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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website has been designed to be accessible to all users, irrespective of their browser type, speed of connection or physical ability. It has been constructed in keeping with the Guidelines for UK Government Websites, and abides by the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative recommendations. The RNIB have also been consulted on ways in which we can improve the accessibility of the site for visually impaired users.

The following accessibility features have been incorporated on our website:

  • A full text-only version
  • 'Alt-text' on images
  • 'Access keys' for those who have difficulty using a mouse
  • Text transcripts of all video material
  • W3C-validated HTML

Access Keys

Access keys operate on all pages of the site and act as an alternative to the standard navigation buttons. The keys are assigned as follows:

Press the 'alt' key together with the relevant number, then enter.

0 Access Key Details
1 Homepage
2 What's new
3 Sitemap
4 Search
5 FAQs
7 Complaints
8 Terms and conditions
9 Feedback
S Skip constant navigation

Changing text size

If you find the text on this site is too small, you can change it easily in your browser settings. To do this you should simply adjust your browser's settings.

Instructions for Microsoft Internet Explorer users

If you want to change the size of the text:
  1. Select Internet Options from the View OR the Tools menu depending on your browser.
  2. Click on the Accessibility button.
  3. Click the Ignore fonts so that it now shows a tick and click OK.
  4. Click OK again to close Internet Options.
  5. Select the View option from the Menu bar.
  6. Select the Text Size option, Choose your preferred text size.

Instructions for Netscape Navigator 4+ users

To change your browser settings, you must firstly:
  1. Select Edit from the Menu Bar.
  2. Select Preferences. You now have the option to make various changes.
  3. Select Appearance.
  4. Select Font. You can alter the Variable and Fixed width Font to your preferred option.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website uses a number of different file formats to present information. We have taken care not to present any information in any format that is not standard across the web.

The following is a list of the non-HTML formats used on the website together with links to websites where you can download the free plug-ins necessary to access them:

Icon Plug-in
PDF icon
Portable Document Format (PDF) - download the latest free Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website. Viewers with visual difficulites may find it useful to investigate services provided to improve the accessibility of Acrobat documents - Access Adobe website.
Video icon
Audio icon
Audio and video presented in Windows Media format. Download the latest free Windows Media Player from the Microsoft website.
Zip icon
WinZip - download the latest evaluation version of the WinZip decompression program from WinZip website.
N/A Flash - download the latest version of the free Flash player from the Macromedia website.

If you have a problem accessing any of the information on the FCO website, please contact us via the feedback form and include details of the page in question, the nature of the problem and which browser / operating system you are using.