Microsoft UI Accessibility Checker 2.0

I’ve been doing some application building in the last few days, and I’ve found Microsoft’s (newish) free AccChecker program enormously helpful.

In some ways it’s much like the old MSAA tools AccExplorer32.exe and inspect32.exe. You can navigate around the MSAA tree for a program/window, explore what controls work and what don’t, and check you or your GUI toolkit have correctly populated the necessary accessibility information. Because Microsoft is trying to push us all to using UI Automation instead of MSAA it also provides you with the full range of the richer UIA content.

This’ll be especially useful as we try to support things like text rendered using DirectDraw/DirectX in Internet Explorer 9 (breaking lots of offscreen models). But in any case it’s an enormously useful utility. It’ll check tab order, screenreader views, UIA errors and even provide you with priorities and commentary on problems. Finally, the code is available from CodePlex to demonstrate the UIA techniques involved: great for anyone writing UIA support for AT or scripting.

Download AccChecker 2.0, June 2010

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