Accessibility-compliance is one of the key new features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. We on the CRM team believe that no person should be denied from using the product even if one is visually challenged. Accessibility in CRM is useful not only to the visually challenged users but also to the user who prefers keyboard to mouse.
You can do almost everything in CRM 2011 lists quickly and easily using just a keyboard. For the visually challenged, using CRM 2011 lists with Job Access with Speech (JAWS) is a breeze. Also for them, we have also made enhancements to ensure that CRM lists display well in the high-contrast mode.
Sample Accounts list in CRM 2011
Accessibility features in CRM 2011 work well in tandem with JAWS 11, the most widely-used screenreader in the world. We have also tested it on Window-Eyes, another popular screenreader.
Let us see how we can perform some of the common list operations in CRM 2011 using JAWS and keyboard.
Sorting is one of the most commonly used functions in a list of records. Just follow the 2 simple steps below to sort on your favourite column using JAWS
1. Perform one of these actions:
a. Press Ctrl+Insert+T to list all the tables in the current page. Scroll through the list and choose the table with the following title: From each column header, you can sort and filter the records.
b. Press Tab repeatedly until you get to the list header. When you reach the “Select/Clear All” checkbox, you are inside the list header.
2. Press Tab repeatedly until you reach the desired column in the header table. E.g. – To sort on Address 1: City (the 3rd column in the list), press TAB thrice. You will then hear “Table Nesting Level1 Column1 Row1 Address1: City link”.
3. Now press Enter to alphabetically sort the list based on Address 1: City. Press Enter again to sort it in reverse alphabetical order.
Similarly you can sort a list on any sortable column in the current view in increasing/decreasing order using JAWS. Simple, isn’t it?
If sorting does not solve it for you and you need more advanced ways to filter your records, the Column Level Filtering feature in CRM is the way to go.
1. Tab to the link which reads “Filter button” Press Enter to enable filters on the list.
2. Now reach the list header using action 1 given in the sorting section given above.
3. To reach the desired column, use action 2 from the sorting section.
4. Press TAB again to go to the filter link. JAWS should read “Table Nesting Level 2 Column1 Row1 – ‘No filter applied’ link”
5. Once on the link, press Enter to open the filter menu. The filter menu has some common filters and a custom filter option as well.
6. Goto the desired filter option and press Enter to apply it on the list.
7. If you select Custom Filter, then the Custom Filters menu will open up which can be used to apply more powerful filters.
Opening primary/related records from the list
In CRM 2011 lists, all the primary field and lookup columns are hyperlinks which enables a JAWS user them to be able to open them.
1. Press Ctrl+Insert+T to list all tables in the current page.
2. Scroll through the list and select the table which reads “This list contains x Account records” where x is the number of records in the list. The focus moves to the table which contains the list of records.
3. Press TAB repeatedly until you get to the desired record. E.g. If you want to open the account with the name “Advanced Components”, press TAB until JAWS reads “Advanced Components Link”
4. Press Enter to open the “Advanced Components” form.
Reading the contents of the list
Reading the contents of the list using JAWS is easier than ever before since the row/column headings are now read along with the value of a cell.
1. Goto the table which contains the list using the steps 2&3 described in the above section.
2. Use Ctrl+Alt+Arrow keys to navigate around the list.
3. Move horizontally to read the different fields of a record. When moving horizontally, the field name (column title) is read before the actual value of the cell.
4. Move vertically to read the same field from the previous/next record in the grid. When moving vertically, the record name (row title) is read before the actual value of the cell.
Selecting one or more records in the list
Selecting non-contiguous records in made easy in CRM 2011 lists with the introduction of row checkboxes.
1. Goto the table which contains the list using the steps 2&3 described two sections above.
2. To select the “Advanced Components” record, go to the checkbox corresponding to this record.
a. Press Tab repeatedly until JAWS reads “Advanced Components, Checkbox unchecked”
b. Press Space to check the checkbox thus selecting the record
3. Repeat the above step to select as many records as you want.
4. Once you have selected the desired record(s), you can perform edit, delete, share, assign and other record actions.
5. If you have selected multiple records, you can perform bulk operations on them like bulk delete, share, etc.
6. You can use the step 2 also to unselect a selected record.
We hope that this blog helps a bit in fulfilling our commitment to make CRM available everyone!