Version: WCAG 2.1 and up
Number: 2.1.4
Level: A
  • Buttons
  • Custom Controls
  • Inputs

If a keyboard shortcut is implemented in content using only letter (including upper- and lower-case letters), punctuation, number, or symbol characters, then at least one of the following is true:

Turn off

A mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off;


A mechanism is available to remap the shortcut to include one or more non-printable keyboard keys (e.g., Ctrl, Alt);

Active only on focus

The keyboard shortcut for a user interface component is only active when that component has focus.

Techniques: WCAG currently only includes the following undocumented techniques for this success criterion:
  • Users have a way to turn off single-key shortcuts.
  • A mechanism is provided to allow users to change character-key shortcuts. The remapping mechanism includes non-printing characters. The alternative shortcuts could be longer strings of up to 25 characters that would directly serve as native speech commands for any speech engine.


The purpose of this success criterion is to ensure that shortcut keys do not interfere with keyboard users' ability to carry out other actions.

How to Meet

Authors should ensure that all shortcut keys consist of at least one non-printing character (e.g., the control or shift keys).

When this is not possible, users must be able to turn off or remap the shortcuts so they do not interfere with other keyboard functionality, or the shortcut must only be active when the interface it controls has focus.

Additional Information

The following knowledge base pages provide more information about how to address this success criterion for publishing content: