The accesskey global attribute provides a hint for generating a keyboard shortcut for the current element. The attribute value must consist of a single printable character (which includes accented and other characters that can be generated by the keyboard).

Try it

Note: In the WHATWG spec, it says you can specify multiple space-separated characters, and the browser will use the first one it supports. However, this does not work in most browsers. IE/Edge uses the first one it supports without problems, provided there are no conflicts with other commands.

The way to activate the accesskey depends on the browser and its platform:

Windows Linux Mac
Firefox Alt + Shift + key
  • Firefox 57+: Control + Option + key or Control + Alt + key
  • Firefox 14-56: Control + Alt + key
  • Firefox 13 or older: Control + key
Edge Alt + key Control + Option + key
or Control + Option + Shift + key
Google Chrome Control + Option + key
Safari n/a Control + Option + key
Opera 15+ Alt + key Control + Alt + key
Opera 12 Shift + Esc opens a list of available accesskeys. Choose an item from the list by pressing the key.

Accessibility concerns

In addition to poor browser support, there are numerous concerns with the accesskey attribute:

  • An accesskey value can conflict with a system or browser keyboard shortcut, or assistive technology functionality. What may work for one combination of operating system, assistive technology, and browser may not work with other combinations.
  • Certain accesskey values may not be present on certain keyboards, especially when internationalization is a concern. So adapting to specific languages could cause further problems.
  • accesskey values that rely on numbers may be confusing to individuals experiencing cognitive concerns, where the number doesn't have a logical association with the functionality it triggers.
  • Informing the user that accesskeys are present, so that they are aware of the functionality. If the system lacks a method of notifying the user about this feature, the user might accidentally activate accesskeys.

Because of these issues, it is generally advised not to use accesskeys for most general-purpose websites and web apps.


HTML Standard
# the-accesskey-attribute

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also