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6. Accessing The Inaccessible - Special Software Tools

This page explains how to use special software tools. It is one of the series of pages which contain self-help advice to help people who have poor but useful vision to access web pages more easily. Some of the advice may help people with other needs.

The examples are based on Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or 6.0 (MSIE5.5) running on Microsoft Windows 98se.

Pages in this series:

  1. Introduction to Accessibility.
  2. Adapting the Web Browser.
  3. Introduction to User Style Sheets.
  4. Introduction to HTML.
  5. How to Write a User Style Sheet.
  6. Using Special Software Tools.
  7. Internet Glossary and Guide.

Disclaimer

This information is supplied "as is". Neither Curlew Communications Limited nor the author take responsibility for any loss or damage caused by use of the information.


Page Contents

Introduction

Various types of special software programs are available to "improve" standard browsers.

Pop-up windows are often used to display advertisements on web sites. However, because they appear without warning and take the active focus, they can be especially confusing for anyone using a screen reader. A number of software programs are available which claim to stop web sites from opening new unwanted browser windows. Some web modern browsers also claim to stop pop-up windows.

These software programs are available from the usual download sites. Some programs are free, some are shareware, and some contain adverts or spyware.

Note. On some web sites, important information or dialog messages are presented in pop-up windows. If these are blocked, such web sites fail to work.


Proxomitron Software

Proxomitron is a very powerful and flexible program for changing the way that web pages appear on your computer. It has a number of optional preset "filters" and advanced users can program others. The original author, Scott Lemmon, has now moved on so the program is being supported by other people.

The latest version is available as freeware from the new web site:
http://www.proxomitron.info
(Note. This is a "dot info" not a "dot com").

When Proxomitron is running on your PC it works by intercepting all incoming web pages and changing them before passing the changed pages on to your web browser. It can also intercept all outgoing messages from your web browser such as those which call for pop-up windows, images or adverts.

Thus Proxomitron can be programmed to intercept and change almost any aspect of the web pages, from simple colours and fonts to advanced structural features such as style sheets, frames and tables.

Usually, Proxomitron must be disabled before you view some web sites, especially on-line Banks and other e-commerce sites.

Proxomitron is very impressive and flexible. However the "user style sheet" facility in MS Internet Explorer is an alternative way of obtaining some of the benefits. Although a "user style sheet" is much less powerful than Promoxitron, it does not require you to load a new program onto the PC because a style sheet is just a text file. This is very useful for example when you are using a office computer and are not allowed to load any programs.

See: User Style Sheet Tutorial.


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