Accessibility in Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11 includes accessibility settings to help all users, including those with disabilities, move around the Internet easier, see webpages more clearly, and access information quicker.

Features described here apply to Windows 8. If you use a touch-enabled computer, you will swipe and tap to navigate rather than pressing keys and clicking options and icons with the mouse pointer.

Make webpages easier to see

For better visibility of webpages, you can change the fonts, font sizes, text, and background colors. You can also zoom in on a webpage to enlarge it or zoom out to see more of the page on screen.

Zoom in on a webpage

Make everything on a webpage easier to see by zooming in or by enlarging the whole page—including images and text.

With a webpage open in Internet Explorer, press Ctrl+Plus sign (+) to zoom in, or press Ctrl+Minus sign (-) to zoom out.

Or, open Internet Explorer for the desktop, swipe in from the upper-right edge of the screen, tap or click Settings (If you’re using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings). Tap or click Options, and then under Appearance, move the Zoom slider to increase or decrease zoom.

screen shot of the Options screen
Use Zoom slider in Internet Options to increase everything on a webpage

To zoom in or out on a webpage in the desktop

While viewing Internet Explorer in the desktop, tap or click the Toolstools icon button at the top of the window, tap or click Zoom, and then select Zoom in, or Zoom out, or the desired percentage. You can also select Custom to set a percentage up to 1,000 percent.

screen shot of the Zoom levels screen

Internet Options Tools menu open to Zoom level options

Make text larger or smaller

You can increase or decrease the font size on a webpage to make it more legible in Internet Explorer for the desktop.

To change the text size, open Internet Explorer for the desktop. Then press the Alt key to display the menu bar. Tap or click View, and then tap or click Text size. Choose to make text larger or smaller than the size on the screen.

screen shot of the View menu open and Text size: Medium selected

Webpage open on the desktop with View menu open and Text size: Medium selected

Change the font size, formatting, and screen colors

To make webpages easier to see, you can change 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, and override colors used on webpages.

With an Internet Explorer window open on the desktop, tap or click Internet Options from the Tools menu.

Then, select one of the buttons at the bottom of the dialog box:

  • Fonts—to change the font type and size used on webpages.
  • Colors—to change the font colors used on webpages.
  • Accessibility—to make Internet Explorer ignore colors, font styles, and font sizes used on webpages, or to format webpages using your own style sheet.

screen shot of the Internet Options dialog box

Internet Options dialog box Colors, Fonts, Accessibility buttons

Change the font, formatting, and colors on pages

Selecting the Fonts button opens the Fonts dialog box. There you can select the fonts you want to use.

screen shot of the Fonts dialog box

Fonts dialog box where font preferences are selected

Choose website colors

Selecting the Colors button opens the Colors dialog box.

There, for each color that you want to change, tap or click the color box, and choose from the available options.

screen shot of the Colors dialog box

Colors dialog box where webpage color preferences are selected

To override all font and color settings for websites

Selecting the Accessibility button, opens the Accessibility dialog box. There you can override all font and color settings for websites by selecting:

  • Ignore colors specified on webpages
  • Ignore font styles specified on webpages
  • Ignore font sizes specified on webpages

screen shot of the Accessibility dialog box

Accessibility dialog box where Formatting options and style sheets are selected

Move around the web quickly using the keyboard

Use the keyboard to surf the web
You can quickly move around the web by using one key and one key combination: Tab or Shift+Tab. With these keys you can quickly navigate through links that are text or images, text fields on website forms, hotspots on image maps, the Address bar, the Tabs bar, and HTML frames. But, there's even more you can do with keyboard shortcuts to save time and effort, see Internet Explorer 11 keyboard shortcuts.

Select text and move around a webpage with a keyboard

You can use the keyboard keys Home, End, Page Up, Page Down, the arrow keys, and Tab to navigate through the buttons, content, and text entry fields on most webpages. This feature is called Caret Browsing.

To use Caret browsing, tap or click the Tools menu, tap or click File, and then tap or click Caret browsing. Press F7 when Internet Explorer is open on your desktop to turn Caret Browsing on and off.

screen shot of Caret Browsing

Turn on Caret Browsing from Internet Options Tools: File menu

screen shot of Caret Browsing

Turn Caret Browsing on and off by pressing F7

Customize Internet Explorer 11 to work with a screen reader or voice recognition software

Internet Explorer 11 has several options you can use to make your screen reader function more effectively. On the Advanced tab under Internet Options, select options under Accessibility, Browsing, and Multimedia. Make one or more of the following changes, and then tap or click OK.

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:

  • 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.
Help prevent webpage sounds from interfering with your screen reader
  • Under Multimedia, clear the Play sounds in webpages check box.

screen shot of Internet Options dialog box

Internet Options: Advanced tab where Accessibility, Browsing, and Multimedia options can be selected