Monday, February 19, 2007

Access Keys in Firefox 2: Alt-Shift

I was having trouble using the access keys (e.g. keyboard hot keys) in Jira this afternoon. I don't use them regularly, so I didn't know what was likely to have changed since I last used them.

To go to the next item in the search, Jira was suggesting "ALT+N". I pressed "Alt" and "n", to no avail. Out of curiosity, after demonstrating to a colleague, I tried "Alt+Shift+n" to replicate the case of the 'N'. That worked.

A little research later, and I wasn't even convinced that the access key definition in the Html specification was intended to be case-sensitive or not. Fortunately, my colleague tried it in Firefox 1.5, and discovered that it worked for him, which made me suspicious.

A quick search on Atlassian's Jira instance later, and the answer was clear: Firefox 2.0 changed the access-key invocation sequence from Alt- to Alt-Shift-, and the tooltip on my Jira instance hasn't caught up yet.

So: if you're like me, and you don't use access keys very often in Firefox, this may be news to you as well.

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