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Inspect Objects

The Inspect Objects tool allows developers and testers to examine the IAccessible property values of the the user interface (UI) items of an application and to navigate to other objects.

Using Inspect Objects

When you start Inspect Objects, the main window displays the Active Accessibility properties for the selected UI item. The title bar displays the release information for Inspect Objects and the Hwnd for the selected item. The toolbar provides access to commonly used functionality.

Inspect Objects provides two ways to select an UI item. The default mechanism for selecting a UI item is by tracking the keyboard or mouse focus. By default, Inspect Objects does not display the bounding rectangle around the selected UI item. To display the bounding rectangle around the a selected UI item, click the Show Highlight Rectangle button on the Inspect toolbar. You can also select a UI item by selecting the Focused Child menu item in the Navigation menu.

Inspect Objects Tasks

This section includes information about commonly used Inspect Objects tasks.

Verify Active Accessibility Property Information

When you launch Inspect Objects, the property information is displayed in the main window. To configure which property information you want displayed, open the Options menu and click the Settings menu item.

Verify Active Accessibility Navigation

Once you have selected a UI element using Inspect Objects, you can validate that it exposes the correct Active Accessibility navigation for assistive technolgy products. Use the Navigation menu or toolbar to see the property information for a UI item's related objects.

Interact with UI Elements

Active Accessibility exposes methods that allow assistive technology products to interact with a UI element as if the mouse of keyboard were being used (for example, to click a button). Use the menu items in the Action menu to invoke the corresponding Active Accessibility method (for example, DoDefaultAction calls IAccessible::doDefaultAction).

Keyboard Shortcuts

Many of the menu items on the System menu are invoked with a keyboard shortcut even when Inspect Objects is not the active application. Note however, that the shortcut keys conflict with some applications.

The following keyboard shortcut keys activate the various options on the System menu:

To do this Use this keyboard shortcut
Invoke the default action of the object under the cursor (Do Default Action). CTRL+SHIFT+F2
Select the object under the cursor (Select). CTRL+SHIFT+F3
Set the keyboard focus to the object under the cursor (Focus). CTRL+SHIFT+F4
Move the cursor to the previous sibling object from the one under the cursor. This command navigates to objects only within a container (Simple Previous). CTRL+SHIFT+F5
Move the cursor to the object's parent (Move to Parent). CTRL+SHIFT+F6
Move the cursor to the first child of the current object (Move to 1st Child). CTRL+SHIFT+F7
Move the cursor to the next sibling object from the one under the cursor. This command navigates to objects only within a container (Simple Next). CTRL+SHIFT+F8
Move to the last child of the current object (Move to Last Child). CTRL+SHIFT+F9
Move the cursor to the previous object from the one under the cursor. This command navigates the object hierarchy (Move to Previous). CTRL+SHIFT+F11
Move the cursor to the next object from the one under the cursor. This command navigates the object hierarchy (Move to Next). CTRL+SHIFT+F12
Change the TTS voice verbosity setting (Voice Verbosity). CTRL+SHIFT+1
Move the cursor to the sibling object to the left of the one the cursor is over (Move Left). CTRL+SHIFT+7
Move the cursor to the sibling object above the object the cursor is over (Move Up). CTRL+SHIFT+8
Move the cursor to the sibling object to the right of the one the cursor is over (Move Right). CTRL+SHIFT+0
Move the cursor to the sibling object below the one the cursor is over (Move Down). CTRL+SHIFT+9

Other options for this tool are also accessed through the tool's System menu:

  • The Watch Focus command instructs the tool to follow the keyboard focus.
  • The Watch Caret command tells the tool to follow the caret.

When Watch Focus is on, the tool installs an asynchronous focus event hook, and moves the caret to the top left of the object with the focus. This causes Inspect Objects to refresh its properties in about one second.

Note that Inspect Objects always starts navigation using the current cursor location.

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