F6 Is Your Friend
From enterprise collaboration software to web browsers, the little-known F6 keyboard shortcut can do many things that make our lives as blind computer users much easier and more productive.
In Slack F6 moves between the major portions of the window, such as channel navigation and workspace selection. It is, in fact, virtually impossible to access critical functionality, such as channels and direct messages, without pressing F6. Please review the Use Slack with a Screen Reader article for additional documentation. J.J. Meddaugh’s fantastic AccessWorld article An Introduction to Slack, A Popular Chat App for Teams and Workplaces provides a great starting point for using Slack from a blind user’s perspective.
In the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox web browsers, F6 jumps out of the address bar and moves focus directly into the currently loaded web page with the screen reader’s browse mode or virtual PC cursor active and ready for immediate action. It is not necessary to press tab several times to move through the browser’s toolbar.
In Microsoft Office apps, such as Excel, Outlook and Word, F6 moves focus between major elements of the window, such as the ribbon bar, list of messages, document area and the status bar.
Let’s discover together all the additional productivity boosts we can achieve through keyboard shortcuts like F6. What is your favorite keyboard shortcut? How does it increase your productivity?
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