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The HTML 4.01 specification defines the accesskey attribute for certain HTML elements (links, image maps, and some form controls). However, the specification is not precisely clear on whether pressing the access key for an element should just focus it, or if the element should be “activated.” In practical terms, if accesskey is specified on a link, should using the access key follow the link or just focus it? This preference is the compromise, letting the user decide.

Possible values and their effects


Using an access key for an element is the same as activating the element. If the element is a link, follow the link. If the element is a button, “click” the button. (Default)


Just move focus to the element, allowing the user to choose whether to activate it.

First checked in

2001-05-22 by Tom Pixley

Has an effect in

  • Netscape (all versions since 6.1)
  • Mozilla Suite (all versions since 0.9.2)
  • Mozilla Phoenix (all versions)
  • Mozilla Firebird (all versions)
  • Mozilla Firefox (all versions)
  • SeaMonkey (all versions)

Related bugs

External links