Web developers serious about accessible design ensure that all web page and app elements — buttons, links, form controls etc. — are reachable by the tab key on the keyboard.
Many users are physically unable to use a mouse, and need to navigate through the page using only the keyboard.
How can you test a website or app using only the keyboard?
Here are some common key combinations used when testing keyboard operation of web pages and apps:
Tab – move to the next link, form element or button.
Shift+Tab – move to the previous link, form element, or button.
Enter – activate the current link or button.
Space – check or uncheck a checkbox form element. Will also activate a button that currently has focus.
Up/Down arrow keys – move between radio buttons or, in some cases, menu links.
Right/Left arrow keys – in some cases, move between menu links or adjust sliders in audio and video plugins.
Escape – Close the current modal dialog or dropdown menu and return focus to the element that spawned it.