We want to make sure that everybody can use our site, so we’ve put together a list of hints and tips provided by the BBC which show how some simple changes to your computer or browser can help you to access information more easily.
Help using our site
There are lots of ways that you can change your screen, keyboard and mouse settings to make our site easier for you to use.
The BBC provides a great site that tells you how to make changes to your computer to suit your needs.
Make your keyboard easier to use
There are a number of ways you can adapt your computer to make it easier to use the keyboard. These guides explain how to customise your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux), so that you can use the keyboard with one hand, for instance, or minimise accidental keystrokes. You can also set up the on-screen keyboard and learn shortcuts and other tricks to reduce the amount of typing you need to do.
Magnify your screen
If increasing the text size on your operating system or web browser does not make text easy to read, then the next step is to magnify the screen. These guides explain how to use the magnification software that is built into your operating system. There are also third-party software applications available.
Change your fonts
Some people find certain text styles or fonts difficult to read on their computer and on websites. Most people find a sans-serif style such as Arial or Verdana more comfortable. Others find a monospaced font such as Courier easier to read - these may include people with dyslexia.
These guides explain how to change the font in your operating system. You can also change the default font in specific programmes such as web browsers, which will make it easier to use this website and the websites we may link to.
Change text and background colours
Some people find certain text and background colour combinations difficult to read, while others prefer to always have a specific colour, such as white text on a black background. These guides explain how you can change the text and background colours in your operating system and browser to better suit your needs.
Make your computer talk aloud
You can make your computer talk in a number of ways, which can be a valuable facility for people who have difficulties with reading, for someone who can't see very well or at all, and for those who need to give their eyes a rest. These guides explain how to use the built-in speech function in your operating system. There are also third-party screen-readers and text-to-speech software applications available.
Examples of full-screen readers include Jaws and Window-Eyes. There are also freeware screen readers such as NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access), Thunder and NaturalReader. Some commercial packages, such as SuperNova, LunarPlus and ZoomText, offer magnification and speech. Full-screen reader packages can be quite expensive but offer a lot of features, such as reliable speech output, which is essential for effective access for a blind user.The only built-in screen reader that is included as part of a computer operating system at present is VoiceOver, which is included with Mac OS 10.4 or later.
If you have any comments, feedback or questions relating to the accessibility of our site, please contact our Marketing department.