shift+%". However, note that on some international keyboards the percent sign may be an unmodified key, in which case "%" and "Shift+%" could be correct on those keyboards.

If the key that needs to be specified is illegal in the host language or would cause a string to be terminated, authors MUST use the string escaping sequence of the host language to specify it. For example, the double-quote character can be encoded as "Shift+'" in HTML.

Examples of valid keyboard shortcuts include:

  • "A"
  • "Shift+Space"
  • "Control+Alt+."
  • "Control+Shift+'"
  • "Alt+Shift+P Control+F"
  • "Meta+C Meta+Shift+C"

User agents MUST NOT change keyboard behavior in response to the aria-keyshortcuts attribute. Authors MUST handle scripted keyboard events to process aria-keyshortcuts. The aria-keyshortcuts attribute exposes the existence of these shortcuts so that assistive technologies can communicate this information to users.

Authors SHOULD provide a way to expose keyboard shortcuts so that all users may discover them, such as through the use of a tooltip. Authors MUST ensure that aria-keyshortcuts applied to disabled elements are unavailable.

Authors SHOULD avoid implementing shortcut keys that inhibit operating system, user agent, or assistive technology functionality. This requires the author to carefully consider both which keys to assign and the contexts and conditions in which the keys are available to the user.

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