Getting Started

An introduction to using AInspector Sidebar for web accessibility evaluation

How does AInspector Sidebar work?

When AInspector Sidebar is loaded into the sidebar panel of Firefox, it automatically evaluates the current page and each subsequent page that you load into the content area of the browser. This applies to the current tab only.

When you open new tabs, by default the sidebar is not loaded. You can choose to have AInspector Sidebar either active or inactive in each of the tabs you currently have open.

When AInspector Sidebar is closed, it becomes inactive, and no evaluations are performed.

Launching the sidebar

There are three methods for opening and closing AInspector Sidebar in the current browser tab:

  • Click the ‘AI’ button in the Firefox toolbar
  • Use the Toggle sidebar keyboard shortcut: Win: ctrl+shift+u / Mac: cmd+shift+u
  • From the Firefox main menu, choose View : Sidebar : AInspector Sidebar

Note: When you first install AInspector Sidebar, the ‘AI’ toolbar button is placed in the navigation toolbar of Firefox. If you have many buttons there already, it may not be immediately apparent or even visible.

To reposition or remove the button from the toolbar, choose View : Toolbars : Customize...

Preferences dialog

The Preferences dialog contains important settings for evaluation parameters and how results are displayed. It contains two panels:

In the General panel, you can:

  • Customize the Views menu
  • Choose how the Rerun Evaluation button functions
  • Select Screen reader compatibility mode (see below)

In the Evaluation panel, you can:

  • Choose the Ruleset
  • Choose whether Pass and N/A results are displayed

The keyboard shortcut for opening the Preferences dialog:

  • Win: ctrl+. / Mac: cmd+.

Screen reader support

Due to shortcomings in the way that tables are rendered in Firefox extensions (actually the problems are with XUL tree elements), column header information is not conveyed automatically by screen readers.

To work around these deficiencies, AInspector Sidebar provides a Preferences setting labeled Add column header data in table cells, which is found on the Evaluation panel under the Screen reader compatibility heading.

When this option is selected, additional information is inserted into each table data cell that fully describes the data in relation to its column header label.

For example, without this setting, a row in the Summary table might be rendered as “Landmarks one three seven”. When screen reader compatibility mode is selected, the same row is read as “Landmarks: one rule with violations, three rules with manual checks, seven rules pass.”

For more information on screen reader support, see the Screen Reader Users guide.

Keyboard shortcuts

Toggle sidebar
Win: ctrl+shift+u / Mac: cmd+shift+u
Open Views menu
Win: alt+a / Mac: ctrl+a
Back one level
Win: ctrl+backspace / Mac: cmd+backspace
Back to Summary view
Win: ctrl+shift+backspace / Mac: cmd+shift+backspace
Open Preferences dialog
Win: ctrl+. / Mac: cmd+.