Internet Explorer 9 accessibility options

Windows Internet Explorer 9 offers many accessibility options to help you access information.

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Use the keyboard to surf the web

Press the Tab key to move forward between screen elements and Shift+Tab to move backward. By pressing Tab or Shift+Tab, you can navigate through the following parts of the screen:

  • Links that are text or images

  • Text fields on website forms

  • Hotspots on image maps

  • The Address bar

  • The tabs bar

  • HTML frames

You can also press the F7 key to use Caret Browsing to select text and move around within a webpage using the standard navigation keys on your keyboard—Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, and the arrow keys.

For more information about keyboard access, see Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts.

Change font size, formatting, and screen colors

You can specify the font type and size and the foreground and background colors that are used to display webpages. You can also specify the color used for links in webpages.

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To choose website fonts

You can choose the fonts used for websites that don't specify those settings.

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button Picture of the Tools button, and then click Internet options.
  3. Click the General tab, and then, under Appearance, click Fonts.

  4. Select the fonts you want to use, click OK, and then click OK again.

To choose website colors

You can choose the colors used for websites that don't specify those settings.

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button Picture of the Tools button, and then click Internet options.
  3. Click the General tab, and then, under Appearance, click Colors.

  4. Clear the Use Windows colors check box.

  5. For each color that you want to change, click on the color box, select a new color, and then click OK.

  6. Click OK, and then click OK again.

To override all font and color settings for websites

You can choose the fonts and colors in Internet Explorer 9 to be used for all websites, regardless of the choices that have been made by the website designer.

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button Picture of the Tools button, and then click Internet options.
  3. Click the General tab, and then, under Appearance, click Accessibility.

  4. Select the Ignore colors specified on webpages, Ignore font styles specified on webpages, and Ignore font sizes specified on webpages check boxes.

  5. Click OK, and then click OK again.

Customize Internet Explorer 9 to work with a screen reader or voice recognition software

Some Internet Explorer 9 features can cause screen readers to give confusing or incorrect information.

To make Internet Explorer 9 work better with screen readers

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button Picture of the Tools button, and then click Internet options.
  3. Click the Advanced tab.

  4. Make one or more of the following changes:

    • Set the cursor to follow the screen focus.

      If you want your screen reader or Magnifier to use the cursor (also referred to as the insertion point or system caret) to determine where to read or to magnify, do this:

      Under Accessibility, select the Move system caret with focus/selection changes check box.

    • Display text in place of pictures.

      Under Accessibility, select the Always expand Alt text for images check box. Under Multimedia, clear the Show pictures check box.

    • Stop page transitions from causing problems with your screen reader or voice recognition software.

      Under Browsing, clear the Use smooth scrolling check box.

      Under Multimedia, clear the Show pictures and Play animations in webpages check boxes.

    • Help prevent webpage sounds from interfering with your screen reader.

      Under Multimedia, clear the Play sounds in webpages check box.

  5. Click OK.

Improve the legibility of printed webpages

You can stop printing background colors and images to make text stand out more clearly.

To stop printing background colors and images

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button Picture of the Tools button, point to Print, and then click Page setup.
  3. Under Paper Options, clear the Print Background Colors and Images check box, and then click OK.