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Doing it with (user) style

October 21, 2007

I’ve long since been fascinated with changing the style of a site to fit with my needs. Early experimentation with the Web Developer Toolbar lead to me writing Print it your way for A List Apart back in May of 2004.

The capacity to restyle and customize sites to match our personal use is a fundamental part of what we do on the web. My friend and colleague John Allsopp wrote about it back in April of 2000 when he wrote the visionary A Dao of Web Design, also on A List Apart. We have the ability to adapt pages and restyle all or parts of them for our own use, beyond what the author may have intended. This is the web.

WCAG 1.0 Resources

I need the WCAG checklist and guidelines as a reference when I’m testing or writing a report. When pointing out areas of concern to a client, I generally reference the specific checkpoints in question so that their developers and designers can go back to the guidelines to see what needs attention. My work isn’t driven by the checklist, but the checklist is definitely a tool that I still use.

The problem? The way the guidelines and checkpoints are laid out, doesn’t really match the way that I work. I need a quick reference – mostly because I don’t have the exact numbers of all the checkpoints memorized.

With that in mind, I created some user styles for both the WCAG Guidelines and the WCAG Checklist to make them easier to read at-a-glance, I made the numbers for the checkpoints bigger, added in some line-height and removed anything else I thought got “in the way” of me being able to reference them quickly and efficiently.


WCAG 1.0 Guidelines: Before with default styling

WCAG 1.0 Guidelines: After with user styles

I’ve posted them at which makes use of the Stylish extenstion for FireFox—allowing you to manage your user styles on a per site basis.

It would be silly to suggest that these will meet your precise needs, but adding these styles certainly made the checkpoints and guidelines easier for me to read and use.

Feel free to give them a try and let me know how they work out for you. I’m also interested in knowing how other people use the guidelines and checklists. Are there other styles that would be useful for other use case scenarios for the guidelines and checklists?


Just to be clear – once you install the user styles, you need to go to the web pages in question to see them in action. Namely the WCAG Guidelines and the WCAG Checklist. If you don’t go to those sites, you won’t see any effect at all.

Firefox Power Moves

November 25, 2006
Firefox Logo

Time to document a few things that I find really useful in FireFox – still my browser of choice, even now that I’m on a Mac and not Windows (actually, I do still use Windows for certain things, and I do a lot of testing via Parallels so I’m not completely on a Mac).

Note that I describe these with Cmd, but you can use Ctrl for Windows machines. I assume these features also work on Linux based version of Firefox, but I’ll leave it to someone else to confirm.

Continue reading Firefox Power Moves

Numbered Tabs Extension

January 30, 2005

Back in September, I posted Numbered Tabs for Firefox.

On a couple of occasions, people have suggested I turn it into an extension so that it was easier to install. I wanted to do so, but hadn’t really ventured into creating extensions yet, so I passed.

One of my coding goals for 2005 is to do more work with intelligent DOM Scripting. I’ve been working a lot on that lately (more on that later), and it inspired me to bite the bullet and convert numbered tabs into an extension. I learned a few things along the way (more on that later as well)

OK, get on with it:

Install Firefox Numbered Tabs extension

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Numbered Tabs for Firefox

September 17, 2004

After posting My Favourite Firefox Keystrokes I saw a comment on someone else’s blog mentioning that they used Ctrl + 1-9 to switch between open tabs.

Pardon? How did I miss that one? I had a new favourite keystroke to add to the list. Going directly to the desired tab is so much better than cycling through all the open ones. Of course, solving one problem creates another — when you have a number of tabs open, it is a pain to figure out which one you need to switch to at times. Who wants to count tabs? Here’s what I came up with to try and solve the problem.
Continue reading Numbered Tabs for Firefox

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My Favourite FireFox Keystrokes

August 25, 2004

I was observing my own habits the other day and noticed that there are certain things I do without even thinking. I am definitely a keyboard user. I can’t remember the last time I used a “mouse” — my laptop has a built in touchpad, and I’ve used an external touchpad for my desktop system for close to 6 years.

First, I noticed a pattern; I operate in two different modes – active working mode and casual reading/browsing mode. Continue reading My Favourite FireFox Keystrokes

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