Safari vs. Opera Accessibility Features

Published October 26, 2022

There are five widely used browsers Google Chrome, Apple’s Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. 

This article will discuss Safari and Opera - “Which is the best browser for accessible navigation?” 

Safari accessibility features


VoiceOver is a powerful screen reader that will inform users about what is happening on screen while browsing an application or website using Safari. VoiceOver can describe objects, people, and text within images.

Audio descriptions of various elements will enable users to comfortably navigate the screen using simple gestures on a trackpad, touchscreen, or Bluetooth keyboard. The innovative rotor gestures operate like a dial on trackpads, and touchscreens will make the browsing experience a breeze.

Screen Magnifier

Users can increase or reduce the text and image size on-screen for improved visibility using the screen magnifier feature. 

You can use the keyboard by pressing and holding down the Command key. While holding the Command key, press the “+” key to increase the text and image size, or press the “-” key to decrease the text and image size. Continue to press the + or – key until you reach the desired size.

Colors and fonts

Safari makes it easy to adjust the type, color, and size of the font as well as the background color theme. 

Select the following items in the Safari menu to adjust colors and fonts: Preferences -> Appearance -> Standard font -> Select. Here users can choose the desired font size, type, and color. Finally, click "OK" on the Preferences screen.

Safari also lets users set a minimum font size, which means web pages will not show up below that size. 

To perform this adjustment, select the following items in the Safari menu: Preferences -> Advanced -> Universal Access. Click “Never use a font size smaller than” and choose the minimum font size from the drop-down menu. Finally, click "OK" on the Preferences screen.

Opera accessibility features

Spatial navigation

Opera is one of a few browsers providing native support for Spatial Navigation. The Spatial Navigation feature in Opera lets users move right and left or up and down freely by simply pressing Shift and then using the Arrow keys. In other words, users are no longer restricted to linear tabbing with Opera and can navigate a web page much more comfortably and quickly with less input.

This feature comes in handy when users are limited to keyboard-only access or are using voice input (pressing the Tab key repeatedly isn't needed). This minimizes repetitive voice commands, like constantly saying “Tab,” and can reduce the movement required to use a mouse.

Access keys and single-key shortcuts

Opera includes several Single Key Shortcuts that will let users operate primary functions without the need to use multiple key combinations. For instance, to cycle through the headers, simply hit the W key to move back or S to move forward.

Press Shift + Esc in Opera to activate the Access Key menu. Here users can view all the access keys available on a web page. There are no conflicts with Opera’s in-house keyboard shortcuts, which makes using the web page much more accessible.

Gestures for easy navigation

If users find it challenging to use a mouse or cannot use a mouse in conjunction with a keyboard, they can utilize the Mouse Gestures feature. 

Using small movements of the mouse – right or left with a left-click or a right-click – users can move back and forward in windows, open new tabs, reload pages, view history, and more.


Opera was one of the first browsers to introduce Full Page Zooming, which implies not just zooming in the text but scaling up everything on a web page. When users want to read a larger-sized text without using access tools such as a text-to-speech program or a screen magnifier, this feature will work well. It is also ideal for websites with fixed fonts and will not allow text scaling.

The choice is (mostly) up to you

Safari is the default browser on computers and smartphones for those of you using Apple products. Apple no longer offers a current Safari browser as an option for those using Windows devices. 

Opera is one of the oldest internet browsers and includes cutting-edge features. Opera runs on Windows, Mac and Linux devices making it a versatile choice for users who switch between systems.

Users can turn on and off accessibility features in both browsers as necessary for browsing. Consider this information to help you choose the best fit for your needs.


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