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So … what’s going on with accessible ways of getting links? from blog The Technology blog and podcast

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So … what’s going on with accessible ways of getting links?

Hello folks,

For some time, I’ve been interested in ways that we can check links to make sure they’re going where they’re supposed to go. For example, if you got an email, the email says “Click here to go to the Jared Rimer Network!” how would you know you’re going to the network home page?

We’ve discovered that in Jaws, while searching for links in the ins+space, j for links we find that screen sensitive help ins+f1 is your key. Underneath the link, the text says:

Describes the current window or control, what it is used for, and what keystrokes can be used at the current location. If a link has focus, its source URL will be shown so you can responsibly manage possible phishing links in suspicious emails. Use this command frequently when learning windows.

This is awesome! Thanks Freedom Scientific for this valuable resource.

I remember in Window-Eyes, before it was discontinued, we could hit ctrl+ins+s which read the status bar. This is what happens when you hover a mouse over the link. The sighted user can see exactly where they’re going at a glance. I don’t know when Freedom Scientific added the link browsing to the ins+f1 facility, but that is so awesome!

Now, let’s catch people up with other things I’ve found out.


Before I get in to NVDA’s response, let me make one thing clear. You can still hit the context key or shft+f10 and select copy link, copy link location, or something similar depending on the browser or application. After that, you can paste the link in to something like Notepad and looking at the link that way. That was always the key I had done when looking at suspicious looking links or links that say to click here.

With that said, Quentin Christensen, the training and support manager wrote back with a couple of thoughtful responses.

Hi Jared,
Apologies for the delay, you caught on leave over the new year. Good question.  Just off the top of my head, I’m not aware of a simple command for this.  From memory, you used to be able to query the status bar to find out the destination target of a link, but now that isn’t possible anymore.

I’ve created an issue on our tracker for it here: https://github.com/nvaccess/nvda/issues/14535.

  Do please add any extra info I’ve missed.

In the meantime, the main workaround that I can think of, is to “Copy link” or “Copy link address” from the context menu, then press NVDA+c to read the
clipboard.  This works but is not as simple.  Hopefully we can add the functionality soon as I can definitely see your point about the importance of it.
Kind regards

This was sent to me on January 12, 2023 and yes, I believe I wrote late December of 2022 and got a mailback indicating that he was out on break. I really thought the writing on the link which is linked here was thoughtful and I responded as such.

In my response, I indicated how phishing has grown at least 200 percent within the last couple of years and Spam and phishing aren’t necessarily going away any time soon.

I did try out the steps he sent on January 15th and it does work. Granted, you need to use the command after copying the link you want to hear. Here is that Email.

Thanks Jared,
Yes, I definitely appreciate the issue re phishing and how important identifying links is.  Hopefully we can implement a simple solution to that issue. 

In the meantime, those steps to identify the link are:

  1. Navigate to link
  2. Press applications key / SHIFT+F10 to open context menu
  3. In Chrome: Press DOWN ARROW five times to “Copy link address”.  In Firefox, press L to “Copy Link”.
  4. 4. Press NVDA+c to read the clipboard.  Alternatively, paste the link wherever you choose and read it there.

Kind regards

I then sent him over to EMHS which he responded and said he’d check it out.

Maybe they can get a benefit of what we’re trying to do, and while NV Access is a non-profit from what I understand, EMHS is a teaching tool, not a money making tool for the JRN.

When I told him about the copy link location and copying aspect, I sent him over to EMHS which he said he’d check out. Let’s see if it can be incorporated in to something for people who use that reader.


I don’t have anyone on Android, but I do know a couple of people. I’ll try to reach out to someone who I’ve lost touch with and ask. For now, I’d look to see if there’s a way of copying the link and pasting it somewhere for review.

IOS and Mac

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity for asking how the Mac works when wanting to preview links, I.E. not clicking on them by pressing enter but to get the location. For now, IOS is similar to NVDA, although you can doubletap and hold and preview the page, as well as copying the link. You still have to copy and paste this link in to notes or some other text facility to get the link’s URL.

The Mac club was last week, but it was more of a demo format and not a Q&A for general topics, but I intend on asking this when it is available to do so.

While there is a Mac and IOS club at the time of writing, I won’t ask there as it is a different type of club for people to get questions answered that might be basic in scope. Hopefully soon, we can tackle Mac.

In Conclusion

I hope that this guide might be of interest, and once we get the information complete, I’ll create a page on the blog that links to these posts or even copy the text and make it one large page for folks. I’ll figure it out once we get all of the answers.

I hope that this helps people and thanks for reading, learning and participating with us!

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So … what’s going on with accessible ways of getting links? was released on January 24, 2023 at 3:00 pm by tech in accessibility newsand issues.
Last modified: January 24, 2023.

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