Accessibility in Internet Explorer 8

Make Internet Explorer easier to use

Windows Internet Explorer 8 includes accessibility options to help all users, including those with disabilities, move around the Internet easier, see webpages more clearly, and access information quicker.

Make webpages easier to see

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

Screenshot of Zoom control in Internet ExplorerVideo launch icon and link to Internet Explorer 8 video demoZoom in on a webpage
Make everything on a webpage easier to see by zooming in, or enlarging the whole page including images and text. You can zoom from 10% to 1000%. To change the zoom level, on the bottom right of the Internet Explorer screen, click the arrow next to the Change Zoom Level button. Or, to quickly zoom using the keyboard, Press CTRL + PLUS SIGN (+) to zoom in, or CTRL + HYPHEN (-) to zoom out.

Internet Explorer 8 zoomed in at 150% on

Change the colors and fonts used for webpages
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.

To make these changes, select Internet Options from the Tools menu in Internet Explorer 8
Screenshot of Internet Options colors, fonts, and accessibility buttons highlighted 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 stylesheet.

Screenshot of Fonts dialog box

Screenshot of Colors dialog box

Screenshot of Formatting section of Accessibility dialog box

Screenshot of Page Setup dialolg box with Print Background Color and Images option highlightedImprove the legibility of printed webpages
To make text on webpages stand out more clearly from background colors and images when you print the pages, you can prevent the background colors from printing. To stop printing background colors and images, open Internet Explorer, then click the Tools button, point to Print, and then click Page setup. Under Paper Options, clear the Print Background Colors and Images checkbox, and then click OK.

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 8 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.

Customize Internet Explorer 8 to work with a screen reader or voice recognition software
Internet Explorer 8 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.

Screenshot of Internet Options dialog box open to the Advanced tab showing Accessibility and Browsing options

Internet Explorer 8 Accelerators demo video launch iconUse accelerators to perform common tasks
You can select text on a webpage and use add-ons called Accelerators to perform many common tasks, such as mapping a street address or translating text into a different language. You can also choose the web services or websites that Accelerators use to handle different types of tasks.