Publish: Accessibility Issues - Keyboard Navigation

There are lots of a11y issues with websites powered by Obsidian Publish.

This is less a single bug (but I’ll provide an example) and more an urging to make your products accessible to disabled people. Obsidian Publish (and presumably other Obsidian products) exclude them and limit your market.

It would be easiest to identify and prioritize issues by hiring someone with the expertise to perform a proper audit. I don’t have that expertise, but I could help you find someone if you don’t know where to start.

Steps to reproduce

  1. Publish any content using Obsidian Publish.
  2. Visit your Obsidian Publish-powered website.
  3. Attempt to navigate via keyboard. (Hit tab a lot.)

Expected result

It should be obvious which element has focus, because it should most likely have a ring around it. This is an a11y feature that exists as a browser default, and it has been disabled.

I also expect to be able to focus on the navigation in the left sidebar using only my keyboard (using the default styles), but it appears that focus has been trapped within the content of the published file. This is another default a11y feature that exists as a browser default that has been disabled.

This one most likely can’t even be addressed by individual users since it’s almost certainly disabled via JavaScript, and Obsidian Publish prevents users from publishing their own JavaScript.

Actual result

Default focus styles have been disabled without being replaced by others.

Navigation isn’t focusable.


  • Operating system: Browser / macOS
  • Obsidian version: v0.12.3

Additional information

I can’t use Obsidian Publish as it exists today due to its exclusion of disabled people. It doesn’t even just affect users, but even audiences of users. I’m cancelling my subscription and using another tool.


I agree that things can and should be improved on this front. However, your deduction as to why this isn’t working isn’t accurate. Anyway, we’ll look into this.

Here’s a starting point (though not the complete list) for issues to be on the lookout for : Checklist - The A11Y Project

What would help me (because I have close to 0 coding knowledge) would be a publish.js that complies with the checklist or something similar - that way using obsidian publish has a default accessible version for people like me to use with publish.

I’m currently figuring out what the best way to start publishing for the Internet would be, so any update on this would be useful :slight_smile:



In addition to the keyboard navigation and focus issues described in the original report, Obsidian Publish sites typically get amber rated scores for accessibility in Lighthouse due to missing image alt text and a lack of a language attribute.