Important considerations about clicking links with Firefox and Dragon

Apologies for not mentioning this sooner. I’ve written about the accessibility.typeaheadfind.linksonly setting with regard to Dragon before, but there’s an important distinction in how it works, based on whether you’re using the apostrophe shortcut or the about:config permanent setting. This distinction does not occur on every webpage, but it does occur fairly often — enough that you might want to change your method depending on how you browse, especially if you don’t use Mouseless Browsing.

If you’re using the apostrophe shortcut — the one that turns on linksonly temporarily — Dragon will frequently forgo typing in the Find box and actually move the cursor to the link and click it instead. This is odd to me, considering I use that shortcut because Dragon has not registered the mere spoken word as a link the first time. Apparently, if Dragon doesn’t recognize the word is a link the first time, pressing the apostrophe then saying the word will force it to understand the word is a link to be clicked. I wonder what’s so special about the apostrophe that it can do that. This doesn’t happen all the time — it depends on how a webpage is coded — but it happens so frequently that it would be nice if the “apostrophe magic” could be integrated into Dragon somehow, for those who browse that way.

The downside of the apostrophe shortcut is that you will not be able to open links in new tabs, more often than not. If you frequently open links in tabs, you would want to use the about:config typeaheadfind settings instead. If you use Mouseless Browsing, you won’t have this problem, because Mouseless Browsing has its own method of opening links in tabs.

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