Using access keys
An Access Key allows a computer user to immediately jump to a specific part of a web page via the keyboard. In Wikipedia, Access Keys allow you to do a lot more—protect a page, show page history, publish your changes, show preview text, and so on. See the next section for the full list.
Most web browsers require holding down one or two "modifier" keys to use an access key. Different web browsers invoke access keys in different ways. Please use the list below to determine the appropriate key combination for your browser and system:
|Google Chrome |
|hold Alt or Alt+⇧ Shift or Alt+Control+⇧ Shift,  press access key|
|Linux||hold Alt+⇧ Shift, press access key|
|macOS||hold Control+⌥ Option, press access key|
|Firefox||Windows, Linux||hold Alt+⇧ Shift, press access key|
|macOS||hold Control+⌥ Option, press access key|
|Internet Explorer |
|Windows||hold Alt, press access key (in some versions you may then need to press ↵ Enter)|
|Safari||macOS||hold Control+⌥ Option, press access key|
|Windows||hold Alt, press access key|
List of access keys
Currently, in the a–z range, only
o remain unassigned.
w are assigned to multiple functions, depending on the context.
|f||Move cursor to search box||Site navigation|
|q||Special pages||Site navigation|
|r||Recent changes||Site navigation|
|u||Upload file (only available to logged-in users)||Site navigation|
|x||Random article||Site navigation|
|z||Main Page||Site navigation|
|.||My user page||Personal tools|
|l||My watchlist (only available to logged-in users)||Personal tools|
|n||My talk||Personal tools|
|y||My contributions||Personal tools|
|e||Edit this page / view source (if you are blocked or the page is protected from editing)||Current page tools|
|v||Edit with VisualEditor (if available, namespace must be: (Main), File, User, Category or Help)||Current page tools|
|g||Open associated Wikidata item||Current page tools|
|h||View history||Current page tools|
|j||What links here||Current page tools|
|k||Related changes||Current page tools|
|m||Move page (only available to logged in users)||Current page tools|
|p||Printable version||Current page tools|
|w||Watch / unwatch page (only available to logged in users)||Current page tools|
|t||Switch to talk page||Current page tools|
|*||Purge the page's cache (only available to logged in users with the "Purge option" gadget)||Current page tools|
|+||Start a new discussion||Talk pages|
|c||Switch to content page||Talk pages|
|,||Move cursor to edit box||Editing page|
|b||Move cursor to edit summary||Editing page|
|i||Flag edit as minor (only available to logged-in users, not IP users)||Editing page|
|p||Show preview||Editing page|
|v||Show changes||Editing page|
|s||Publish page||Editing page|
|w||Toggle “Watch this page”||Editing page|
|d||Delete / undelete current page||Admin only|
|=||Protect / unprotect current page||Admin only|
Display access keys
By modifying your user CSS file, access key shortcuts can be displayed before internal links on any Wikipedia page.
This will not work in Internet Explorer versions lower than 8.0, since those browsers do not support the CSS selector used in these examples.
This also will not display the accesskeys provided by the VisualEditor (or the mw:2017 wikitext editor), such as 's' to publish the page, as those accesskeys are implemented differently.
Accessibility of access keys
The accessibility of keyboard shortcuts (access keys) is a complicated matter. This feature, in its current implementation, was temporarily abandoned in WCAG 2.0, notably because it conflicts with the shortcuts of assistive technologies. Usage of access keys is currently discouraged in the online contents and applications.
But presence of access keys is also an Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) requirement—the ATAG approach is particularly relevant in Wikipedia's case—where this matter is looked into thoroughly. In particular, ATAG requires the possibility to customize shortcuts. This should be requested in bugzilla:477.
Currently, their presence in Wikipedia's interface can be problematic for some users and can be useful for others. But more importantly, it misleads developers into thinking that the interface is keyboard accessible. Requirements that need to be fulfilled for a website to be keyboard accessible are not related to keyboard shortcuts (G90, F42, SCR35, F58, F61).
Known issues: Gadgets which block keyboard shortcuts
- Gadget WikEd blocks keyboard shortcut on Google Chrome and Firefox.
- Wikipedia:Using JAWS
- m:Help:Keyboard shortcuts
- mw:VisualEditor/Portal/Keyboard shortcuts
- Wikipedia:List of shortcuts
- Table of keyboard shortcuts
- Hotkeys – typing shortcuts in text fields
- Firefox Help: Keyboard Shortcuts
- Keyboard shortcuts for Windows
- AutoHotkey, a Windows keyboard automation scripting language
- Autokey, a Linux keyboard scripting language in Python
- For some keys (e.g. r), both Alt and Alt+⇧ Shift work; For other keys (e.g. f), only Alt+⇧ Shift works; For other keys (e.g. .), only Alt works.